In the past few years, the term “Selling Club” is often greeted with negative comments such as ‘Lack of Ambition’ and others. Now take a look at Benfica and Porto – they are the biggest selling teams of the lot. Both sell star players regularly to fund the purchases of new talent, and they continue to win titles and compete in Europe every year. So, why the negativity?
Part of the problem in Britain is the mainstream press – they love being negative, and taking a dig at people and clubs for very little reasoning. Take Newcastle as an example, in the past three years, have sold Andy Carroll and Yohan Cabaye to bigger clubs for massive profit, yet are deemed a selling club. What the press don’t like to admit is there is nothing wrong with it! If anything, the Carroll sale funded the signings that secured them a European place. Southampton have sold Theo Walcott, Alex Oxlaide-Chamberlain and Gareth Bale for over £35m – and now they are in the top 10 of the Premier League with a very good team and a brilliant manager.
With the financial fair play rules coming in and taking effect, is this method the best way to go? Both teams mentioned above rebuilt using cash received and are now better off, so should the media have been so cock-sure and had a pop? Should they not be asking why teams such as Man City and Chelsea, who are buying their way to the top and securing ‘Questionable’ sponsorships from Companies who are owned by the owner (Man City in this case, £400m deal with Etihad), are not doing the same?
Porto sold Falcao, Rodriguez, Hulk, Guarin, Moutinho and more over the past 10 years and have made £342m profit – simply by scouting well and giving players a chance. Benfica similarly have sold Witsel, di Maria, Coentrao, Matic, Ramires and more, with profits of over £200m.
I think very soon, billionaire owned teams will begin to die out, and this method will become the norm. Premier League teams will have to start actually using the Wonderkids they buy – Chelsea have about 50 stock-piled on loan all over the world that are slowly wasting, and then being released to go on and rebuild their careers.
Fan ownership is another thing we feel may start rearing its head, with the Government stating a few years back that all teams should be at least 25% owned by fans. Football must become more affordable, with some teams, the bigger ones, taking the mick with prices – extracting every last penny out of loyal fans. In Germany, you can get a season ticket for the price of the most expensive Arsenal match ticket! That’s how ridiculous it really is…
The English Premier League is often called “The best league in the world” – but quite frankly it isn’t. Without fans, it is nothing, and teams are taking them for granted. Absolutely disgusting, in reality!