We’ve all heard the story before. Man gets approached by a mysterious law firm and is offered a billion pound/dollar/euro fortune. All he has to do is spunk 10% of it on absolutely nothing before an allotted time has transpired.
The man in question is not the late, great Richard Pryor, but none other than everyones favourite Russian oligarch Roman Abramovich. Sure he’s not as funny as Pryor, but he doesn’t have to be funny – he’s minted.
In recent weeks the whole world has been watching Manchester City with mouths agape as they have been throwing money at clubs and players left, right and centre. They certainly haven’t been shy to splash the cash.
So it surprised me to learn the other day that the most proliferate spenders of the year have not been our friends in the north; Chelsea have actually spent much, much more than their light-blue rivals.
There are rumours circulating today that Chelski are in the process of signing the excellent Gregory van der Wiel in a deal reportedly worth 30 million units of currency (could be euros, could be pounds – it certainly isn’t yen). If this is true then this will take the London clubs spending past a staggering £150 million this year alone.
Anyone would think that they’ve got a time limit in which to spend their money. Maybe they’re worried that the bottom is going to fall out of the world economy! Oh….. it is.
Now I’ve mentioned before (and undoubtedly will again) how thoroughly unfair it is for clubs to spend such vast amounts of money on recruiting and paying their players. It gets on my moobs how these average sized clubs can spend more than they’ll ever make on players that would never go to them on them sporting merit.
You can’t tell me that the crowds are more passionate at the Chelsea than they are at Liverpool. Given current form, you also can’t tell me that Chelski are playing better football than the Scousers. It’s true that the staggering fee that the Londoners paid for Torres has helped finance the Liverpudlian renaissance, but come on, whilst Liverpool might not have as much wonga in the petty cash box, they’re the bigger club.
The game should be about sporting merit. It should be about history and tradition. It’s not though, not any more. Now it’s about who’s got the wealthiest owners.
We, the supporters of British clubs, are currently privy to a giant game of ‘who’s got the biggest *ahem* wad’. It’s posturing of the most expensive kind. Whilst it might be amusing to watch, underneath it all something pretty sinister is happening.
Our local clubs are becoming a competition for international sporting prestige. The Yanks are fighting with Russians and the Arabs for titles in our premier league. I don’t think it’s got anything to do with football, which is why it’s so sad. We, the supporters, are having our emotional investment trampled on by a few rich wankers. I mean investors. Actually, I mean both.
Is it fair that Stoke City or Sunderland fans will probably never get to finish in a champions league place because some rich guy on the other side of the world wants to show us all the size of his ‘sports car’? No, it’s not.
I have no problem with teams attaining dominance through sporting merit. But it makes me angry when clubs are propped up by diminutive billionaires who are spending money like its going out style. Brewster spent his 10% before the end of the movie, sadly this is real life and there isn’t an end in sight.