I missed watching the match between Manchester City and Arsenal. The next morning, when I read about it in the newspapers, I let out a low whistle. Quite an upset…or is it? The reason why I contradicted myself is because of a report I came across just five days ago. It was titled, ‘Manchester City set to break into the Premier League top three.’ At that time I did not pay attention to the title. Manchester City is now in third place. I know it is still too early to pass a judgement already. I mean, the dust has just started being kicked around and here I am sounding like it’s all settled, singing ‘I can see clearly now.’
Actually, what got me interested was the report’s content — not the title. But now both seem to go so well with the current standings. It is just so uncanny. Allow me to elaborate. It was a report created by ‘Castrol Performance Analysts,’ which linked a football club’s ability to finish within the top three in a premier league to the amount of money they spent on getting new players. Sounds quite straight forward right? The analysts claim they used ‘analysis, technology and innovation’ to come to this conclusion. My little brain had managed to make this assumption quite a while ago, much before this report was even put together — and I don’t even watch as much football as you guys.
The difference between the report and the Bean’s assumption is a line of facts and figures. In the English Premier League, clubs who have spent an average of almost 35 million Pounds on new players, maintained or improved their position in the overall standings. Anything below the 30 million mark and clubs have experienced a dip in resultant performance in their season. My little bean only made this assumption for the EPL. The report said my assumption (I like to take ownership of assumptions, even though they might be quite universal) holds true for the major leagues in Europe too!
I will, however, stick to the EPL only because the report had a lot to say about the rest of the leagues too. I do not intend to be its mouth piece. This is my article (the ownership issue pops up again) and I have my agenda to run in this article, see? If you do want to read it in all of its entirety, I will share the link after I am done with this article. Until then, I shall continue to captivate you with my eloquence.
Right...so the Castrol report also went on to state that the biggest spenders are also most likely to take home the title. As of now, you all must already know that Manchester City has spent around 124 million Pounds on new players — making them the biggest spenders this summer. This is not a sure shot sign that Manchester City will win the title. It only increases the probability that they will come closer to their goal of winning or staying within the top three. There are so many other parameters that come into play too. The manager, team chemistry and the ability to settle down quickly enough also play a part in the success of a team. Pitch conditions, team psych/morale — and freak incidents can change the complexion of a match. But when one looks at the macro picture, it all seems to boil down to the moolah.
Last season, there was an intense debate about the new management that had taken over Manchester City, the money the new owner brought with him, and his intentions to make the club reach the top four. I remember it well. I was part of that debate where I had immaturely remarked, rather sarcastically, that the owner should understand he is not dealing with camels. This season, the owner has stepped on the gas, produced instant results, forcing me to eat humble pie. It is a darn good thing I like pie…
You can find the complete low down on major league spendings here.