Football has always been about skill, talent, teamwork, and hard work. But, a surge in popularity and investment in the last two decades has caused a ‘pay to win’ effect. In some cases, this is due to some emerging players selling for 10’s of millions, and clubs such as Manchester City investing heavily to taste Champions League victory. However, talent has still prospered. In the case of some clubs such as Ajax who, without the resources of the mega-wealthy ones, was able to achieve at a very high level in Europe with a relatively young squad.
Newcastle was taken over in a very publicised fashion by Crown Prince of Saudi Arabia, funded by the Public Investment Fund (PIF) of Saudi Arabia. The big news in this takeover is the net worth of the PIF’s total assets are estimated to be around $320 billion USD. What this means is that the PIF could use these funds to expand Newcastle United, with better facilities, coaches, and players. Essentially, this is a pay-to-win scenario, as they would have the capability to invest any amount of money to be the best.
It is important to note that the deal is currently in jeopardy amidst claims of illegal streaming of old Newcastle Untied matches in Saudi Arabia.
The long-term plan
With the takeover of the club, the owners have assigned a long term plan to ensure success for the club in upcoming years.
Some of the objectives are:
A renewal of the club would require a new, world-class manager that could propel the team to Cup glory, and possibly be promoted within a season. A new manager would also ensure an improved playing style, which is essential for good performance. Reports have swirled about former Spurs boss Mauricio Pochettino as a good fit as well as a return or Rafa Benitez.
A cutting edge training complex
Good facilities accelerate player growth, and investing in these would improve the players’ abilities on the pitch and also allow them to practice tactfully in training. It is obvious that a new complex would be essential for the growth of the club, and they have the money, so, why not?
Professional scouting department
Although they have the ability to easily buy any player, scouting is necessary, and the hunt for new talents would bring in a younger generation to the club, increasing their performance in the long-term.
Investing in the squad
Obviously, investing in the squad is a top priority. Newcastle will seek to sign the best players with the hope of promotion and facing the big teams in the Champions League and Premier League. This is only possible with a sizable investment in the squad. One player being rumoured is Phillipe Coutinho, which would be someone to build around at the club.
So, does money buy success in football?
We are yet to know. The answer is, thankfully, NO. At least, for now. The answer to this question could lie in the future of Newcastle, and whether they experience success with money, or not.
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