Is spending big better than giving a team time to develop?
Football seems to have become more and more about how much money a club has.
Many clubs now have owners varying from American billionaires to sheiks and more. And with January approaching, it is probable that many of these clubs will be preparing to go on spending sprees, with a great likelihood that more expensive deals will be done.
However, is the new fashion for spending to get success really the right way to go, or would it be better for teams in the long run to make an effort to develop the team over a longer period and working to improve the group of players they already have?
It does seem from results of the last few years that spending large amounts of money has led to footballing success. Look at Chelsea and Manchester City. The huge takeovers of these two clubs seemed to kick off the trend to spend huge amounts of money on bringing in new players.
It could be said that both of those takeovers have helped them to have huge turnarounds. It was back in 2003 when Roman Abramovich took over Chelsea for £140 million. Before he came in, Chelsea had not had not had a top-flight title since 1955. However, after buying players including Didier Drogba, Petr Čech and Arjen Robben, they ended up winning the Premier League title, and managed to win it for two seasons in a row.
Additionally, when Manchester City was taken over by Abu Dhabi United Group Investment and Development Limited for £210 million in 2008, they had not won a top-flight title since 1968, and had lagged behind rivals Manchester United in terms of footballing achievements. However, since the takeover, they became one of the richest clubs in the world, enabling them to buy players like Robinho and Sergio Agüero, and have won titles including their dramatic Premier League win last season.
So, could it be said that this is evidence that clubs have to spend big if they want to win titles nowadays?
For example, Arséne Wenger has stuck by his philosophy of not spending big and concentrating on developing the team through factors like hard work and development of youth players. However, the team has not won a trophy in seven years.
However, could it be said that he has a point? Though I personally believe that he needs to buy a star name or two, a viewpoint which many other fans agree with, in the long term I would say it is important to develop a team and develop young players as well as spending on famous expensive players.
For example, Southampton who were promoted to the Premier League at the end of last season, have a vision of having a squad of which 50% have come up through the youth system, despite Nigel Adkins spending big in the summer.
So, could it be said that clubs should try and combine spending big and developing teams? While clubs may need to spend big to reinforce the team, could it be said that clubs should make sure they develop the players they already have, to continue success without spending huge amounts of money in each transfer window?
Could it also be said that youth players in academies would benefit more if clubs worked hard to make sure many of them ended up in the first team?
Big spending clearly seems to have helped some clubs to major success in recent years. However, could it also be said that giving teams time to develop is also important to make sure that teams stay successful in the long run, to help the club to keep being successful without having to spend large amounts of money during every transfer window?