Too Much Money in English Football

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The debate about too much money in English football has been ongoing for decades. The major issue of concern has been whether the much money has contributed to the improvement of the world's most popular game, or whether it has ruined the sport. Many English clubs have been spending notoriously large sums of money to acquire the creme de la creme of players that football can offer. The weekly salaries of most football players are also worlds apart from what the average UK citizen earns annually. Other contemporary issues such as betting, match-fixing, corruption are also related to money and have affected English football in one way or another.

English football being over one and a half centuries old has agreeably come of age. The age can be observed in the manner in which incomes in football have exponentially increased. With the increasing popularity of the game, football clubs have had no problem with income generation via ticket sales. The income from sponsorships and content broadcasters are also at the peak. With such impressive incomes, English football has become quite a lucrative venture.

Many including a section of football fans, pundits, and FIFA officials have however questioned the prudence of spending by the football clubs .The wisdom of monumental expenditure by the clubs at a time when football fans are paying an arm and a leg for the ever exorbitant ticket prices has been questioned.

At the face of fierce competition in English football, the clubs are left with little options with regards to the pressure on expenditure. To acquire and retain the best talent, the clubs have to dig deeper and deeper into their purses constantly. This trend has fueled the ever-rising craze in spending witnessed in many football clubs. To a large extent, the wealth of a club has determined the quality of its performance. Clubs that are not as much resourced in terms of finances have naturally fallen behind due to inferior performance.

The concept of betting in English football is a relatively new aspect that has shifted the dynamics of football. It has come with both opportunities and challenges. Various companies have exploited this opportunity by providing a betting platform and selling odds to the football fan base. Betting is a new and exciting concept that has further expanded the consumer base of English football. Hence, more money for the betting companies and clubs. However, it has brought the challenge of corruption and match-fixing whereby football managers and teams collude to ensure a predetermined score.

The systems and culture of the football sport have majorly evolved in the recent past decades. The change of system and culture has been viewed differently from different angles. Finances have played a central role in shaping the system and culture. Some people view that too much money has built the quality of the game, whereas others believe it has ruined the good old sport. Both of these positions have put forward the rationale of their claims which is detailed in the sections below. The major issue has been how the money has affected the quality of the game. There are also some legal, moral and ethical issues that have arose (Szymanski 2010, p. 25).

Benefits of much money in English football

English clubs have often benefited from high spending by acquiring and maintaining the best talents in football. Therefore, an explanation on why wealthy clubs dominate the top positions in the English Premier League (EPL). While the highest spenders may not always be the winners as has been observed on several occasions in the past, it surely improves a club's performance. Manchester City was the biggest spender on player transfers in the summer of 2017, posting a record £215 million in player transfers. This bold step now seems to be one towards the right direction as the club is currently leading, with a very high chance of clinching the prestigious EPL title for the 2017/2018 season.

The availability of big money in football has also increased the professional status of the game. Many young players are now taking it as a full-time profession. Players, therefore, dedicate undivided focus to improving their skills, and not just as a part-time activity. Football is their day job that earns them their daily bread. The quality of football has therefore been progressively increasing since it is now seen as an investment in teams has to give their best to remain ahead of the curve.

The money that is flowing into football should not be viewed negatively as causing its ruin, but should rather be seen as an aspect of promoting the entertainment. For instance, the concept of betting on football matches has helped increase the football fan base. Individuals who previously had no interest in football but wish to try their luck in betting begin developing an interest in the sport and end up joining the fan base. The investment in football clubs is also a lucrative opportunity that earns the shareholders impressive returns.

Many reckon that football is a cultural success story in the UK and the supernormal levels of income experienced are dividends to the country. The UK government earns a substantial amount of revenue on football-related endeavors. Having an international fan base, the sport attracts fans from different parts of the world to come to England to watch the games. This fact makes sports tourism a major revenue earner for the UK.

The much money in English football has benefits that have trickled down to the local communities in England. For instance, the funds have facilitated the establishment of football academies by various football clubs in the UK. Such academies recruit the most talented children from the community and transform them into professional footballers. For example, Notable players such as Wayne Rooney, Frank Lampard, and Raheem Sterling are all products of football academies. The much success witnessed in the football academies is attributable to the massive investment that is pumped into creating and running them (Swaab et al. 2014, p.25).

Reasons why too much money is ruining English football

The aspect of too much money is experienced when clubs spend crazy amounts of money to sign new players and pay huge salaries to the players. When young footballers are paid too much money, it may hinder them from working hard to achieve their full potential. Too much money may make young footballers irresponsible and lack the incentive to work harder. As opposed to the past, young footballers are currently paid quite well even before they begin participating in main matches. The aspect may create a sense of complacency which may hinder young footballers from putting in extra effort in their performance. In the past, the players were not paid that much, so they had to work extra hard to prove themselves. Having that inner drive to work hard increases the skills and make a footballer shine on the pitch. When players play their hearts out in the field, the game becomes exciting and fun to watch. Some football experts argue that football in the past was more interesting than in the modern times. The difference is that most players in the past were motivated by the prestige that came from their skillful game, whereas most of them today are majorly motivated by money (Hvattum and Arntzen 2010, p.478).

