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The 'Potential' Factor

The 'Potential' Factor

It's natural for transfer fees to increase as the year's progress. Why not? Everything else does. But over the last five or six seasons the price of 'buying' a footballer has increased out of all proportion. It now appears to be snowballing at a rate that surely, no business can realistically sustain from a financial viewpoint.

One of the main factors which contribute to this appears to be the 'potential' factor. Gone are the days when clubs would bring in players who have a proven ability to perform on any given football stage and at any given level. Now, clubs are investing in 'unproven' younger players...players who are considered to have the 'potential' to attain the required level of performance at some time in the future. And they are paying vast amounts of money to get them. That, in terms of sound business investment, appears to be an extremely risky strategy.

The unfortunate (or possibly fortunate) aspect of this is that there are very few clubs with the financial capacity to adopt such a strategy. Whilst this situation remains, the gap between extremely affluent and less affluent clubs will continue to widen with, probably, an adverse effect on the competitive nature of the various leagues.

It begs several questions.

Will the minority of 'money' clubs endeavour to monopolise most of the young talent in the future?

How long can transfer fees increase before the whole system goes pear-shaped?

What can football administrators do to create more equality among clubs and therefore improve the scope for wider and fairer competition between all clubs?

Are administrators motivated to achieve greater club equality or are they afraid to wage war with the 'money' clubs due to financial greed?

It seems like a growing problem to me. What do you think?



Click here to join in the debate on the club forum.

