Is the money spent in modern football out of control?
Amidst the unprecedented levels of global enthusiasm for football, which innovations like the Premier League and live television coverage have created, one area that continues to concern many observers is the amount of money that clubs now spend. The vast majority of Premier League clubs operate with heavy levels of debt, which increasingly appears to be proving unsustainable for many of them, which leads to the question: is the money being spent in modern football out of control? Most neutral observers would certainly answer ‘yes’ in response to this question, but notably an increasing number of fans would be likely to agree with them. The nightmarish collapse experienced by clubs like Leeds United and Portsmouth, as a result of their ‘speculate to accumulate’ policies, has sent a chill down the spines of many fans; and if those cases didn’t do the trick, the recent liquidation of Rangers – one of the oldest and most established football clubs in the world – is likely to have done so. Many supporters now fear their clubs going the same way as these cases, which accounts for much of the fear of relegation from the Premiership, as this can often prove to the catalyst for meltdown, as clubs are unable to adjust Premier League budgets to fit Championship football. Ultimately most clubs are gambling financially in the same way that fans gamble at sites like OnlineCasinoAustralia.com.au, but the stakes and the penalties for losing are much greater. Some have lauded FIFA’s financial fair play regulations, but ultimately, these will simply see the wealthiest clubs drawing further away from the rest. Others have argued that what is required is a cap on wages, and this would certainly be popular with clubs in Europe, which are struggling to compete with the money paid to players in the Premier League. Given the commitment to free market principles in the league however, this is unlikely to happen. Arguably, it will take the shock treatment of a really big English club to suffer liquidation, for spending to begin being reigned in.