Money, money, money in a footballer’s world

I remember very vividly the day in August 2008 that Sheikh Mansour took over Manchester City Football club and began investing vast amounts of money into the club. Robinho was bought for £30 million (or something close to that) and a host of world class players were brought in to bolster what had been a mediocre mid-table club, at best, for the past couple of seasons. Now look at them.

Of course, the Sheikh wasn’t the first billionaire who decided he wanted to make a football club his personal plaything. Roman Abramovich with Chelsea, the Glazers with Man United and now PSG are bank rolled by the Qatar Investment Authority (whoever that may be) and hold the title of ‘World’s Richest Club’. As an Arsenal fan you can understand my frustration perhaps as I recognise that in order for my club to compete inevitably more money has to be spent. 

I understand that the world moves forward and that we live in a capitalist society but there is an overwhelming feeling that all of these millions and millions of pounds that have been pumped into our beloved game have not enhanced it, more hindered and tainted it. Contract disputes over wanting to get paid an extra 30K a week and players who don’t even play who are paid astronomical wages gives are examples of why footballers’ reputations are taking a bit of battering these days. The general public think they are a greedy bunch of so and sos and it doesn’t help when some of England’s biggest names are hitting the front pages for all the wrong reasons (I’m looking at you, John Terry).

The fact remains, however, that if you do not have billions and billions of pounds at your disposal than you will not be able to attract the best players to your club and with Man City’s mega billions it has all become a bit Football Manager. The players are just periphial figures in the football experience now, too, whereas once we idolised them and at a younger age grew up wanting to be like them. 

I am aware of UEFA’s Financial Fair Play rules but it doesn’t seem that anybody has an idea as to how they will be implemented and how much of a effect it will have on the super-rich. I still love the game and will follow my club passionately through thick and thin. It is hard to shake the feeling, however, that all this money and greed has tainted the absolute purity of the game. The whole allegiance to your club and playing for the badge on your shirt has been lost in an ocean of huge wage bills and many billions of pounds