by Tony Attwood
Details of the earlier articles in this series are given below.
4: The Salary Cap in the Premier League
Our figures have shown that Premier League clubs cannot continue without match days for very long, unless they have the resources from their owners that Chelsea and Manchester City can call on. Those clubs have no worries (although Chelsea might worry about Mr A’s commitment now the stadium rebuild has been pulled), but every other club does.
The problem is the salaries, and the answer has to be a salary cap. Every major sport in North America apart from Major League Baseball has a salary cap, and that keeps them stable and profitable. But even with this crisis would Arsenal vote to restrict their salaries to the same level as Bournemouth?
Obviously not, but a salary cap as a percentage of turnover could be more attractive, in that it would reign in Manchester City and (if Abramovich starts putting billions into the club again) Chelsea.
Clearly there are some restrictions already in terms of Premier League and Uefa competitions, but equally clearly this is not enough to stop clubs running into huge problems at a time of crisis. The salary cap would go beyond solving this crisis because it would help even up the league a little and make it more competitive.
Now, it can be argued that the PL is already more competitive than Germany (where Bayern win almost every year), Spain (where only two teams seriously challenge for the top spot, and one of those has revealed that it is now bust), Italy (where Juventus are way ahead of the others, and if they do slip up once will be back big time the next season), Scotland (where Rangers, the only serious challenges to Celtic seem to commit suicide every time they get close) and on and on and on.
Indeed a look back to the last league table suggests that the sextet that normally takes the top six places has been broken up with two new clubs creeping into the six, and Sheffield Utd not at all far behind.
But the problem for Leicester, Sheffield U and Wolverhampton is sustainability. The clubs around them, in normal times, can and often will generally try and pull themselves out of lower places back into the top six. And they do that because of their money. If however there was a salary cap that would place an greater emphasis on using young players to bring themselves up the league table.
And the FA (if they ever stop repeating their idiotic mantras about home grown enforcement) might even wake up to the benefit this would bring for the England team, for younger players tend to be able to play for England, so more chances for them in the Premier League teams the better.
5: Fans start laughing at the transfer-transfer sites
Each year we have recorded the summer transfer rumours and then at the close of the window considered how many of the players have arrived. The answer is normally 3% of those touted as coming to Arsenal actually get here. This year looks like being no different (see Virus ignored: Arsenal now linked to 30 different players for inwards transfer this summer.)
That factor doesn’t seem to mean anything to the sites which go on doing this over and over again, and it is true a lot of fans do get sucked into the story.
And one might say, does this matter? Of course not in many ways. The clubs take no notice of the gibberish, and the only real problem is that some fans believe the stories and then believe the subsequent tales that Arsenal alone were incompetent in the window, that they could have bought all these other players if we only had the right administrators, and that if only we had bought the right players everything would be fine.
But our report on the clubs that spent the most last summer show that when football was abandoned this season, virtually all the clubs that had spent the most were now doing worse than they were at this point last season.
And indeed this drives on the call for more and more and more purchases. The old saying “the sure sign of lunacy is to find something that doesn’t work and do it again and again and again” which used to be pointed at Mr Wenger for his long period of getting Arsenal into the top four, should in fact be thrown at the transfer-transfer sites. (And no Einstein never said it, or anything like it).
Quite how we can get people to realise that the transfer-transfer game is a hoax, that 97% of the transfers never happen, and those that do result generally in a decline in performance not an improvement, I am not sure. The stats are quite clear, it is just that the people who run the transfer-transfer story, decry the validity of statistics, and their readers believe the fallacy.
The 10 ways football is changing
- The 10 ways football is changing as a result of the virus: part one.
- The 10 ways football is changing as a result of the virus: part two – Chelsea / Kroenke
- 93 players rumoured to be going to Arsenal. Are the journos getting lazy?
- The home and away scandal: ignorance, or cover up?
- The reason why Liverpool and Man C are ahead of Arsenal.
- How which referee a club gets has a major impact on the result of each game
- The statistical evidence that shows PGMO are biased against Arsenal