Is it right to sacrifice a club's philosophy to buy a title?
Analysts and pundits, after the exploits of Leicester City and Atletico Madrid, once again clashed over which was better: Spending huge sums of money to win a title or as some put it “buying success ” or sticking to the club’s philosophy building from within which also can amount to titles in the longer term.
A look at the pros of “buying success”. As the saying “money talks” goes, does it really work in the football world? One main advantage of spending large sums is the fact that it has the potential to attract superstar players and coaches. It makes team building easier and success also can come easily to such clubs.
It also attracts sponsors to the club as they become very marketable. Fans are also drawn in due to the success of these clubs. PSG, Chelsea, and Manchester City are perfect examples of such clubs. And with owners such as Roman Abramovich of Chelsea and Sheikh Mansour of Manchester City, constant funding is no issue.
However, buying success isn’t always a good thing. Normally clubs that spend these huge sums of money are spending more than they are earning; meaning profit off the field may not be achieved. These clubs are normally looking for quick success meaning that they mostly buy players in their prime meaning there is next to nothing in terms of resale value.
Another genuine concern is the likelihood of the club being left in debt. Lack of success could also lead to a bad environment around the club. The potential of youth players being neglected. Many teams like Manchester City and Chelsea are accused of leaving behind youth players mainly loaning them out and never promoting them to the first team. Constant rebuilding is also an issue with these teams having to rebuild every two to three years. Owners of such teams can also easily lose interest, leaving the club at a dead end, for example; FC Monaco.
Sticking with a club philosophy or “building from within”; this generally means promoting young players from the academy is the alternative to spending. Profit is usually made because they generally sell their players for huge sums of money. This development from within is more likely to create a local environment that is situated in getting behind the club, thereby filling their stadiums most matchdays.
Many clubs have different philosophies that all tie into this “building from within” criteria. You have the likes of Athletic Bilbao, Ajax, FC Porto, SL Benfica, These teams have an excellent track record of successful youth players coming in. The likes of Benfica and Porto bringing out Angel Di Maria, David Luiz, Hulk, James Rodríguez and Ajax bringing through Christian Eriksen, Daley Blind, Jan Vertonghen and Luis Suarez.
Obviously, lack of proper management could bring about negative situations like relegation. Generally, these clubs sell their best players which could affect them advancing into the latter stages of European competition as a result of the need to rebuild. The final piece is that the club misses out on funds being regularly pumped into the club.
Nevertheless, there are also clubs that do a bit of both. The likes of Manchester United, Barcelona and Bayern Munich spend big but also have a huge emphasis on promoting young players. These teams have the financial standing to spend 50 million on a player but also have numerous academy players and in their first teams, United’s new signing Paul Pogba strangely falls into both categories.
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