Calum Valentine takes a closer look at the MLS’s drafting system and questions if other leagues around the world, mainly the Premier League, could adopt their approach.
At the end of every transfer window the same question always seems to arise; Is our current player recruitment model on a national scale fair ?
In my opinion, no, not at all. We only need to look at the summer just gone to see this sheer lack of fair play, Chelsea spent an estimated 88 million on transfers compared to Burnley’s summer spending of no more than 5 million. Our current model keeps the rich,rich and the poor,poor.One league in the world without this problem…The MLS
“Financial fair play” I hear you scream. The myth of financial fair play is easily dispelled it makes the leagues spending no fairer. FFP means no club in the Premier league can make a loss of more than £105 million over 3 seasons working out at around £35 million per season.
Now lets use Chelsea as an example. Russian Tycoon Abramovich is one of the richest owners of any club in all of the land and last summer he bought Diego Costa and Cesc Fabregas for a mere £59 million, to avoid a devastating loss Romelu Lukaku and Demba Ba were shipped out for around £32 million, nothing more than pocket change to Roman.
Chelsea here have shown common business mindset, selling assets to fund expansion. Chelsea have the assets to sell,if they needed to make more money this coming summer another of their global superstar bench warmers could make way for quick cash: John Obi Mikel ? Ramires ? Petr cech ? or even Sundays match winner Loic Remy ?
Though long winded the point i’m trying to make is that we,re past the point of no return with FFP. The big clubs will stay big and the minnows of the league will make it to no higher than tenth thats just the way it is and always will be.
We like to fantasize in England that a ‘small’ club like Burnley can make their way to the summit of the league on a transfer budget of 23 pence and pack of Hob Nobs but the truth is that without money football clubs will be eaten up and spat out by the premier league and in my opinion that is a sheer travesty. But does that have to be the case ?
Every January the MLS hosts the yearly SuperDraft in which the team who finished in the worst possible position the year before gets the first pick on the countries best young ‘soccer’ talent and from worst to best the teams pick.In turn leveling the playing field between those who can and who cant spend big on designated players instead they are entrusted with the countries youth prospects. Does it work? Yes.
New England Revolution; In 2011 finished overall 18th in the league therefore received a better draft pick in 2012. Their first round pick was a 20 year old midfielder by the name of Kelyn Rowe now 23 and regarded as one of Americas future captains the midfielder was prominent in the Revolutions 2012 season they finished 16th not massive, but progress non the less.
As 2013 rolled around the Revolution were confident and drafted another highly sought young gun, Andrew Farrell; a commanding defender with the attitude to take him to the top helped the club to a 7th placed finish and last season the club finished 2nd pipped to the post by LA Galaxy on the Season Finale. Eighteenth to second in 4 years with barely a penny spent on transfers only wages to be paid , now that really is something if you ask me.
Now try and picture a transfer window like that, one with no big money signings only taking in youth players ,the countries future. Now that’s real fair play the type that would take our nation back to real football , real British football. Is that what you want ? I know I do.
A wonderful concept no doubt but without doubt impossible. Teams like Manchester City and Liverpool whom tend to spend their way to glory would not enjoy the idea nor would they like to adapt to the challenge of having to compete for the title with teams outside the current top 4.
Hopefully one day our league can take note of our transatlantic cousins and we can all progress as a footballing community together and seize back control of our game from Money and Global corporations.