Writer:Geofspurs
Date:Tuesday August 22 2017
Time: 7:53AM

Comments

0
The fact is that the "Potential Factor" right at this moment is providing opportunities for more competition. The wealthy clubs are all currently "assemblers" They buy established stars for high prices. Those less wealthy clubs can only enter the top flight by developing players with potential. At this present moment wealthy teams like Man U and Chelsea are managed by brilliant assemblers like Mourinho and Conte who can select and assign established stars so long as the teams are prepared to buy them the players they want. Neither of these two could develop a picture with a polaroid camera. Thus the development approach enables teams like Everton and Tottenham to enter the top flight. They can probably stay there if they don't revert to selling their developees and can afford to pay reasonable wages to their stars. Given that most of these players are multi millionaires before they reach 25; one would think that being a well paid star appreciated by the fans would be a factor, but greed can be a powerful driver.
Brian Fisher
22/08/2017 08:49:00
0
Brian ... I agree that the most likely chance of success for less financial clubs in the current financial market is to develop young players .... and Spurs are doing that well. My concern is that young talent could be enticed to the top clubs by extraordinary salaries and wait for their chance rather than go to a team where they will play more but earn far less.
Geofspurs
22/08/2017 09:31:00
0
Geofspurs - Two points on the salary issue. First is that we seem to be able to keep players longer than other clubs who develop their own players, its up to us to use that time effectively. Second is that some players, Harry Kane being a prime example, do genuinely seem to be motivated by ambition rather than money. He's actually more likely to leave because he doesn't think he can win things with us than because someone offers him a bigger salary.
jod
22/08/2017 09:44:00
0
One thing to bear in mind is that the spending is based on shaky foundations. Sky and BT have been pouring more and more money into football but the viewing figures are actually going down. At some point there just won't be any more TV money, maybe there will be less. Of course for clubs like City the real nightmare is FFP is properly enforced, that's less likely to happen.
jod
22/08/2017 09:48:00
0
jod ... I agree. Once the TV money starts to steady or go backwards it's going to get interesting. I'm also inclined to believe that the FFP regulations won't be enforced properly. Politics and financial greed!
Geofspurs
22/08/2017 10:37:00
0
It's a nightmare and now just read Dele apparently changing agents to get a move abroad! I am sick of the media, its always negativity about Tottenham and its hard to know what is true or false. I am going to have to stop reading which means stop posting on here because they go hand in hand. Its draining and not serving me, reading all these stories, its addictive.
It'sME
22/08/2017 10:51:00
0
Our transfer policy is in chaos.All Levy has to do is keep the squad together by paying the stars the going rate,stop buying crap players then sending them out on loan because the manager doesn't want them,get some decent scouts in ,identify what positions need strengthening, and don't let Levy choose who to buy or sell as he knows sweet fanny adams about football.
Greavesaboveall
22/08/2017 11:00:00
0
Greavesaboveall - Is that all, boy is Levy doing a crap job. Yet we finished second last year so the rest of the directors of premier clubs must be truly appalling. Incidentally it would be really nice if just once when someone was telling us how we need to spend more money they would explain where it was coming from.
jod
22/08/2017 11:39:00
0
Regarding the TV money drying up, apparently Facebook are now looking to enter the market, to stream PL football, so presumably this will provide another revenue source. Top class football will always be a highly profitable business providing clubs with considerable revenue, which of course will be reflected in increases in fees and wages. Of course the bigger teams also run substantial debt, which of course they are able to service, and at the very top level is seen as just a fact of life, just as people accept their mortgage as acceptable debt. Chelsea with only 42,000 home gates but paying top fees and top wages are billions in debt to Abramovitch, but that seems to be acceptable to both parties, and the resultant success on the pitch bears witness to the effect of his contribution. The same is true of the Mansours at City, the Glazers at Utd, Kronke at Arsenal,and Fenway Sports at Liverpool. We on the other hand attempt to compete with no tangible help from our own billionaire owner, whose apparent interest lies elsewhere than in owning a winning football club.
Frank
22/08/2017 12:12:00
0
I can remember when top footballers were on a maximum wage of £20/week, when gates in all standing grounds were massive, I have been in WHL on several occasions with 60,000+in, so the considerable revenues were going somewhere, presumably to owners and directors. At least these days, the generators of the revenues, the reasons for football's financial bonanza, namely the players are getting their share, at least in some clubs, so good luck to them.
Frank
22/08/2017 12:21:00
0
We lock horns again Jod.If Wembley is seating between 70,000 & 90,000 depending on Brent Council's strange decision making,that's roughly 3 times the numbers at White hart lane.Perhaps you could tell me Jod ,what the projected revenue this year will be compared to last & why clubs who would kill for our turnover, can afford to pay inferior players to ours more money every week.You're an accountant ,so come up with the figures that back up your claim that Spurs can't afford to match the wages of many other clubs.
Greavesaboveall
22/08/2017 13:09:00
0
Frank .... When you think how much the Double team were earning for their dedication and history-making football you have to wonder about the justice of it all. What would they be worth today and how much would they be paid. Instead of being set up for life (which only takes 3 or 4 seasons for many players these days) they had to start their lives all over again once their careers were finished. I guess it's all about the timing!
Geofspurs
22/08/2017 14:17:00
0
Geofspur of course you are absolutely right re the comparison between Billy Nick's team and current players, but as you say it is all about timing. You only have to look at what has happened to house prices in the same period of time. I moved from Kilburn in NW London to Scarborough in North Yorks ( Bill Nick's home town as it happens) in 1965, at that time I could buy a nice 3 bedroom house in Scarborough for £1200.00, but today the same house although 52 years older is now worth circa £145,000. I know this is still chicken feed by London standards but just an illustration of the inflation of all prices including footballer's wages. It is at the end of the day a question of supply and demand, how many footballers are available and good enough to play in the EPL, F1drivers are paid fortunes for the same reason. Having said all that the double team, were they playing today would all be multi millionaires.
Frank
22/08/2017 15:13:00
0
I cannot fully understand our current transfer strategy. After nearly 3 months of lack of activity, we know seem intent on signing defenders with Sanchez being apparently followed by Foyth and talk of Aurier. Apart from a persistent speculation re Barkley who is possibly injured for the next 2 months anyway so wouldn't be available much before Xmas, there is no mention of possible additions in critically urgent areas in the squad, namely an AMFer, hopefully with pace, to cover or provide selection options for Ali or Eriksen, or even more vital a decent striker as competition/ cover for Kane as an alternative to Jansson who is frankly just not good enough. There are still 9 days left, but I fear we will still have the same weaknesses after the window closes, as we had in May.
Frank
22/08/2017 15:27:00
0
Couldn't agree more Frank.
Greavesaboveall
22/08/2017 15:57:00
0
Leaving the transfer discussion aside, there are many interesting points in this thread. It seems to me that so many things factor in a transfer value these days, it's not just potential. For players like Pogba, it seems that his "brand" (he's got his own emoji - why?) has a massive worth to the club. Signing someone like Neymar guarantees the sale of millions of shirts back in Brazil, and increases the exposure of that club in a new market. Buying a player with a certain level of fame is almost more of a business decision than a footballing one. Those considerations aside, I think the price has also gone up simply due to the fact that revenues have skyrocketed. Other artificial constraints also play a role (ie a player being "homegrown" probably adds 5 or 10 million to the price in the PL). Maybe introducing a spending cap/salary cap like US sports do would restore some equality, but I feel that the big clubs would lobby against it. As for viewership going down, is that merely a question of people choosing to watch games in public places (pubs,...) where numbers are hard to track? Illegal streaming has to be a factor too. I don't think there is any less interest for football, in fact quite the opposite.
BelgianSpur
22/08/2017 16:26:00
0
I feel Levy buying more defenders could mean he is about to ship out Rose & Toby for a nice profit sending a message to all players who want break the Levy wage cap that they will be sold.This used to be a football club ,it's now a branch of costcutters.
Greavesaboveall
22/08/2017 16:38:00
0
Tv numbers are falling as a result of the increased prices as a result of the increased prices... In other words the average person can no longer afford sports. I personally detest the fact that the premier league is split between two broadcasters and find it morally incomprehensible that I would have to pay 2 different broadcasters huge amounts of my disposable income to watch the same competition. I hope it goes tits up soon because it is a joke and we will be the best club to deal with it when it does!!!
spurticus87
22/08/2017 17:17:00
0
Greaves I feel Levy might be doing that in anticipation of huge offers so we are in a position of stability and strength when it does occur. Some may call it forward thinking and a welcome relief from panic buying...
spurticus87
22/08/2017 17:18:00
0
I'll be glad when the transfer window is closed & we still have a team we recognise. COYS.
Greavesaboveall
22/08/2017 17:58:00
0
Spurticus, your point about forward planning, or anticipating a player departure, whilst in theory seems palatable, imo, damn risky. Whether it's a huge attractive bid that lands on Levy's table or the player wishes to move on, surely, (especially in our defence) we don't need expensive signings, but back-up or potential. This is an area we can (imo) definitely coach our academy players for cover. Why pay over 35 mill for Sanchez or 8 mill for Foyth when that same money could help resolve the wage cap issues and helps retain the players, e.g., Toby?

