Writer: Barry Worthington
Date:Sunday September 7 2008
Wigan Athletic Chairman Dave Whelan is always trying to balance the books, one player in one player out appears to be his philosophy on running a football club and for this philosophy many people berate him.
I admit that I have had a moan or two about this tactic but to be honest it is a very sensible approach in the nonsensical world of professional football and hopefully come the end of the season the Latics will still be a Premier League club and will still be reasonably secure financially, can that be said for all the clubs in the top flight?
We recently had regular posters on Vital Wigan debating about the future of the Premier League and the threat of it becoming a franchise. That would spell the death of football in my opinion but more on that later.
The English Premier League is a very strong product for investors to become involved with, here at Vital Wigan of all places we have proof of this, the Latics have signed two Honduran players and an Egyptian, suddenly our membership has shot through the roof and the number of hits for this site soared to 5 million+ for August absolutely incredible.
So there is a world wide interest and clubs names are quickly becoming brand names.
Manchester United for the past 30 years has been a name that could sell a football shirt in places as diverse as Manchester, Brighton, Sydney and New York now they have been joined by the Premier Leagues 'other` big clubs and the not so big clubs like the Latics are attracting this interest also.
Recently we have had the Abu Dhabi investment into Manchester City that makes Abramovich`s investment into Chelsea look like pocket money and it appears that the sky is the limit as far as City are concerned, but it doesn`t stop there.
Sunderland are again spending money like its confetti and currently have a first team squad of a mind boggling 42, newly promoted Hull City are carrying 40 professionals, but there are those who are treading cautiously seasoned Premier League club Portsmouth have a manageable 28 and the Latics 23 first teamers
So come the end of May what will be seen as success for the clubs, surely Manchester City must make the Champions League spots to be seen as successful with the amount of investment set to be made this season and if they do who will miss out?
For Chelsea, Manchester United, Liverpool and Arsenal no Champions League football would be the end of the world and then what. We could see the European franchise league come in to play, invitation only and only big city clubs, the death of football.
That is the big boys, what of Sunderland and Hull what will be success for them, with all their spending and the big squads they have accumulated it will still be avoiding relegation, as it will be for a host of clubs including the Latics, for to drop out of the Premier League could be the death knell for some, recent examples of Nottingham Forest, Leeds, Coventry and Leicester show that and I have no doubt that Derby are now going the same way.
Splashing the cash around is exciting for a while but what happens when its all gone or success isn`t there, the Premier League is vogue at the moment, twenty years ago it was the Spanish League, how many Barcelona shirts were there with Lineker on the back sold in the UK? Every dog has its day lets hope that when the cash is gone clubs like City and Sunderland are still around
Money cant buy you love and though Dave Whelan has bankrolled the Latics to a certain degree we are almost self sufficient in our current position with a steady 15000 home fans that will see our future safe…hopefully
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Date:Sunday September 7 2008
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