Roman’s revolution at Chelsea was the start of big things at Stamford Bridge. Not only did it change the future of Chelsea Football Club but it would also change the future for the Premier League. Since then, the take-over at Manchester City has dwarfed any memory of the Russian revolution at Stamford Bridge but it has still highlighted a problem that has been the subject of much debate. Do we need financial restrictions in the Premier League?
The ‘sheikh’ up at Manchester City has opened the debate as to whether a salary cap, or something of similar nature, is necessary in the English game. There are most definitely two sides to this story.
On the positive side, the Premier League has been attracting some of the World’s best football players. Increased availability of transfer funds has meant that some of the top players in the World are looking to the Premier League over Italy and Spain. It has also meant that there is an increase in competition standard. The Premier League is widely regarded as the World’s best league and it might not be the same if financial restrictions were put in place.
Manchester City have now become realistic title challengers for future seasons and that will no doubt increase the entertainment of the league in the coming seasons. However, the worry is, if some clubs can afford seemingly limitless wages then what hope is there for the club’s lower down the league who have very restricted budgets?
One has to question why a player like Robinho would chose Manchester City over Chelsea at a time when they were merely a work in progress. How would a salary cap have affected his decision?
There would undoubtedly be positives if a salary cap was to be introduced.
Not only would we possibly see a decrease of clubs in debt, but it could also open up the league to a level playing field. Imagine the possibility of a league in which teams could bid for the same player, offer the same amount of wages and let the player decide which team he would prefer in terms of manager, club, or even kit colour. The idea that a player could be lured by a colour over double the amount of wages may seem silly, and for players it may be a nightmare but for fans it could prove revolutionary. The ‘top 4’ would remain as they were for now, but over the next few years the level of competition in the Premier League could increase to an unseen level. It could, potentially, provide each team with an equal chance of success without a bias towards those who are financially superior.
The worry for the Premier League would be if, in introducing such a system, other European leagues begin to attract the World’s best players and in doing so, the system has a negative effect on the global reputation of our league. It is something that could affect the league financially from loss of sponsor’s and television rights.
Although it may be easy to call on the league to create a level playing field, it is a problem that has a number of potential positive and negative effects. The job of the governing bodies is to decide whether the pros out-number the cons and, if so, what would be the best way of introducing the system.