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Money in Football

Ronaldo’s transfer heralds in the dawn of a new era

And so it’s happened. Cristiano Ronaldo has finally flown off into the Madrid sunset, his departure leaving Manchester United fans, North West based hair gel companies and women everywhere disappointed and more than a little angry. His new club, Real Madrid, parted with nearly £80 000 000 for his services, and thus it’s only natural that in wake of his leaving, a familiar topic in the world of football has once again found itself being discussed, notably is there to much money in football?

I think most people would pay £80 million to just punch this mans face.

This summer’s transfer window has given us a few reasons as to why there is to much money in football. 230 million reasons in fact. For that is the amount of money Real Madrid alone have spent alone (in €) in this summers transfer market. This lump sum has also been spent on just four players, working out at a paltry average of 57.5 million € for each player. Contrast this spending with Real’s rivals and title competitors Valencia and you can see the gulf in spending between Real and pretty much any other Spanish team (with the possible exception of Barcelona). Valencia have bought in the same amount of players as Real, but have spent just 5 million €, 225 million € less than Real.

Perhaps slightly more worrying is the demise of many football clubs rather than just the successes of bigger clubs such as Madrid. Take the more local struggles of clubs such as Farsley Celtic and Gretna Green for example. But on a slightly larger scale, one only has to open up the daily newspapers to read about Newcastle’s well publicised financial struggles. Much maligned club chairman Mike Ashley has put the club up for sale at £100 million, but sources close to the club have reportedly revealed he’d be willing to accept an offer as low as £70 million. For the more observant of you, you will have noticed this fee is smaller than what Manchester United accepted for one certain Mr. Ronaldo. What world do we live in when one player is worth more than one club- and a club that are in the same league as the selling party!?

Gretna’s success was short lived

On the other hand, many fans feel that the amount of money involved in football is only natural. Football is big business, and even bigger entertainment. Similar to the movies, or theatre, football is an event in which people congregate and sit down to watch just under two hours entertainment. And football isn’t the only form of entertainment which involves big money. The most recent movie blockbuster, Harry Potter and the Half Blood Prince, cost around $155 million to produce and advertise, and you don’t hear many people complaining about Daniel Radcliffe’s salary; a cool $25 million per movie.

This is in fact a picture of Harry Potter’s Draco Malfoy, and not a skinny vicar, as I first thought.

It doesn’t seem the answer to the question will be answered any time soon, and with a “wage and transfer cap” rule seemingly far from being enforced by FIFA or UEFA, it seems that the amount of money in football will keep on growing. As for my humble opinion, I personally believe there is too much money in football. But I don’t think a transfer cap is a good idea. If you imposed say, a £50 million limit, prices would be pushed down, but the smaller, lower league clubs would still be left vulnerable and the bigger clubs would still spend the maximum amount. It’s sadly inevitable that there will always be a select group of clubs who buy anyone and everyone, and a large group of clubs who meddle by as much as they can.



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