Reforms have been agreed by the Premier League clubs that are designed to prevent another Roman Abramovich or Sheik Mansour taking over a club and buying instant success.
Richard Scuadamore, the Premier League chief executive, said that the reforms have been put in place to prevent owners “throwing hundreds of million pounds” into a club to buy over-night success.
As a short term measure, there is going to be an inflation salary cap, and clubs that have more than £52 million player costs will be limited to a £5million increase over the next three years. There is also a threat of a point loss if the reforms are not met by the big spenders.
This has to be very good news for those of us that would like to see a fair and sporting Premier League. One that is based on the skill of a manager that can win the title by tactics and buying the right players to blend into the team instead of the winner being the team with the richest owner.
The Premier League teams get a huge payout from TV every year – which is going to increase by 70% next year. Therefore it is my contention that all teams should only be able to use that money for salaries and transfers. Then we would really have a true race for the Premier League title.
It must have been fantastic for Chelsea fans to celebrate the title after 50 years, and the same for those who follow Manchester City, who have long endured the constant sniping by Manchester United fans.
But deep inside they know full well that Abramovich or Mansour could just as easily have bought any other Premier League side and turned them into champions with their money.
Every year now the Premier League is like a car race. Man Utd, Man City and Chelsea start off in Ferraris, whilst everyone else is in a second-hand motor – is it so amazing and satisfactory that one of the Ferrari’s will win?
I would love to see the day again, when another Brian Clough figure could take a provincial team like Nottingham Forest to two European Cup wins without the aid of a billionaire. So can we really believe that the Premier League will be contested as a true sporting race for the title?
No, I very much doubt it. The billionaires will have already given instruction for their army of lawyers to find the loopholes in the reforms. Ah, well, it was a nice thought while it lasted.