Over the course of the last 7 years, there have been many changes in the footballing world. A lot of it is to do with money and how it effects teams from the Premier League all the way down to the Non-Professional football. As we have seen in recent seasons, teams from around Europe have been spending ridiculous amounts of money on single players. The most ludicrous amount of money being spent on one player is Brazil and ex Barca’ star, Neymar. For all the talent that he has, is he really worth the amount of money being spent? A majority of football fans will disagree because no one is really worth £200 million, it’s really annoying that FIFA and UEFA are letting transactions like this happen so often. A number of European teams have been bought by billionaires from across the globe and it is happening even in the lower divisions around England, which to me, is a huge worry. An example of that is at EFL Championship side Wolverhampton Wanderers, a team that have been bouncing up & down the divisions for a while now. You could say they are a club with potential on the eye of international suitors, a club based in the Midlands with good transport links around the county and other regions such as London, Bristol and the North. In July 2016, Wolves were bought by Chinese International Group, Fosun for the price of £30 million pound. Fosun in today’s market are worth around £7.7 Billion pound, chaired by China’s 17th richest man, Guo Guangchang. Clearly money is not an issue for them.
Since Fosun took over as owners last summer that they have broken the club’s transfer record 3 times, the first of the marque signings of the Fosun Era was 22 year old Portuguese winger Ivan Cavaleiro from AS Monaco for around £7 million pound. The second club transfer record signing was in January 2017 by signing Benfica winger Helder Costa for around £13 million, a player who was on loan to them previously. In the Championship, spending £2 or £3 million on a player was a lot of money, but now clubs are spending in the excess of £10 million or more for players in today’s market. Costa’s signing was only the start, they followed up by signing FC Porto’s Ruben Neves for a new club record of what was believed to in between the figure of £15-20 million. This transfer has eclipsed the record of the Championship transfer record of £15 million set by fellow Midlands club Aston Villa when they bought Jonathan Kodja from Bristol City. Yes, there is a lot of money being spent in the Championship but obviously football has grown but who else believes the transfer market has spiraled out of control? It won’t be long until we see a League 2 club spending £5 million on a striker, as well as money for wages & add-ons.
In no disrespect to Wolves, they are a nice club who have a very loyal fan base and have been up an down for a couple of years but I would love to get some opinions from Wolves fans about the ownership of the club, the money being spent and if they think it’s improved them as a team. Let me know! Now we dig a bit further down the pyramid to Billericay Town Football Club, a semi-professional football club based in Billericay, Essex, England. They are currently hot favourites to win Isthmian League Premier Division this season, and some of you are probably wondering why? Glenn Tamplin, the owner of the club, is a millionaire who is also the owner and founder of AGP Steel since 2002, based in Romford, Essex. In December of 2016, Mr Tamplin bought the club after previously pulling out of a deal to purchase Conference side Dagenham & Redbridge. Billericay’s rise to fame started when Tamplin brought in players such as ex Leicester and West Ham full back Paul Konchesky, ex Pompey & Wolves midfielder Jamie O’Hara. This was only the start for the club, later followed in the door was Kevin Foley who played for Reading FC. The club’s most high profile signing came this summer, ex Arsenal, Liverpool, Pompey and recently Bury winger Jermaine Pennant signed on the dotted line bringing the club’s weekly wage to around 30k. A lot of money for a team so far down the football pyramid, again, no disrespect to Glen Tamplin or the club. It’ll be interesting to see what happens come the end of the season, a long term goal set by the owner in which he hopes Billericay Town will be a football league club within the next 5 years.
The thing I don’t like about all this money being spent is the fact that a lot of football clubs in the lower leagues are financially stricken, going into administration and completely folding. You would think a million pound would go a long way to a few clubs to help them get through. I know what it feels like to go through the financial difficulty as I support Plymouth Argyle, who went through the administration era and almost folded themselves. Perhaps one day bigger clubs will help out the littler teams financially, it’s a great shame that a fan has to lose their club but a couple of divisions higher there are teams spending millions out on players. Everybody knows that the football league and lower divisions are the most passionate and most loyal fans you will get. We follow our clubs through thick and thin whatever the result or cost, some teams may not fill their grounds every game like in the Premiership but I would rather have a couple of thousand loyal fans sitting with me in a stadium rather than fickle, plastic fans who will only see their team play if they managed to get a higher division side in the FA Cup. I’d love to hear some opinions from fans all around the UK, who do you support? What makes you support them? Has your club been in financial trouble before? What do you think about the money being spent in football? Let me know in the comments on the social media, I will post the opinions of those fans in the sequel blog.
Thanks for reading, I hope you enjoy it!
A supporter of Plymouth Argyle,