Why Manchester Uniteds and Bayern Munichs will always trump Monacos and Chelseas
Published: 25.06.13 / Written by: David Gold
Jupp Heynckes made an interesting observation as he announced he would take a Pep Guardiola style break from the game.
He made reference to the clubs to whom money does not matter – a nod to Paris St Germain, Monaco, Chelsea, Manchester City and others – and suggested that they were of no interest to him.
It was a fascinating point worthy of more discussion. Essentially the point he seemed to be getting at was that these were teams for whom success meant nothing. Nothing because they had it handed to them on a plate. In life there are people who build a fortune out of nothing, like Sir Alan Sugar or Carlos Slim. Then there are those who are placed there by extreme wealth and the good fortune to be born into a family of well connected millionaires.
It is this which Heynckes got at, unwittingly or not, when he made his announcement. At a time where so many players move to the club with the deepest wallets, Heynckes injected some reality and common sense back into the equation with his comments. Why would you want to join Monaco, Paris St Germain, Chelsea? Sure you may win something, make a lot of money, but where is the achievement in that? Given how much they spend how big an achievement really is this? Chelsea or Manchester City winning the Premier League is like the son of a millionaire becoming Prime Minister of Britain. It is a pertinent point, given how wealth and privilege in so many countries stifles social mobility.
But then there are the hard working businessmen and women who have worked their way up the ladder, starting with nothing to make themselves the successes that they are. Businessmen across the world have made it to the top with sheer hard work and intelligence. They are your Manchester Uniteds, Liverpools, Bayern Munichs, Real Madrids. Barcelonas. Teams who are at the top because they worked their way there from nothing. Real Madrid did not start off as the biggest team in the world. Bayern, United, Liverpool and Juventus did not start off automatically at the top. Chelsea and Manchester City, Monaco and Paris St Germain, Anzhi Makhachkala and the other billionaire backed sides have not worked their way to the top. They’ve been picked up and placed there by others, without earning it. They have not had to work hard to achieve what Real Madrid have, or what Bayern Munich have.
So where is the achievement in that? It is pertinent to look at Tottenham, who missed out on the Champions League this season, and ponder whether their season was better than Chelsea’s, who finished in 3rd whilst Spurs came fifth. But given that Chelsea are the equivalent of the child born to two millionaires being given a pile of cash and the best connected investors in the world, Tottenham have worked hard to get where they are, with hard graft and intelligence. Arsenal similarly built a new stadium out of cash they generated for themselves.
This is the problem with football today. The sport is being taken over by teams who have not worked hard to get where they are, who have had success handed to them by petro dollars or oil money. These teams are not worthy of their places, they degrade the sport by undermining the very idea of achievement. They are to be frowned upon, ostracised and pushed as far away as possible. Success for teams like Paris St Germain or Anzhi is not good for football – it heralds the death of football as a competitive and meaningful sport.