Why Money Should Not Be Seen As Evil In Football
Last week this site featured a guest post by Connor Diggin who ignited the debate about the role of money in football, by suggesting that investment by teams such as Leicester was ruining the game.
This is not an attitude that I share as I believe that this nostalgic ideal is out of touch with modern sports, particularly football where the pressure to achieve has transformed the game from a national pastime into a global obsession.
With revenue and investment being pumped in from across the globe the romantic ideal that teams compete on a level playing field is unrealistic and has actually never really existed in English football.
Indirectly money has always been a factor in the success of different teams with fanbase, attendances and reputation giving sides with these assets a distinct advantage.
The influx of artificial money in recent years, has allowed some sides to override some of these limiting factors and give themselves the opportunity to achieve beyond traditional expectations/limitations.
Clubs such as Wigan and Hull have leveraged modest investment of their owners to reach the Premiership in the last ten years after spending most of their recent history in the lower reaches of the Football League.
Heavy investment gives clubs the challenge of retrospectively building their clubs revenue and fan base to match their level of spending.
This can be dangerous and has led to clubs struggling once the money dries up or fails to materialise whatsoever. Notts County and the now defunct Scottish club Gretna are examples of when chasing the dream can have a devastating impact.
These examples aside, every club dreams of having the money/resources to compete and I doubt that many fans would be able to say no to huge outside investment.
It is important not to forget that money is not the only factor in the success of a professional football club even if it helps.
It took Queens Park Rangers a few years to gain promotion despite the combined wealth of their owners and Blackpool achieved greatness on a shoestring budget to prove that money is not everything.
The key point I would like to make is that domestic football fans want to see the best players producing the best football and results for their team. A lot of talk may be made of the ethics or how clubs achieve this but in reality to the average fan winning will always be the most important factor and money is just a sideshow.
If your team has been given high levels of investment, good luck and keep living the dream. If your club has not been so fortunate try not to be self righteous you never know when a Billionaire may come knocking on your club’s stadium door.