I am with Frank on this subject. All the links of late seem to be on defenders or goalies but seems we can't find suitable candidates in other areas. God knows how we managed to get away with one recognised striker for almost 3 years. Just hope we aren't looking to chance our luck for another season.
Critical_Spur
22/08/2017 22:17:00
0
We need to buy maherz
123spurs
22/08/2017 22:50:00
0
Critical .... 'One recognised striker"? How many goals did Kane, Dele and Son score? We had more 20-goal scorers than any other club last season. I'd prefer that team goals are shared between midfielders each capable of a 20 goal season rather than relying on a out-and-out striker. Our game does not focus on a single striker to score. I just don't think scoring has been a problem for a couple of seasons. However, I do agree that we could do with one more goal scorer to bolster the squad due to the amount of games coming up.
Geofspurs
23/08/2017 00:58:00
0
Geof, I can't dispute what happened last season. But pleeeeaaassseee... I wish peeps would stop basing the future on last season. Every man and his dog has moved on. I'd happily devour a huge slice of the proverbial if these guys repeat anything nearing the feat of last season..... The team is already looking different.... The variables have changed all around us.
Critical_Spur
23/08/2017 01:16:00
0
Geof, you are also missing another point. My argument is not just about goals. Can you tell me who puts in the same shift as Harry and who from the bench can make the required impact in his absence? Sure Kane, Alli and Son did well for us, but they also feed off each other.
Critical_Spur
23/08/2017 01:20:00
0
Why would Dele, Erikssen, Kane, Son not do as well this season? None are even in their prime. They have gotten better each of the past three seasons. If they were already beyond their development peak, I'd suggest teams would not be talking about spending ridiculous sums on them. Is it guaranteed? No. No more than there is a guarantee that Nkoudou and Janssen won't be more effective from the bench. Kane will get 45-50 appearances. How much do we expect from players when they get starts in cup games and the last 5-10 minutes of most games? It's all great to want to have another Harry Kane on the bench, but that is not going to happen. No player, unless a kid, or soon to retire, will be sitting on the bench biding their time. If they are at or near the level of Kane, they will expect to also play 45-50 games. If we sign Barkely, we have an option to Dele or Erikssen. He will also develop for the next 3-4 years and has a very high up-side. We then need to sign a pacey winger who can score goals and stretch defences. That's what we needed against Chelsea. WE also need someone who can bury a free kick. Willian did it to us last year. Lucas this year. If we are to dominate games, have corner after corner and lots of free kicks, we have got to be more clinical. Sanchez seems a beast with an eye for goal. Barkley can too. Foyth is for the future and to push along CCV.

