Ronald and myself were discussing this topic on MSN last night and I thought it would be worthwhile to discuss here. It's interesting because we live in the 21th century and money has become part of the game just like everything else.
Huge transfer sums are splatched out for one single player and the big clubs who win the titles have either merged into a blockbuster business or has a stone rich owner who invests his fortune into it. It has emerged into an entertainment business with cinemas, cheerleaders, commercial interests, TV rights and whatnot.
Smaller clubs have failed to catch up with the stream of modernisation and in part because of this a number of clubs have went bankrupt or been in big danger of it. Italian football has been a financial nightmare for years already seeing clubs like Lazio and Roma have to sell out their high-profile names. Fiorentina went bankrupt and Parma turned out to be in deep troubles as well.
Now they need to find new alternative ways of staying alive cutting their expenses and trusting their youth sectors more.
Lately Dortmund fell into the quicksand too. Is there an end to all this? Have the Euros and Pounds turned the attention from the very reason people go to see a football match? Or was the introduction of all this a welcome boost to football?
Personally I feel it has been both. On one hand I want to purify the sport to the point where wages are much lower and the players remember they´re playing to have fun and enjoy their passion - not so they can have a palace on the Riviera with a view. On the flipside the money side adds a certain degree of excitement. Strategical movements on the transfer market and essentially driving a good business.
And last but not least it has given the clubs the ultimate chance to collect the creme of talent in one place.
The UEFA Champions League pours a lot of cash into the sport in the form of prize money, TV rights and commercials. Needless to say it has become vital for all clubs; small, big or in between to do well in Europe.
Ever since I started to gain an interest in proffesional football I´ve witnessed an incredible developement on all fronts. That was in the 1995/1996 season.
So I would like to learn about how it was before money came into the picture from some of our perhaps more senior members. And of course anybody else who have thoughts about the matter.