10 ways football is changing as a result of the virus 3: Salaries and Transfers

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.

Team P W D L F A GD Pts
1 Liverpool 29 27 1 1 66 21 45 82
2 Manchester City 28 18 3 7 68 31 37 57
3 Leicester City 29 16 5 8 58 28 30 53
4 Chelsea 29 14 6 9 51 39 12 48
5 Manchester United 29 12 9 8 44 30 14 45
6 Wolverhampton Wanderers 29 10 13 6 41 34 7 43
7 Sheffield United 28 11 10 7 30 25 5 43
8 Tottenham Hotspur 29 11 8 10 47 40 7 41
9 Arsenal 28 9 13 6 40 36 4 40
10 Burnley 29 11 6 12 34 40 -6 39

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


8 Replies to “10 ways football is changing as a result of the virus 3: Salaries and Transfers”

  1. You know I like reading untold but this notion of keeping the league more competitive makes no sense as long as the title, teams and individuals can be bought. It’s all just pantomime and theatre. It has not been a competitive sport since BSKYB and its shares in a top. British team that regularly got the rub of the green. Most won’t want to hear it though so perhaps I have just answered my own questions of why do we keep expecting change to happen when we see them tilt VAR for obvious gains and reasons, refs having very selective vision and interpretation of the rules depending on who is playing and the media doing all the covering it needs to help facilitate the BS.

    Ok rant over let them force the restart of the league now so money can be won and the agreed champions can feel like they earned it.

  2. Tired: I would agree that “It has not been a competitive sport since BSKYB and its shares in a top” but I feel that this crisis is much deeper than most of the football media in England is admitting and it could well be the moment things change. There are moments of great change in football – not many, to be sure, but a few, and it could just be this is one of them. Not all of them are good, not all work in the way hoped, but I just have a feeling this might be a moment. We shall see.

  3. The salary cap ought to be computed on the basis of TV revenue and game day revenue. This way, if City gets hundreds of millions fomr its owners, they cannot have an impact on the team.
    And it levels the playing field some, as it does in the US, enabling talent to win the day, not money.

  4. Surely the reason why the teams that have spent so much have deteriorated is due to the fact that most new players need a period of time, as much as a season, to bed in and get used to the system operated at the club and for other players to get used to them.

    The more new players, the longer it should be taking.

    If we go back to the crazy salaries and transfer fees when this is all over Armageddon for the football world will not be far away. What has been happening over the last few years is simply not sustainable

  5. I think Tony pointed out how many coaches Iceland has. Iceland is also doing a LOT of testing in the virus problem. CNN is reporting that they have tested about 5% of the population. About half of the people who test positive, are not showing symptoms. Probably because the test is coming too early.

    The article mentions that they are seeing mutations in the virus that are origin specific (The virus in California is different from the one in Barcelona).

  6. “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.”

    Again, you persist in your smear campaign against Manchester City Football Club. No mention of Liverpool and Manchester United whose wages match or exceed said club.

Comments are closed.