In today’s soccer business….it is believed that money with the right tactical management team and not just desire…wins top soccer trophies.
This theory has been proven times without numbers by the prominent winners of domestic, continental and global club soccer competitions.
The most successful soccer club in the world; Real Madrid, is a good example of this theory. Its financial strength has been unopposed globally and domestically in Spain. Its closest domestic rival; Barcelona is equally a financial powerhouse that has been able to use its signature football culture to acquire global respect and financial strength. This two have run the show in the Spanish La Liga for years…except once in a while when sheer determination pushes Athletico Madrid, Valencia and 1 or 2 other clubs to compete weakly with Barcelona and Real Madrid’s dominance of Spain.
The German Bundesliga and French Ligue 1 live with the above theory as Bayern Munchen and PSG have no domestic rival that comes close to their financial power which has also translated to domestic dominance over the years.
The Serie A is a sad case in terms of how fast it deteriorated in quality in the past decade. Lifting the Serie A title used to be a competition between the mighty AC Milan, still powerful Juventus and Inter Milan, while occassionally teams like Napoli and Lazio tried their best to wrestle the top three for the Serie A title. Since after the scandal, only Juventus survived it to maintain its dominance as the ‘old lady of Italian football. Juventus has been winning the Serie A without any real competition in the past few seasons and this has helped it solidify itself as Italy’s strongest soccer club…laurel and financial-wise.
The English Premier League (EPL), has got its financial superpowers which are dominantly Manchester City, Chelsea FC and Manchester United. These 3 clubs have been in charge of the EPL for the past 10 seasons with Chelsea FC, Manchester United and Manchester City leading all of the race. These three clubs buttresses the point that financial strength equally translates to domestic titles with a few European trophies thrown in. The EPL….thanks to these 3 teams, the EPL has been the highest spending league in Europe for the past 10 years.
Chelsea FC spent over £71m at the beginning of the 2015/ 2016 season with the hope of retaining its EPL title and possibly winning the Uefa Champions League (UCL) since the ‘Sacked one’ was at the helm of affairs then and that was a trophy he owed the great club. Manchester City issued Pelegrinni a blank cheque with the hope of wrestling the EPL and UCL titles from Chelsea and Real Madrid respectively. Manchester United gave Louis Van Gaal (LVG) a.k.a The Stubborn One over a £100m cheque with 2 goals in mind; “win the EPL if possible but make sure you qualify for the UCL”. None of the the top 3 spenders in England won the EPL because Leicester City won it with a team of rejected and unknown players which cost them £31.5m. Like Emile Heskey said recently, “Leicester City’s triumph in the EPL is worthy of a movie”.
The EPL club with the most ironical results this past season is Manchester United’s. Over a£100m was spent to qualify for the UCL next season. Alas, the best the spent funds could get them based on LVG’s management of the funds is the Emirates FA Cup. He told the Manchester faithfuls that they were not being reasonable in their quest for UCL after spending their funds unwisely. With such a careless utterance…one would wonder why he did not say the same thing at the beginning when he was being handed the funds and his mandate for the season.
Leicester broke the myth that ‘you need to spend big to top the toughest league in Europe’, while LVG has proven to the world that one can spend over £100m across two seasons to bolster an above-average team that he single-handedly built and still not qualify for UCL.
To Manchester United fans…kindly relish the FA Cup glory that LVG has offered you as much as possible and hope Jose Mourinho’s unveiling (hopefully) will be a definite return to Manchester United’s “Glory Glory” days!