Ahhh, what’s there left to write that hasn’t already been written about where we currently are with the state of football. One of my favourite bloggers, Mr AB, touched on this today in his blog ‘Sheik, Rattle and Roll’. With the recent announcement from Milan that Ibrahimovic and Motta are on their way to Paris, he said that we’re “heading even further into ludicrous Championship Manager territory” and he is right. But, was I one of the few who got bored of the Championship Manager ‘system’ of taking over a rich club, along with your own, who then bought your youth and reserve team for millions while selling their own first team (conveniently) to you for a pittance?! Winning got boring. I loved managing what I had, mainly at Arsenal, but sometimes starting at the bottom with a Conference club and properly budgeting for the players the club could afford and when I won something, found it much more satisfying! …… yes yes I am talking about a computer game but in my defense, it was during my Champ Man addiction filled youth….. just imagine what I’ll be like in real life when Arsenal win the league next season! My satisfied ego will be smug all over your face! Read into that what you will!
But back to the main story, the only thing I can personally say about this move to Championship Manager style football is that football is going to get very boring very quickly with the oil money currently spilling around. In fact, the oil money can be seen to metaphorically be an oil spill over football – the rich companies get to carry on as normal and buy positive PR for the shit storm they’re perpetrating (usually an extra couple of million on the transfer fees), some select few benefit, (yes Arsenal have been a beneficiary) while the least protected get to deal with the spillages, the slicks and the faux interest from the media while it’s considered ‘news’. The teams in the lower reaches of football must be sickened looking at the sums of money being thrown about. The oil riches are currently overflowing from Manchester, Paris and Malaga (and I’m not forgetting the Russian in Chelsea) and it truly is destroying football. It is sad to see teams like AC Milan and Arsenal losing their best talent due to the massively inflated wages on offer from these oil clubs. Now don’t misunderstand my point here – there have always been and always will be clubs that can afford bigger wages and have attracted the top talent, but when this is done organically, i.e. the Arsenal way, the Manchester United way or Real Madrid way – paying what you as a club, business or organisation can afford – all well and good. What the oil money is doing is concentrating talent between four to five clubs and it massively skews the market for everyone else. It might be naivety on my part, but how much money do you need to be happy? How much can one person truly spend in their lifetime? RvP was offered a reported £130,000 a week to stay at Arsenal. That he wants more, to me, is sickening. But that’s football life I guess. The idealist in me sighs and hopes for change, the realist knows I’ll still be there with Arsenal no matter what!