Money in football is a very contentious issue. From the over inflated price of tickets at Premier League level right down to the park pitches money really does rule everything but is it helping or ruining our wonderful game?
Well, I guess it depends on which side of the fence you are on or sitting right on it. No one can deny we are in a very lucrative era of the game where players wages are now well out of touch with the modern man or woman on the street. Would we complain if we were in their position? Of course not! Clubs choose to pay these sizable pay packets because they can, it attracts the best players and who doesn’t want to watch those at the best of their abilities showcasing it right in front of you?
In the working world, would you turn down a pay rise from a rival job if it benefitted you? You’d be mad in most cases if you did. That extra £50 a week paying off the HP purchase from 2 years prior or a sun filled holiday year on year, really a no-brainer.
The money generated from huge TV deals and now opening up worldwide markets makes a footballer’s life a very comfortable one, be it for the short career span they have. But, the clubs are the first benefactors of this money which now dwarf’s any gate receipts and merchandise sales. Is there a fair share of this money throughout the country?
Not if you’re on the other side of this fence! To be able to break into the next level wherever you may be, money holds the key and nearly all the answers. What it can do however is create advantages for teams ahead of others, but not always the case. Facilities are becoming evermore important the further down you go to generate that extra cash to help compete on the pitch.
Many point to the Salford City story with tales of huge investment in wages which can’t be denied on their summer dealings for new players. On the flip side, the facilities on offer have seen a constant upgrade and what looks like a balance between the playing side and what surrounds it.
In the same division as Salford this week, we’ve seen Ebbsfleet looking like their money train is about to depart despite having worked themselves back into position in the National League to push on for a Football League place. This doesn’t come easy, one up automatically and one through the play offs doesn’t give a lot of room for failure and you feel in the eyes of some of these ‘money men’ who take over clubs, especially much lower down the leagues, that money will ‘buy’ them a title or promotion and if it doesn’t work out off they go into the sunset leaving a financially stricken club to pick up the pieces and spend years getting themselves back in order.
Thamesmead look to have bitten the bullet just up the road from Ebbsfleet, while they are not the first club to go to the wall and certainly won’t be the last, the hard work of getting to Bostik League level is likely to go up in smoke and whilst their demise hasn’t come from money men walking away, more a case of not enough money coming into the club to sustain it away from their home ground.
There deserves to be a financial compliance team involved in the game to avoid these clubs struggling or going to the wall. No one would turn away someone who can invest in a club and improve it, but there is always the concern that clubs become too reliant on the cash and forget about being self-sufficient, the sufferers being the staunch supporters who have been there for life and will be long after these benefactors have gone. Money is more than welcome in the game, but used in the right way to benefit clubs.
Is it the root of all evil? Really does depend on if you see it as a hinderance to the game in the main or a help and a benefit, I’ll leave that to you to make your mind up………………….