Is the Villa boss right to condemn the age of the ‘Super Club’?


City’s solution the following year was to invest heavily once more, and this time it was to pay off as Spurs struggled to mount challenges on both a European and domestic front, and finished the season in fifth. Spurs’ qualification for the Champions League went some way in showing that money did not guarantee success, especially not immediately anyway. Spurs have also shown us that you do not have to let players leave to the ‘super clubs’ if you really don’t want to. Cheslea were in pursuit of Luka Modric for the majority of the summer transfer window, however both Redknapp and chairman Daniel Levy remained adamant that the Croatian would not be leaving White Hart Laneat any price.

McLeish’s suggestion that money or financial backing entails ‘superiority’ is also contradicted somewhat by the lack of success at Anfield in recent years. Liverpool have always had the funding to bring in new talent, though those players brought in were often not of a high enough quality, and the management in place was also deemed to be substandard for a club of Liverpool’s stature.

While the club was generally considered a ‘top-four side’ for a number of years, Liverpool have failed to qualify for the Champions League since 2009 and have finished seventh and sixth in their last two Premier League campaigns. Kenny Dalglish has spent heavily since taking over in January, and for the first time in three seasons this Liverpool side look as though they could be a force to be reckoned with. However, while Dalglish has brought in players of quality, both Benitez and in particular, Roy Hodgson, brought in names that simply weren’t good enough to compete with the top four.

McLeish makes a valid point in that those ‘smaller clubs’ who lack any real financial support or backing will generally struggle to compete with the big-spenders of Chelsea, United, City and Liverpool. However, Harry Redknapp has shown that a top-four challenge can be mounted with the right kind of players, and that quality players do not have to cost the thirty or forty million pounds that these clubs are willing to fork out. Redknapp, and particularly Levy, have shown that key players do not have to be sold. Keeping a player against their will is always a risk, however if they are of as great importance to the club as Modric is to Spurs, it is perhaps a risk worth taking.

It seems McLeish could probably learn a thing or two from Levy and Redknapp, and his assumption that money entails ‘superiority’ is not always the case. Good management and the right players is also fundamental to a clubs success and while heavy funding will certainly make things easier, it does not guarantee success nor the ‘untouchable’ status that McLeish has placed on these clubs. Tony Fernandes completed his takeover of Queens Park Rangers back in August and despite a reported net worth of £250m, McLeish will surely fancy his chances when the two sides meet this season.

Written by Thomas Kenny for

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  • Jeff says:

    English talent? Clark and Bannen?

    Clark chose to play for ROI and Bannen is a Scot.

    If you are going to write articles, at least do some basic research.

  • noreen Gross says:

    you have deleted my comment. My time and effort has been wasted.Sorry.

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