Zion Williamson was recently drafted first overall by the New Orleans Pelicans. Arguably the most hyped non-professional athlete in sports history, the city of New Orleans is excited about their basketball team for the first time in years. Hurricane Katrina ravaged the city in 2005 and the team has found very little success since. Similar to Baker Mayfield in Cleveland last year, all it takes is a lucky #1 draft pick to change the entire outlook of a franchise.
The jury is out on whether or not these players will change their franchise’s teams, but one constant does remain. All major American sports are set up so the worst still have opportunities to succeed. It’s a long and tiresome process (some teams have it much worse than others), but it’s a system that provide a sense of hope most worldwide football supporters cannot relate to.
The past few seasons have seen a big gap between the top 6 and the rest of the table. Wolves are certainly raising eyebrows after a solid first season back in the Premier League, but it’s difficult to imagine anything changing in the next few seasons. Teams like Everton and West Ham have spent big but haven’t seen the success required to reach that coveted 6th place finish. While these big and mid-table sides continue to spend, it will continue to hurt the parity of the league. Teams that have recently been promoted hardly have a shot to stay up unless they heavily invest in their first season. In Fulham’s case this season - they invested big and are going right back down to the Championship anyway. There needs to be a limit as to how much the bigger clubs can spend - I am not saying it should be an equal amount, but the range of transfer spending should be much smaller.
Transfer limits should be set caps based on net spend, not owner revenue. Take two scenarios: Liverpool selling Coutinho for $150 million (let’s be real he is NOWHERE near worth that - these transfers are out of hand) and buying Van Dijk and Alisson for roughly the same amount. Meanwhile, Man City may have some transfer “steals”, but they also are playing with Monopoly money. When you can buy players for that cheap left and right, of course some are going to turn out much better than expected. If there are a couple flops they will be completely overlooked. It’s not this black and white, but it would put an importance on investing in youth and finding diamonds in the rough, which brings me to my final point.
The money from crazy rich owners can still be invested, just in a different way. Instead of FFP constantly failing to do its job, that money can be invested into academies and youth programs in a separate budget from transfers. This would have a great impact on the community and provide a better environment for young players growing up preparing them for the world.
It’s difficult to compare - Americans are rewarded for failure in sports while in worldwide football teams are relegated to lower divisions for a last-place finish. However, this change of investment will have a trickle-effect. Disparity will always remain between clubs in any league, but this would change the strategy and provide a whole new set of challenges for the largest clubs in the world that can buy players at the snap of a finger.