|Arsene Wenger has voiced his concerns about how the COVID-19 pandemic will widen the gap between football’s elite and the smaller clubs, and he makes a really important point.|
This gap has been getting wider and wider due to the amount of money that comes from TV and flows to Europe’s top clubs. Everyone already understands the difference in money clubs in the Championship make compared to the Premier League is huge, and that is before you talk about the deep pockets of some of the owners. Financial Fair Play has been brought in to try and tackle this but the gulf is still massive especially when we talk about the lower leagues.
Outside of Europe’s big five leagues, there is also a massive difference in the finances in the game, and many clubs, just like most businesses, have been hit hard by the pandemic.
Lokomotiva Zagreb director Dennis Gudasic said it is a “drastic situation whereby we have maybe 100 or 200 clubs go bankrupt in September or October” if challenges facing smaller clubs are not understood. The transfer market is really important for a lot of these clubs to make money and it is a serious situation.
National League South club Hemel Hempstead Town released a statement saying “The survival of our football clubs is important, not playoffs or promotion” which is a crazy thing to hear as normally the only survival that mattered was avoiding relegation.
Grassroots football and developing the youth is crucial to the future of football and this may be the most badly impacted area of the sport. Wenger suggests a fund should be set up to help out clubs who need it to survive and also funds to develop youth-team football.
It’s always going to be tricky because everyone should try to make the best out of situations but some can only hope at the moment.
I am and always will be a big believer of youth development because this is how I got my self in the first team at Ajax as a young boy. We have to understand that if the young player does the job as good or even better they should be picked above the more experienced player.
They are the future and if you don’t believe in creating you will always be buying, but if you create you make your home fans happier to see the homegrown talent. This is what gives us full stadium and happy owners. #mmlove