Why Man United breaking the transfer record can actually be good for football

In a world where transfer record after transfer record are broken by insane amounts of money, many people have been questioning why certain players are worth so much and how there is so much money available to be thrown at clubs demanding star players in return.

Their bemusement, of course, is well founded as the average yearly income of a person in Britain is £26,000 (of course this number varies greatly depending on location and the type of job), however, if we use this number, a person earning £26,000 per year would have to work for 3,423 years before they matched Paul Pogba’s transfer cost of £89m. So just why do owners sanction the spending of so much money?

Of course the reason is that they hope, and normally do, make the money back in no time. One of the biggest ways that they do this is through the money they get from TV coverage. For example – sticking with Manchester United – they earned just over £96m last year alone from TV coverage. That pays for Pogba and leaves them with £7m to spare.

Another key way in which clubs make back their money is through shirt sales, with Manchester United making £76m in the first week after signing Zlatan Ibrahimovic.

If you add in matchday revenues, as Manchester united made around £88 million last season, and kit sponsors with Chevrolet and Adidas both playing incredible amounts to sponsor and design United’s kit, United easily make a large profit each year. I only use United as an example due to their recent acquisition of Pogba, teams such as Arsenal, Liverpool, Chelsea, Manchester City and Spurs will all usually make large profits, too.

Manchester United v Everton - Wayne Rooney Testimonial

So called ‘smaller’ clubs in England have also adapted to make profit. By improving and increasing the capacity of their stadiums, selling the naming rights of their stadiums and by improving their academies and scouting systems. The final of those three reasons is perhaps the most influential on the game as we know it.

For example, clubs like Southampton are responsible for the bringing up of superstars of the football world such as Gareth Bale and Alan Shearer and many other famous footballers such as Theo Walcott, Luke Shaw, Adam Lallana, Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain and Calum Chambers. All of these players were sold on for a large profit having made a name for themselves at the Saints.

The improvement of scouting has also been a key to making a profit for clubs, Pogba being a fine example himself, as Juventus signed him for £800,000 and then sold him 4 years later for £89m. A smaller scale example would be Yohan Cabaye as Newcastle United signed him from the French league for a small fee and the sold him on to PSG for £20m.

Yohan Cabaye

In a way it is saddening that football revolves so much around money and that most owners put making a profit before giving the fans something to cheer, and most players put a bigger pay cheque before loyalty to a club at which they are adored and idolised.

Yet without money being spent on clubs, would we have state of the art stadiums in what to watch the beautiful game?  Or would we have such amazing pieces of skill shown so often without money being invested into scouting and academies?

I don’t believe we would and for that reason I think that football and money is primarily a necessary relationship and I also believe it can be a positive one.

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