Burning Bridges?

So, King Kev, the Messiah, has resigned as manager of Newcastle and it seems that the main reason for this is that he was not in full control of who to buy and sell in order to strengthen his team. It also seems that this is the main reason for Alan Curbishley’s departure from West Ham.

At the same time, clubs are being bought by businesspeople with vast sums of money to invest – for example Chelsea Manchester City who have spent £32 million to bring in Robinho. And other clubs are touting themselves in the hope of being bought by someone with a huge bankroll (e.g. Everton). There is also a rumour that Manchester City will try to sign Gianluigi Buffon from Juventus for £60 million.

New car, caviar, four star daydream,
Think I’ll buy me a football team.

It now seems that these mega-rich club owners are prepared to splash any amount of cash in order to bring big name players in, irrespective of the team manager’s opinion and whether or not that player would actually fit into the existing team structure. Let’s not forget the saga of Andriy Shevchenko’s less than stellar career at Chelsea – though Chelsea’s then “special” manager is perhaps just as guilty as the club’s wealthy owner. And all this splashing of cash can’t be good for the game. Spraying loads of money around is no substitute for a manager’s knowledge of the game, common sense and experience.

It is already difficult for teams in less cash rich leagues to find the funds to match inflated player prices, never mind finding the funds to match the player’s expected salary. If more Premiership clubs find ultra-wealthy owners, player price tags – most of which already exceed the player’s real value – will continue to rise. Buffon is not worth £60 million, Robhino is probably not worth £32 million. Hell, James Milner is not worth the £12 million he went to Aston Villa for! But that’s the way the game is going and I now wonder how long it will be before the Premiership prices itself out of business?

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