Are the Stars Worth it?
I may not be too old yet, but I have had the pleasure of seeing some of the top players in the world play for Spurs during their prime years.
Players such as Ossie and Ricky, Hoddle, Gazza, Lineker, Teddy, Ginola, Klinsmann, Berba , Docherty and more. We signed some of those players, at the height of their career, during a time when there was still some sanity in football. Today however, I suggest that we could never have signed Gazza, Klinsmann or Lineker. One of the big stories of the summer transfer window was the story of HULK. Not the Marvel character, but the 26 year old, Brazilian, Porto striker, who with presumably the world at his feet, for some reason chose to go to ply his trade in Russia with Zenit.
This may sound a little disingenuous to the Russian league, but why would a player like that choose to play in Russia at the height of his career instead of one of the bigger leagues. We all know that he had other options, at least us and Chelsea were linked. Similarly, we have been linked to Huntelaar in the past, but he chose to sit on the bench at RM and AC Milan instead. Why?
Our story was the usual, linked to lots of big names, didn't land any of them, but should we really be worried? Are the stars worth signing anymore? The emergence of the 'Sugar Daddy' clubs has completely changed the face of football transfers. Clubs like Chelsea, City, PSG and the Russian clubs are awash with money and are caught up in their own power struggle for football domination. Without any form of regulation, transfer values have soared, and wages have become obscene.
HULK transferred to Zenit for a reported £32M, whilst RVP is reported to be on Rooneyesque wages. Meanwhile back at Spurs Lodge we were negotiating with Porto over a £22M deal for Moutinho. This is a player who in 2010 moved from Sporting to Porto for a reported ~£8M. In two years, his value supposedly has increased by £14M. When the wages are factored, would this transfer have made any sense for THFC? Do the numbers stack up?
This story can be repeated for almost any big name signing, and Spurs are now in a place where they just cannot compete with the rich clubs for the big players anymore. Any attempt to do so will just result in financial disaster for the club. I cannot remember the last truly big named player we signed via a straight forward transfer. Ade was a loan/perm, VDV was a lastminute.com.
Players themselves have also IMO changed. There was a time when players wanted to play for the shirt, whoever they played for, now it seems it is only for money, and high profile. Does it matter that much to a player if he earns only K80 per week as opposed to K120? How much can anybody spend? Surely a player wants to play.
With this in mind, how does the club go forward and compete with the best? There is no way that I want to see THFC do a Leeds or Portsmouth, and reading the net spends of PSG (~£120M) and even Southampton (~33M) it is clear that if FFP rules are to have any bite, then these clubs and others could be in trouble. Southampton could be in trouble anyway, with that type of net spend.
I truly don't think that the stars are worth it anymore, and as much as the fans love a big named signing I don't feel that they provide value for money, and it is not worth the club being screwed over financially just to make a statement of intent. I feel we need to get back to the scouting and development that brought us Bale, Modric, Berba, et al. Many European clubs such as Ajax and Porto, sell their best, but they nearly always have quality to replace them with.
I would like to see THFC through good scouting and a strong academy, create the stars of the future, that way we will always have quality and will not have to pay stupid money for it. So, over to the forum, are the stars worth it? Are they affordable, or is it a thing of the past? Does anybody think that signing a star player is a statement of intent and is this important?
Written by Cleveland ARTSPURS