Football is becoming more and more of a business rather than simply a beautiful sport to enjoy. Clubs like Man City, PSG, Malaga, and Anzhi Makhachkala have recently been taken over by billionaire oil tycoons, and thus have much better chances of success than their rivals. These affluent Arabs/Russians seem to purchase their favourite team just for fun, and for an extra source of income. So how can less wealthy clubs compete? It seems to me that football is turning into just another entertaining way to make money these days. Here is an approach to address these problems:
In American sports, players cannot be paid more than a certain amount. This prevents the richest clubs from luring all the best players in with their cash. Take the New York Yankees baseball club for example. They are the richest baseball team in the US. However, they are not the best team. Because of the salary cap, they can’t pay their players any more than the least wealthy clubs. A salary cap in football could be the first step in the right direction. It would give lesser clubs a chance to sign better players, and prevent the mega rich clubs from taking all of them. It will also promote loyalty to clubs, and bring the focus of players back into the game as it should be, instead of always being focussed on improving their contracts. Wouldn’t it be nice if top players like Eto’o play for the clubs they love, rather than the ones which give them more money?
Also, in some US sports, players are traded with other clubs rather than bought. I’m not saying this format should be adopted. I like how players are purchased rather than exchanged, but it leads me to an idea similar to the one above. A transfer cap. Clubs can’t pay more than a certain amount for a player. Player prices are already inflated. Just look at deals for Fernando Torres (50M) or Andy Carroll (40M) or Pastore (45M). These are good players, but these prices are ridiculous! A transfer cap should be put into effect preventing clubs from paying more than say 30 million for a player. This would ensure that top players don’t move clubs every other season, which would help reducing the number of mercenaries at the top end of the game.
Taking this thought process even further, UEFA should also restrict agent fee’s and agent arrangements. It’s time to reduce the power of agents like Rinola who create issues just to ensure their clients move clubs frequently, so that they keep collecting ridiculous commissions with every move. Apart from that, FIFA needs to ban agents owning player contracts, football can do without any more Tevezgates.
These measures would not only bring the focus of the beautiful game back to where it should be, on the pitch, but also be the logical next step for UEFA Financial Fair Play to reduce the burden from clubs and level the playing field a bit more.
You may not agree with my views, but I believe something needs to be done to solve this problem with football. I’m not saying these exact ideas should be implemented as is, but I hope I’m not the only one who considers these as stumbling blocks in the game. Its time FIFA starts thinking in this direction, and implement new solutions to these age old problems before they get any worse.
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