The spending by football clubs does not always translate into good performance. Sometimes, a poorly thought strategy of acquiring new players may further destabilize the team. The chemistry and coordination amongst the players may be lost in the game in the process. The team may also destabilize as a result of too much money given to the players. The players are remunerated different amounts which creates inequality among the group. Such inequality kills the team spirit as some may feel inferior or superior to others. When the team is divided, it becomes unstable, and its performance deteriorates. For instance, a player may want to shine on their own but in the process end up costing the team some crucial points (Hamil and Walters 2010, p.354).

Football earns quite impressive incomes. However, too much money also encourages greed. Some contemporary issues such as match fixing and other forms of collusion have fueled this greed. The players and managers of two clubs may collude to have a certain predetermined result at the end of their game. They then gain from this by placing bets on the game to earn superior returns. The issue is unethical in football that has been a nightmare for FIFA. Such uncouth practices often destroy the beauty of the game and destroy the quality of the matches. The availability of opportunities to earn superior profits from such underhand dealings is also a consequence of too much money in English football. The above is a good example of the business aspect of football surpassing the intended sport and competitive aspect of the game (Franck 2014, p.39).

Football fans are charged exorbitant prices for the tickets to sustain the ever-escalating expenditures of the clubs. English football is becoming more of business than entertainment. The fans are complaining because of the high ticket fees. It becomes unaffordable and unsustainable for football fans to continue going to watch their favorite teams play. The expenditure for the clubs are monumental which forces the clubs to overcharge the football fans. Football lovers currently have to dig deeper into their pockets to enjoy the good old sport which is a disadvantage to them.

The performance of the clubs nowadays is determined by their wealth. The rich clubs can sign the best players in the sport, and hire the best coaches. The issue cannot be said for the clubs with limited resources. Such aspects kill the smaller clubs which cannot afford large amounts of money. In this way, money determines the performance of the teams in the football leagues. Clubs that have a lot of money are the ones on top of the league, while the rest continue to post dwindling performance which weakens them. The death of the small clubs destroys competition, disenfranchises several upcoming careers and causes loss of jobs (Coombs and Osborne 2012, p.413).

Most of the clubs are not able to make sustainable profits because of too much spending. The main expenditures are in paying the players. The money the clubs make are used in paying the players and hence the team remains with fewer profits. There is a challenging balancing act of keeping in mind shareholders' interests, and ensuring the club remains at the top. To improve profitability, the clubs ought to cut back on their spending, but such a move would drive away quality players. There is a delicate balance that managers have to grapple with.

The quality of football has gone down because it has become more of business than sport. Clubs are currently used for making money and not for nurturing the young talents like in the past. Some of the players are also in the teams to make money, rather than being there for their passion. The aspect of business in such a sporting event reduces the entertainment in the game. Some football managers go to the game just to get scores, regardless of the quality of the game. Such philosophies diminish the beauty and entertainment of the game (Cashmore and Cleland 2011, p.37).

As discussed in this paper, it is correct to state that the sport earns quite impressive incomes. However, too much money also encourages greed. Some contemporary issues such as match fixing and other forms of collusion have fueled this greed. The players and managers of two clubs may collude to have a certain predetermined result at the end of their game. They then gain from this by placing bets on the game to earn superior returns. Match fixing is one of the unethical issues in football that have been a nightmare for FIFA. Such uncouth practices often destroy the beauty of the game and ruin the quality of the matches. The availability of opportunities to earn superior profits from such underhand dealings is also a consequence of too much money in English football.


Too much money in English football has both disadvantages and advantages. Money is good because it motivates the players when they are given good remuneration. It also makes being a footballer an attractive career. On the other hand, money can poison the entertainment and competition in football. It may lead to greed which fuels some ills such as corruption and match-fixing. The small clubs which cannot afford too much money posts poor performance because they fail to attract, cultivate and retain talents due to limited resources. Players with quality skills naturally tend to favor the clubs where they are paid well. The issue of too much money should be addressed as it brings much harm than good in the English league. The aspect raises a crucial point on whether the regulator (FIFA) ought to intervene or not. At the moment, football fans will, however, continue to bear the brunt of rising ticket prices.

Work Cited

Cashmore, E. and Cleland, J., 2011. Why aren't their black football managers?. Ethnic and Racial Studies, 34(9), pp.1594-1607.

Coombs, D.S. and Osborne, A., 2012. Sports journalists and England's Barclays Premier League: A case study were examining reporters' take on modern football. International Journal of Sports Communication, 5(3), pp.413-425.

Franck, E.P., 2014. Financial Fair Play in European Club Football-What is it all about?.

Hamil, S. and Walters, G., 2010. Financial performance in English professional football:‘an inconvenient truth’. Soccer & Society, 11(4), pp.354-372.

Hvattum, L.M. and Arntzen, H., 2010. Using ELO ratings for match result prediction in association football. International Journal of Forecasting, 26(3), pp.460-470.

Swaab, R.I., Schaerer, M., Anicich, E.M., Ronay, R. and Galinsky, A.D., 2014. The too-much-talent effect: Team interdependence determines when more talent is too much or not enough. Psychological Science, 25(8), pp.1581-1591.

Szymanski, S., 2010. The market for soccer players in England after Bosman: winners and losers. In Football Economics and Policy (pp. 27-51). Palgrave Macmillan UK.

September 11, 2023
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