Football Must Change To Keep Competition Alive


Newcastle may have lost the chance to sign Andrei Arshavin, a world class player, by our own hesitancy in January.

kevin-keegan-2888.jpg

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’ll  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.

Comments welcome.



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58 comments so far

  • figsdad

    Jun 22, 2008 at 12:15 AM

    Comment #1

    doom and gloooooom we will rise above..

    have faith tooooooooooooon army……………………………………….

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  • Spyro

    Jun 22, 2008 at 12:30 AM

    Comment #2

    i can tell that you too are quite upset about the reality of the arshavin situation Ed, it is clear in your writing. i suppose we just need to look towards tying down the future andrei arshavins and arda turans

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  • Petey

    Jun 22, 2008 at 12:34 AM

    Comment #3

    just seems to me that newcastle are too scared to sign in case people are flops.

    coming to the premieship and just losing value to almost nothing, shevschnko or luque style….

    but i dunno, keegan made a good signing for us once upon a time, im sure he can do it again, even if football has changed

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  • Hadrian

    Jun 22, 2008 at 12:37 AM

    Comment #4

    plenty more fish in the sea , look at ajax !
    then again , they dont appoint people like dennis wise to find their talent .

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  • HATE PRAWN SANDWICHES

    Jun 22, 2008 at 12:39 AM

    Comment #5

    The problem? HESITATION!!!!! the clubs below the top four!! are all saying what IF?? IF IS A BIG QUESTION!!

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  • Egar

    Jun 22, 2008 at 12:42 AM

    Comment #6

    There’s a lesson to be learnt here about being a tight pocket. KK knows about it but I guess MA needs to wise up quick if he wants NUFC to compete with the big 4 next season.

    Excessives can backfire (remember Leeds) but securing 1 or 2 new top player a year does seem to be a basic prerequisite to moving forward/upward.

    There’s still time to do something about it for NUFC but it sure is going to cost more.

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  • Jinal

    Jun 22, 2008 at 12:43 AM

    Comment #7

    Until I hear official word that they’ve signed elsewhere or renewed their contracts at their existing clubs, I’ll keep the dream alive.

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  • HATE PRAWN SANDWICHES

    Jun 22, 2008 at 12:44 AM

    Comment #8

    Arshavin may not want to go to teams like Man U or Chelsea!!! will they get regular football!! where as, teams like ours its almost a garrentee!!

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  • Rob

    Jun 22, 2008 at 12:45 AM

    Comment #9

    If only it is as easy as just buying a player in Jan. If it was then we would have signed 5 players already this summer. There are far to many unknowns to claim that we could and should have bought this guy in Jan.
    Its all speculation and rumour.

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  • Jinal

    Jun 22, 2008 at 12:46 AM

    Comment #10

    I really think we had and might still have a chance to sign both Turan and Arshavin. However if it turns out that we blew it, I swear I might turn emo

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  • Jinal

    Jun 22, 2008 at 12:47 AM

    Comment #11

    Rob, how long does it take to sign a player in general?

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  • Tom_Toon

    Jun 22, 2008 at 12:51 AM

    Comment #12

    Depends on the player doesnt it.

    Depends whether he wants to move, whether his clubs wants to sell, how many clubs are interested, his asking price etc.

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  • HATE PRAWN SANDWICHES

    Jun 22, 2008 at 12:53 AM

    Comment #13

    we could have probably had both if we just paid 11 mill for each before the Euros started!!

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  • Tom_Toon

    Jun 22, 2008 at 12:54 AM

    Comment #14

    Turan sill aint worth 11mil IMO, even after the euros.

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  • Matthew

    Jun 22, 2008 at 12:54 AM

    Comment #15

    Keegan said himself he had to look up some of our squad on the Internet when he took over so how exactly is he supposed to know whether some bloke playing in Russia is what he needs?

    The club have slapped bids in for Arshavin, Turan and Gomis according to reports in their home countries but you can’t blame clubs for wanting to wait and see how they do in a competition like this as their fee can only really go up.

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  • Jinal

    Jun 22, 2008 at 12:57 AM

    Comment #16

    Yes 11 mil is a little too steep for Turan. Back in January, how much was the quoted price for Arshavin?

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  • Matthew

    Jun 22, 2008 at 12:58 AM

    Comment #17

    Off topic but tomorrows NOTW say Keegan’s going for Lennon at £6 million.

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  • Tom_Toon

    Jun 22, 2008 at 12:58 AM

    Comment #18

    8mil werent it?

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  • HATE PRAWN SANDWICHES

    Jun 22, 2008 at 12:58 AM

    Comment #19

    As already said “MORE FISH IN THE SEA?” + We dont know what the club have pre – signed if any?

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  • Tom4Nufc

    Jun 22, 2008 at 12:59 AM

    Comment #20

    Jinal, in january depending in which paper/site u went on it was 7-9m

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  • Tom_Toon

    Jun 22, 2008 at 12:59 AM

    Comment #21

    6mil?!?!? Thats a bargain if Keegan can improve his end product.

