by Tony Attwood
Professional football clubs in Switzerland have been offered loans to help see them through the current crisis. But there is an interesting caveat. The clubs which take the loan will not only have to repay it but lower their payroll by 20% within three years.
It is an extraordinarily imaginative scheme, because it says quite clearly to the clubs – “You got yourselves into this mess by spending so much on salaries that you had nothing in reserve when a crisis came along. So we need to make sure you don’t do it again.
The response in Switzerland seems to be positive with all clubs – even those who will not apply for a loan – currently having the same desire to reduce their payroll, and there is the thought that the availability of the loans will make more clubs vote in favour of a quick resumption of League football in Switzerland.
A similar sort of progress is however not being found in England where multiple issues are still getting in the way of a resumption
The idea is now that of playing ghost games in the normal stadia of each club, but there is still no agreement on what happens concerning players who have contracts that run out at the end of June, how to get the players fit again, whether playing ghost games impinges on the legitimacy of the League, and the health and safety of everyone involved.
And now the bottom six have found another straw to clutch. On Tuesday evening, the Telegraph reported a growing feeling in some top-flight clubs that if the Championship season cannot be concluded there should be no promotion to or relegation from the Premier League.
So there is now appearing the first arguments to use this crisis as a moment completely to re-write the rule book, to stop the Premier League clubs getting ever richer, to put money aside for a future crisis,
These figures show the net spend across the last six years – the league position is this season at the close of the league.
The top ten English spenders, 2015/16 to 2020/1
|5||Brighton & Hove Albion||€254.63m||€15.90m||€-238.73m|
|7||West Ham United||€404.10m||€196.78m||€-207.32m|
Figures from Transfermarket
Here, the story that we have presented before is repeating itself. There is no direct link between league position and expenditure and thus this table has a multiplicity of issues within it. Manchester City massively outspending everyone in order to try and stay at the top and failing. Arsenal in third, despite the endless whining and whinging by AST and its associated supporters’ groups who demand more and more spending.
Now in Europe, the top spenders. Again the Manchester two at the top. But look at this figure for Brighton and Wolverhampton either side of Real Madrid. Aston Villa we may note being above Bayern Munich.
|10||Brighton & Hove Albion||€254.63m||€15.90m||€-238.73m|
|13||West Ham United||€404.10m||€196.78m||€-207.32m|
|19||Hebei China Fortune||€176.42m||€14.12m||€-162.29m|
Yet again, and I don’t know how many times we have to present figures to show this, Arsenal is a high spender in recent years and has slipped down the league as it has spent more and more. Clubs like Villa are spending massively but can’t get out of relegation trouble.
We have also followed Wolverhampton as a case study. They have borrowed next year’s first TV money payment – meaning they have already spent all of this season’s TV money (which they might still have to pay back) and the first third of next year’s cash.
There are a few words for this. First, spending money does not guarantee rises up the league. Second, this is insane. That about sums it up.
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