Thursday, 22 March 2007

The Foreigners are coming

Found a very interesting article on So all credit goes to the author of this site.

Interesting post on 101 great goals about how the Premiership is the new Monte Carlo. The influx of foreign owners looks like it’s just beginning.

I suppose most fans won’t care. Any Chelsea fan reluctant to embrace Abramovich’s billions because of how he might have obtained them has seen his fears wiped out by two consecutive league titles. United fans opposed to Malcolm Glazer are hardly apparent as they sit top of the league and with a full, newly extended, stadium.

Villa fans will welcome Randy Lerner although they’d probably have thrown out the red carpet for Hitler just to get rid of Doug and now we have Liverpool about to be bought out by Dubai International Capital (DIC), the investment arm of Dubai’s government.

Some Liverpool fans will complain but with a massive transfer fund and brand new stadium they’ll fade away into the background. If that deal goes through 7 out of 20 clubs will be foreign owned and you can be quite sure they won’t be the last.

Arsene Wenger was mocked when he spoke about Arsenal retaining an ‘Englishness’. There certainly could be more English players in the side, in fact they could probably do with a couple, but beyond the first team the club is English and has worked itself to make itself a player in modern football. No dubious benefactors, no buyouts, no takeoevers.

People complain that the number of foreigners in the English game is a bad thing and to an extent they have a point. What would be a bad thing is if the majority of English Premiership clubs were foreign owned. With the best will in the world the owners are interested in one thing and that’s profit.

Things like youth academies and educating young players and junior level teams cost money. Serious money. You can be sure when some clubs feel the pinch or want to maximise profits this is where they’ll look first. They’ll justify it by saying only ‘x’ players out 100 ever make it close to the first team and long term it’ll be cheaper to buy and pick up Bosmans from across Europe than to develop their own talent. Another nail in the coffin for the English national teams.

Are foreign owners going to put any money back into grass roots football? Not a chance.

The FA and the Premiership committee need to keep a close eye on this. It might be only a game of Monopoly to some people but for the fans it’s more than that.


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