Football, aka soccer in the states, is a beautiful game. The game most of the world loves. The game where everyone with just the ability and desire to work hard to earn their chance on a team will make it right? Maybe you would also hear that it is the sport where “anyone or any team can win.” Well, you are actually almost utterly wrong if you think that. You can spend your entire life working towards making it to the highest level and maybe have the chance to win a title for your team. Instead, you will likely just end up losing to a team that can spend on players who have better talent than you. So I am going to explain to you how wealthy billionaires have ruined football. 

First, let me explain why the owners have more power than American sports owners. In American sports, there is something called a salary cap. This salary cap system is used in many American sports to stop teams’ excessive amounts of money. Yes, in European soccer, there is some sort of rule where you aren’t allowed to spend over a certain amount for wages. However, this rule is relatively easy to bypass for teams with wealthy owners. They can spend more on wages than the less affluent teams due to their higher wealth, causing this separation between teams. This leads to exclusive competition among only a few teams in the league compared to everyone else.

 Now, what teams have these types of owners? Simple answer: almost every single good one. 

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Let’s talk about one of the first real mega-money men of the sport, Roman Abramovich, the owner of Chelsea F.C. He took ownership of the team in June 2003. He wanted to take over the club because he saw potential in the team after they finished fourth. In total, under his reign of ownership, Chelsea has won nearly 20 trophies, with more still to come for as long as he is in charge. It also has kept them at the top consistently for most of that time.  Yet he has also spent nearly 4 billion dollars on players alone to get Chelsea to where they are.

Years of constant investment in some of the best players in the world can also impact players who could succeed in this newfound competition for a position. A player who has had this experience is Tammy Abraham. He played for Chelsea FC, and got consistent game time during the 2019-2020 season. During this season, he shined looking like one of the best strikers in the premier league and thought he would keep the form going. Then, Chelsea spent millions on strikers such as Timo Werner in 2020 and Romelu Lukaku in 2021 to push him out of the starting position. He has since moved to a team named Roma FC, where he has gotten off to a good start.

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Now that we learned what it is like to be at the top, let us see what it is like to be average. Sometimes, you can spend this mass amount of money and still not reach the heights of winning trophies or competing for more significant competitions. For example, Everton, a team that has spent nearly 500 million dollars, still has found little success.

What owners mainly spend their money on is the transfer fees of players. For example, recently, Manchester City spent nearly 130 million dollars on Jack Grealish. Yes, spending that much money on a single person is extreme, but that is the primary way for teams to compete for the top.

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These owners also want more ways to make money. Through wanting to cut costs on running the team, taking money from the team, and even trying to come up with grand ideas to bring more cash into themselves. An example of this would be Manchester United’s owners taking money from transfer fees to pay their own expenses.

The sport is now viewed by hardcore fans as being a cash grab rather than an experience for anyone and everyone. A way the fans feel this is through ticket prices. The average ticket price to get into Premier League games increases every season and gets more hurtful to fans’ pockets. Not only in tickets, but the owners also likely make fans overpay for any sort of merchandise that the team makes, such as jerseys, scarves, hats, etc.

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Overall, owners can completely invest in making their team better to become a more prominent name to make their money. They rob players’ careers to make money for their own gain rather than even caring about the players; they don’t care about the people who give them the money, the fans.

Chris DeGroote is a junior member of the Multimedia Journalism class.