By Tom Mallows
So the first major transfer of the summer has been completed - in double quick time. I have to admit I thought the Gareth Barry saga would drag out across another close-season, but I suppose when you are offered 100k a week it won’t take you long to make up your mind.
The Barry move is only to be the start of a summer of lavish spending from Man City who have had a wallet full of Arab cash burning a hole in their pocket since last September.
But opinion appears to be divided as to whether what they are doing is good for football. On one hand people would like to see the top four face competition. The same four teams have comfortably shared the same spots in the Premier League table in the past few years to the detriment of the league. Any club who is looking to challenge that exclusive club should be applauded.
Recent financial results have shown the worryingly high level of debt the top four carry and if the Champions League umbilical cord was snatched away from them it would be interesting to see whether they could survive. Some would be happy to see them pay for their irresponsible fiscal policy.
But on the other hand is City’s lavish, some say reckless, spending just adding to the problem? Some of the fees they have spent – or are prepared to spend – are beyond the reaches of many small countries let alone football clubs.
If, for example, City oust Arsenal from that top four spot, hooray! Someone different people will say. But what then? City will just become the another one of the villainous ‘big four’ selfishly hogging the Champions League honey pot and buying whoever they want – another Chelsea in other words. Is that good for the Premier League?
We need to curb this cycle of reckless, obscene spending not add to it before it spirals out of control. The more clubs who gamble with big money the harder they will fall when things go wrong – imagine Leeds and times it by ten.
What happens if owners get bored and decided to call their money in? After all football clubs appear to be the latest fashion accessory at the moment, but don’t forget things go out of fashion.
We need to get back to the old adages of hard work, organisation and good skillful management. Otherwise the so-called ‘best league in the world’ will be decided purely on the size of your wallet, if that is not already the case!