Transfer Market Hyper-Inflation Is Ruining Football
With news that 19-year-old dutch defender Matthijs de Ligt has made his move to Juventus for around £70 million also reportedly making him the highest-paid defender in the Serie A at, again, only 19, I started to wonder: Is the football transfer market irrevocably broken?
De Ligt’s £70 MILLION move is not something out of the ordinary in today’s transfer market, where it seems that it’s impossible to get any player for under £50 million, seriously, when was the last time you saw a good, not even great, player move for less than £50 million. There has been a hyperinflation of the transfer market in recent years which, in my humble opinion, is ruining football.
Now, I won’t say Americans are perfect, but when it comes to sports parity they come pretty damn close. In the American sports leagues, excluding the MLB, where major market teams can dominate because of their financial advantages, teams have a cap-limit, meaning they are only allowed to spend a certain amount of money on their player’s salaries. American sports leagues like the NBA and the NFL acquire players via the draft and trade, no money is exchanged between clubs, no team is left without their superstar without getting something in return, you can’t just pay a player’s release clause and essentially steal him away from a poorer team leaving them to be perennial losers. In the United States competitiveness and intelligence primes. Those teams who are smarter will be able to assemble the best rosters, but it will have nothing to do with how much money that team has. This way of organizing a league allows poorer teams with fewer resources to have a chance at glory someday if they play their cards right.
In our football, soccer as Americans stupidly call it, the rich clubs stay rich and the poor clubs stay poor. The rich clubs rise to the top because they can buy their way to the top and the poor clubs stay at the bottom because they can’t even buy a packet of crisps. Teams like PSG, Manchester City, Barcelona, Real Madrid or Manchester United will forever stay at the top of world football, simply because they can afford it. And teams like Leicester who surprised the world by winning the Premier League in 2016 will remain shooting stars that only come round every thousand years.
Now, this lack of parity isn’t anything news this has always been the case and it is obvious that it will always stay this way because ethe system is simply too benefitial for clubs who wouldn’t want to see it gone. In recent years, however, the situations has gotten out of hand, there is no world in which it is appropriate to acquiere a football player for £198 million when there are people starving, people at risk of social exclusion, tones upon tones of plastic in our oceans, which could honestly be cleaned up with that money and many more problems for which that money could be used. “But oh the clubs have earnt that money so they should be able to spend it however they please”. Yes that may be true, but even then this hyperinflation of the market is absolutely out of control, there is no way a person is worth paying £200 million for, there is no way a 19-year-old (That’s only a year older than me) is worth £180 million like Mbappe is. Clubs like PSG and Manchester City are ruining world football and are making a spectacle and a frivolity of spending ridiculous amounts of money on people. Their leniency to pay absolute fortunes for, again, people, is what is running football, but even more so, the clubs who sell those players and even worse is FIFA allowing this economic monstrosity to go on. In what world is it fair for a club to spend close to £400 million on two players, because that’s exactly what PSG have done, now can someone explain to me how that is not penalised as a violation of financial Fairplay.
The hyperinflation of the transfer market is absolutely ridiculous, the fact that Barcelona bought Cruyff for, a then scandalous £10 million, and that is is now an inimaginable price to pay for even a 38-year-old, blind, limping turtle is mindboggling.
FIFA needs to implement new fair play rules and spending limits on clubs or we will be seeing Niklas Bendtner go for £400 million any day now.