Reports from the Daily Mail, 2012 are suggesting that some of the most influential Premier League owners are in discussion over the ever-inflating wages players are receiving.
Over the last few years The Premiership has seen its fair share of owners arriving to the U.K flushed with cash and hoping to pay their way to success. Most notably Roman Abramovich (owner of Chelsea F.C) in 2003 and more recently Sheik Mansour of Manchester City. And success is exactly what each owner has achieved at their respective clubs.
Since Abramovich’s arrival, Chelsea have won 10 major trophies including the UEFA Champions League in 2011-12. Whilst Sheik Mansour’s involvement has helped Manchester City win the Premier League title for the first time since 1968, these achievements have come at a cost. It’s argued by many including myself that Abramovich’s and Mansour’s willingness to pay whatever it costs to lure elite players to their club has further fueled the culture of ever-inflating transfer fees.
…it’s only a matter of time before another individual purchases a club and buys another set of elite players…
“So what’s the issue?” you may ask. Well, If no change is made now then it’s only a matter of time before another individual purchases a club and buys another set of elite players at a further inflated cost. Such inflation in transfer fees and wages just isn’t sustainable.
The Annual Review of Football Finance 2012 Reports on how the league’s wages/revenue ratio reached an all time high of 70%, having been as low as 59% in 2004/05. With figures such as these it is easy to understand why even the wealthiest of owners are in favour of change.
…prohibit clubs from increasing their wage bill by more than five per cent…
This change comes in the form of ‘wages restraints’. A policy that would prohibit clubs from increasing their wage bill by more than five per cent annually. A revolutionary idea that has the possibility to prevent the wealthier clubs from buying success by paying inflated sums in wages and transfer fees.
The proposal has been well received by most however Mohamed Al-Fayed isn’t too keen. He’s worried that such restrictions shall deter potential buyers, and he’s got a point. Potential buyers purchase clubs as investments; investments in which they hope shall provide a decent return. One way to ensure a return is to invest into a team that can compete for domestic titles or European success.
…a perfect example…
Shalke 04 whilst not being a premiership team, are a perfect example of the financial benefits of European success. By reaching the semi finals of the UEFA Champions League in 2011, Shalke 04 earned themselves £35.9m in UEFA distributions and are in a position to re-invest these earnings however they wish. Not bad right? However I can’t help but analyse the proposed plans as a fan and see the good that may arise from such changes.
Players may still be lured away every once in a while with substantial wage increases. I can cope with that. I’m just pleased to see a foreseeable end to a culture of big spending which threatens the game I love.