Newcastle may have lost the chance to sign Andrei Arshavin, a world class player, by our own hesitancy in January.
Kevin Keegan – thinks – how can I get Newcastle into top 4?
The only chance we had of signing him was before the big clubs came in and saw how good he is, which they’ve now done. The same is true of Arden Turan of Turkey.
But of course, our failure to sign him is all in hindsight, which is always easy after the fact, and I’m not balming the Newcastle club here. We want to make a bigger point than that.
Kevin Keegan touched on the problem we have in the Premier League after the Chelsea defeat in early May.
But nobody really understood what Kevin meant, or at least didn’t want to understand what he meant, especially the PL executives, whose problem it is.
Kevin said the league was boring, but he used the wrong word and he didn’t really mean boring.
He meant the Premier League was no longer competitive, because only one of four teams can win the league every year.
It’s become like Scotland where essentially only Glasgow Celtic or Glasgow Rangers can win the Scottish Premier league – and do.
And we don’t think that’s a good thing for the league.
It has to be worrying for the future of competitive football in Europe, that only the already big and successful clubs – like the big four in England, Real Madrid, Barcelona, Milan and the like, are the only ones who can really sign the world’s top players.
What is wrong with that?
Well, it means the best will get better and the rest – well eventually they’llÂ become more and more uncompetitive.
But that state of affairs will only happen if the current laws of the transfer market and player’s wages are not controlled in some way.
Look at the case of Newcastle and Arshavin, as a good example.
We have followed the player for over 6 months now, but he is showing to be world class in Euro 2008, and we will now have a much reduced chance of signing him.
We didn’t finish in the top half of the table, and cannot offer him European Champions League football, or even UEFA football.
He is unlikely now to come to Tyneside, when bigger clubs are after him.
He would probably even like European Champions League football next season since he played and won the UEFA Cup last year with Zenit St. Petersburg, so we quickly arrive at one of the top four in England getting him.
We’ll look back some time in the future at this situation, and think how stupid things were that eventually took away competition.
It let’s the best clubs get better and the other clubs fall further and further behind each season.
It has to be worrying for football authorities, especially in England.
We will need at some point to introduce an overall salary cap at each club, or some other limitation, to stop all the worlds’ best players going to just a few of the already very rich and successful clubs.
Otherwise the PL will end up with 8 or 10 teams eventually.
And we already know who they will be – Arsenal, Man United, Chelsea, Liverpool, Everton, Tottenham, West Ham, Aston Villa, Man City, Portsmouth and maybe Newcastle.
It will happen – just wait and see.