As for salaries of players, we need to stop worrying about that side of it. First off, most of the crap in papers is to unsettle players, teams etc. Secondly, we pay above all but 5 PL teams and the gap between us and 4 and 5 is decreasing year by year. Coutinho makes 200k/week. Wants to go for more. Arsenal cannot sell players they signed to salaries beyond their value. At the very least at Spurs, there is a scale. You know where you fit in more or less and Levy has proven he will renegotiate if merited. If Dele, Erikssen, Kane, Verts, Alderweirald et al get more money this year than last, and Spurs continue to pay between 50% and 65% of turnover (which is responsible and sustainable), why should we care? They will be paid fairly within Tottenham's pay scheme. That's all that matters to me. Saw an article today suggesting Kane would be getting 350k/week at any "top" club. We already pay the 11th most in Europe, 6th most in the PL. Really? At which club would he be paid $350k/week. Ain't nobody at Liverpool or Arsenal making close to that. It's just BS talk. 18M GBP or about 8.5% of our turnover. On one player. So much for a team sport. Spurs players are better paid than 14 other PL clubs and are not that far behind two others (I expect we'll be there in the next 3-5 years)

We can pay what we can pay. If someone comes in and offers ridiculous transfer fee and salary, players will go if that's what makes them tick. I accept that and am confident that Levy will get his price when it happens. Other than potentially Rose (he crossed a line) I do not see any other players going. The players who remain will get pay raises. Sell Walker, get Sanchez (up by 10M). Sell Wimmer, get Foyth (up another 5M). Njie, Fazio and Bentaleb get us Aurier. Pay another 25M and get Barkely. Then sell Rose for 54M and get Sessegnon and pay for Barkley. Net spend zero. Increased turnover as a result of Cl last year means 25-30M extra to put in to salaries. Players will get paid. Salary cap will not be coming unless there becomes a Super League (which I doubt would include Spurs). Cap would require all teams to share revenues. Good luck with that.

Spurs, United, City and Arsenal all made profit the last reported season, so the debt thing is a red herring. Until Liverpool sort their debt, they will not be progressing. Their debt is the reason we have finished above them 7 of the past 8 years and why Arsenal have overtaken them. COYS

peterballb
23/08/2017 03:30:00
0
As for the article, yes, you pay for potential. What I really like is that potential now seems to want Spurs over other clubs. Foyth, if he signs, will be a perfect example. He is not for today. He is for the future. But he wants to come. Sanchez, who is for the future and for now wants to come. Others have been interested. Aurier, same thing. Not a single locked on starter amongst them. Will be here for years to come. If we sign the likes of Sessegnon, Balde, Diop, again, they are for the future. Our starting XI is pretty darned good. Finding replacements is not easy and is not what we are doing. WE are looking for competition to keep the starters honest and to make certain that there is a ready made replacement in the squad. Many of the starters will make 40-50 appearances. Guaranteed 38 PL games, 6 CL games, 1 FA Cup and 1 League Cup game. Hopefully more. But that's what is certain. PL and CL is Pochettino's priority (as he has stated). Guess who will start the large majority of those games? Be nice to have Neymar and Ronaldo, but we missed out. Levy and Pochettino will get it done. COYS
peterballb
23/08/2017 03:31:00
0
Has anyone stopped to consider why Dele, Eriksen and Son do so well? Because you have the most feared striker in the PL occupying 2 o 3 defenders on his own, working hard and creating space for others. Until we can find a second striker who can intimidate opposing back 4's in the same way, we are always going to be one injury away from trouble.
BelgianSpur
23/08/2017 11:04:00
0
spurticus - unfortunately for you, that's really a UK thing. In Belgium there are a number of providers who broadcast the PL for very reasonable prices (10 to 20€ per month depending on the length of the contract) and all games are shown including the Saturday 3 pm games...
BelgianSpur
23/08/2017 11:06:00
0
Well that sucks for me Belgian!
spurticus87
23/08/2017 14:03:00
0
Does anyone seriously expect we could find a forward who contributes as much as our Harry? Either we couldn't afford him or he'd refuse to come and sit on the bench. Kane is simply too good at everything he does. What about a 'Defoe' type of forward .... with the ability to understand the offside rule.
Geofspurs
24/08/2017 01:27:00
0
I do. As I said I'll be monitoring what a Jay Rodriguez or a Shane Long do this year. A Wilfried Bony who is rotting on the bench at City but who has goals in him. Ineacho is another.
BelgianSpur
25/08/2017 10:30:00
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