Takeovers & Foreign Investment: Is It Damaging The Premier League?

Ana MariaCorrespondent ISeptember 1, 2008

It seems like takeovers are trendy these years with Billionaires apparently preferring buying clubs for a hobby over golf and yachting. No one can deny that these takeovers are doing wonders for the lucky adopted teams, but are they good for the league as a whole?

First of all, the good: They bring foreign money to the Premier League which is one of the reasons it’s the richest league in the world. More money means better players as the Premier League has been attracting many top talents in recent years ,and a natural consequence is stronger clubs that are clearly dominating the European stage at the moment.

The Premier league is the gem of English football and boasts the strongest teams right now, but common sense dictates that for everything, there is always a price, so…

The bad: The money goes only to a few lucky teams, meaning there is an ever expanding gap between the rich and the poor that the whole thing is starting to look like a war of classes. This is natural in any league, but the foreign endless supplies of money for their chosen teams widens the gap to an extent into which it is becoming impossible for a smaller team to compete with the 'rich folk'.

Another negative effect is that with the loaded transfer kits, most teams find it easier to buy the best players than to develop them locally. When a lot of teams share this vision, the only source of quality players is other leagues.

This can really damage a national team’s prospect and I believe the English are suffering from poor youth programs and a shallow pool of local talents as a result of the over dependence on foreign players.

Finally, teams are becoming careless with money and this summer some teams (don’t have to mention names) went crazy buying average players for ridiculously high sums. The inflation in transfer fees is scary and with Man City as a new big spender, we can expect that things will get worse.

Soon no decent player will cost less than 20ME, which, again, puts all the power in the hands of the richest teams while leaving the remaining poor peasants struggling for a mid-table position at most.

The success stories of smaller teams, the unpredictability of the crazy game, and the sheer simplicity of our obsession with 22 men in shorts kicking around a leather ball, all these things are what make football a beautiful game. Little by little the image is changing into a game in which financial prowess can make or break a team and where the smell of money is enough to make many player forget all about the pure joy of the game.

Surely the foreign investment is not entirely to blame, but it is one of the reasons football is turning into just another business run by the men in suits. If I wanted that, I would’ve followed the stock market instead.