Champions League

Have Everton exposed the Myth of money in Football?

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There has been a growing phenomenon in football over recent years where supporters, and journalists alike, believe that the only way in which their club could earn success would be to spend vast sums of money on well-known players to build a team capable of winning trophies.  However, this is not always the case and the more examples of expensive flops as well as cheap successes, the more people may learn that throwing money at a problem isn’t always the answer.

There are many examples, in the Premier League, of clubs who simply haven’t got the money to spend on expensive signings and have tried but failed in the past to bring in highly-paid stars in an attempt to push their way into the elite of the country.  One example is Everton.  Their money troubles have been well-documented in recent years as they are suffering from a lack of income as well as the Global financial situation leading to the bank squeezing them on their overdraft.  This has meant they’ve had to cut their wage bill and spend very little money on players in the last few years.  However, the incidences where they have spent money haven’t always worked out and have led to them having to change strategy.  In 2009, the club spent nearly £10 million on Diniyar Bilyaletdinov from Locomotiv Moscow. 

Despite providing moments such as his goal in a win over Manchester United at Goodison Park, the Russian struggled to settle on Merseyside and never really lived up to his transfer fee for the club.  He was eventually sold back to Russia, Spartak Moscow in January 2012 for a figure reported to be around £5 million meaning the club made a significant loss on the player, something they can’t afford to do. 

These figures are in stark contrast to some of the club’s most impressive performers of recent times such as Steven Pienaar, Tim Cahill and Phil Jagielka who between them only cost £7.5 million but have made significantly bigger impacts for the club than Bilyaletdinov ever did.

Another example is Arsenal.  Although it is reported they do have the money to spend on world-class, ready-made stars, this has not always been the case and when they have spent big money, it hasn’t always worked out in the past.  There are numerous players currently starring for The Gunners who cost very little, if any, money but have proven to be much more effective in the team than expensive players brought into the club.  The star player and current Captain is Robin van Persie. 

He was bought from Feyernoord at the age of 20 for just £2.75 million and has developed into one of the best strikers in the world.  He may have reached this level at an even earlier date if it hadn’t been for bad luck with injuries. 

Other examples include players who cost the club nothing such as Wojciech Szczesny, Jack Wilshere and Kieran Gibbs as well as cheap purchases such as Aaron Ramsey, Alex Song and Bacary Sagna whom, combined, cost the North London club the relatively small sum of around £13 million.

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