The future of football has been on many people’s minds recently. As the European Super League announcement caused extreme chaos, it also promoted some serious consideration about the inequalities of the footballing world, such as Premier League teams being able to make transfers of millions of pounds while teams in leagues 1 and 2 are struggling to stay afloat. This has lead many people to question whether small teams, like Scunthorpe, will be able to survive without a big investment?
The European Super League Effect
The announcement of the European Super League had the world holding its breath, or at least everybody in the world who loves footie. The European Super League was a hugely divisive topic for more reasons than one. Not only did loyal fans feel like their ability to continue to watch and support their beloved team was being threatened, but the ramifications of the league included increasing inequality between teams.
The European Super League is, for now, no longer a direct threat to the future of football, but its effects have not been forgotten. Namely, the super league bought awareness of the very real threat that the big teams have on smaller, less powerful, and lower league teams like Scunthorpe. If the big teams are sucking money out of the game, then what hope do smaller teams have of survival?
The Problem with Football Funding
It is a very real fact of life that money begets power, and nowhere is this more evident than in the world of football. England’s top football players have become increasingly expensive over the last decade. If you just take a look at the most expensive football players in the world right now, you will notice a startling trend, the majority of these players are English. Looking at the most valuable football players, you will notice a few names cropping up over and over again, Marcus Rashford, Trent Alexander Arnold, and Raheem Sterling, for example, are some of the highest-paid players in history.
The problem of how much these players are being paid is, in itself, not so much of an issue. The real problem becomes noticeable when you consider the effects this has on quality. England is able to afford some of the most expensive players in the world, which is likely contributing to England’s high ranking in the Unibet Euro 2020 odds… or vice versa.
It is not only the fact that the top leagues are able to afford the contracts of the top players, but they have access to the highest quality recruitment too. The incredibly rich academies of the top teams run the risk of disrupting the quality of league 1 and 2 players. As lower league teams are not able to attract or train the same quality of young players, their ability to move up into the higher leagues is significantly reduced. This means that the ability of lower league teams to progress and increase their revenue is also limited.
Can Small Teams like Scunthorpe Survive?
The European Super League has opened many people’s eyes to the problem of big money in football and how it has the ability to seriously threaten the survival of teams outside the ‘big six’. But is big funding destined to doom the future of small teams like Scunthorpe forever? Well, the short answer is no. With the continued support of a loyal fan base, lower league teams like Scunthorpe will have what they need to survive. Although the big teams have the money needed to train and trade top talent, this does not mean that smaller teams, with the right fan support, cannot build a bright future.