Football Inflation




Football Inflation

Football Inflation

Usually, rumours about possible player transfers go on over the whole season. But it’s towards the end of the season that the rumour mills go into over drive. “A is unhappy at his present club. B wants his dream move to C”. It’s all a part of the show.

But, what is astounding to see is the kind of money being discussed for the possible transfers of players across clubs. Players with hardly any experience and questionable talent now command a few million pounds as transfer money and several thousand pounds as weekly wages. Inflation has truly gripped the transfer market.

But this phenomenon isn’t totally without basis either. Relatively smaller clubs want sizeable compensation for letting go of their prized assets. That is totally justified. After all, the financial health of smaller clubs like Wigan and Blackburn is key. These clubs can’t refuse the kind of money being thrown about for their talents. Thus, the importance of home- grown talents from the club’s Academy can’t be undervalued.

Thus, we see the likes of Jordan Henderson and Phil Jones being valued at over 15 million pounds. These two are, at best, half decent talents with only one season of top flight football under their belt. The example of Andy Carroll, bought for 35 million pounds by Liverpool on the back of half a season in the Premier League, is even starker. But being English, they can afford to inflate their value. This clearly shows the lack of talent in the English game today.

Actually, the bigger clubs like United and Liverpool don’t actually mind paying that much for these players as they have the required resources to do so. Among these clubs, there is now an attitude of “Have money, will spend”. These clubs earn millions of pounds anyway due to their shrewd marketing strategies as well as sponsorship and TV rights. Thus, they attain the resources to splurge such obscene amounts of money at raw talents.

Interestingly, many of the top – flight clubs are actually running in debt and actually show losses in their accounts every year. Once FIFA’s Fair Play rules kick in, these clubs may just find the going tough and their spending capacity severely hampered.

There is also a general trend that big budget signings are risky. Just look at the examples of Zlatan Ibrahimovic, David Villa and Dimitar Berbatov. They haven’t exactly shone on the big stage when burdened with a huge price tag. Ibra has since moved on and is doing well at AC Milan, where he doesn’t have to justify his huge price tag. There is talk of Villa being offered as makeweight for other possible Barcelona signings and Berbatov is certainly staring at an Old Trafford exit, after the Champions League final snub.

On the contrary, small budget signings don’t have too much weight of expectation on their price tag and thus end up shining for their clubs. Look at the impact of Rafael van der Vaart and Javier Hernandez in their 1st year for their respective clubs.

Hernandez was shrewdly snapped up by Manchester United before the World Cup 2010 for a meagre 7 million. Just imagine his fees if he would have still been in the market after the World Cup, where he greatly impressed for Mexico.

Ultimately, we all know that it’s an unfair world. Well, here is just another example of it.

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