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  • Tom4Nufc

    Jun 22, 2008 at 1:01 AM

    Comment #22

    Tom_Toon- agreed an absolute bargain, lets sell milner 9m, get lennon 6m, good peice of business 🙂

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  • Jinal

    Jun 22, 2008 at 1:04 AM

    Comment #24

    Wow 7,8 or 9 million seems like a complete steal at this point in time!

    You know all the time we tell ourselves “If only our more of our players had the dedication , commitment and passion for the club like us fans”.

    Arshavin and Turan definitely seem like that.

    I don’t want to sign the next Ronaldo and he ends f**ing us over like what Cristiano is doing right now with Manure.

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  • HATE PRAWN SANDWICHES

    Jun 22, 2008 at 1:07 AM

    Comment #25

    Lennon????

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  • HATE PRAWN SANDWICHES

    Jun 22, 2008 at 1:08 AM

    Comment #26

    I now keegan likes to take risks but lennon? just really unsure!!!

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  • danuneek

    Jun 22, 2008 at 1:08 AM

    Comment #27

    Dont get me wrong Arshavin looks quality, but, whose to say he will be as good in England. Russia have looked good, but so did Greece and most of their players 4 years ago, Dellas, Charasteas etc… now where are they? I know it can’t be any coincidence that Russia are doing well just as Arshavin has returned and Zenit have won the UEFA Cup, but the way people are reacting you would of thought we’ve been relegated. Just be patient, we will be signing players.

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  • Jinal

    Jun 22, 2008 at 1:09 AM

    Comment #28

    7,8 or 9 million is a complete steal for Arshavin.

    Something inside me tells me that Arda and Arshavin would play for the club with the same passion that we fans have for it.

    I don’t want us to sign the next Ronaldo only to end up getting screwed over like what Cristiano is currently doing with Man Utd.

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  • HATE PRAWN SANDWICHES

    Jun 22, 2008 at 1:10 AM

    Comment #29

    just feel maybe a step back once again!!?

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  • Jinal

    Jun 22, 2008 at 1:10 AM

    Comment #30

    Aaron Lennon looks good but he reminds me too much of Dyer – talented but lazy

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  • Tom_Toon

    Jun 22, 2008 at 1:11 AM

    Comment #31

    Lennon is far better than Milner already, hes younger too and we will make a profit on selling Milner and buying Lennon.

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  • Jinal

    Jun 22, 2008 at 1:12 AM

    Comment #32

    Who does Pavluchenko play for?

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  • Tom_Toon

    Jun 22, 2008 at 1:13 AM

    Comment #33

    Spartak Moscow, however Real Madrid were linked with him loads before the competition.

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  • Jinal

    Jun 22, 2008 at 1:15 AM

    Comment #34

    Cheers Tom_Toon. You seem to be on here alot. Do you think we have snapped up anyone as yet?

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  • HATE PRAWN SANDWICHES

    Jun 22, 2008 at 1:16 AM

    Comment #35

    Look at the profit Man U will get out of it they will almost be able to buy a team with the money!! but yes a fantastic player!!

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  • Tom_Toon

    Jun 22, 2008 at 1:16 AM

    Comment #36

    No clue.

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  • Jinal

    Jun 22, 2008 at 1:24 AM

    Comment #37

    ^^
    *sigh*

    I was hoping you were an inside man in some disguise lol

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  • 作底

    Jun 22, 2008 at 1:31 AM

    Comment #38

    Fk it

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  • ameritoon

    Jun 22, 2008 at 2:48 AM

    Comment #39

    Arshavin seems outta the picture but I’ve got a gut feeling with Turan. What’s the word on Seb Larrsson? I still think he would be a great signing. I think with those two would improve our midfield drastically.
    I’d love to see the Arshavins and Van der Vaarts but we do have a fairly solid foundation built already (assuming we resign MO and Taylor). Throw in Nicky Shorey and Cuellar to sure up the back end and that’s a pretty solid side. A top 4 finish is a unrealistic goal for every team outside of Arsenal,Liverpool, Chelski, and ManUre but if KK gets this team to click European football is a serious possibility.

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  • Piers

    Jun 22, 2008 at 3:38 AM

    Comment #40

    This makes sense Ed. I’m a really optimistic person, and to be honest i don’t think we even have the slightest chance of signing Arshavin or Turan. So let’s stop all of the dreamer talk and talk about other potential Newcastle Targets.

    As for the article….. Over here in the US (where i live as well) most professional sports have salary caps to avoid whats currently happening in the Prem. It just makes all the sense in the world….I don’t understand why it’s not a part of the premiership.

    Having league salary caps make the leagues so much more enjoyable to watch because any team can win on a given day. It also makes the personel decisions mean so much more.

    For example in the NBA
    The Boston Celtics went from being 2nd to last last year to being the champion this year. Tell me thats not interesting to watch…. thats like saying Fulham could potentially win the Prem next year.

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