Firstly, an apology for this is a general rant, rather than Arsenal specific. However, since we are a club that has suffered more than most by playing by the rules and operating within our means it is a subject very dear to my heart.
So, as I sit here and wonder just how we have arrived at a situation where a player moves from one club to another for £200 million, I have finally come to the conclusion that it simply cannot go on.
Football must find a solution to the madness before it quite literally eats itself.
I cannot claim to have all the answers, (if I did, I wouldn’t be sat here watching the rain of an English summer flood my garden) but I do think that I know where we should be looking for them – and sadly once again it is across the Pond.
For those not familiar with how our American cousins do things in their more famed football world. Put simply, each season the team that has the worst record from the previous season has the first pick of the available talent for the next season. The second worst the next pick and so on.
This ‘draft’ system is not foolproof, but has ensured that no team can dominate a competition purely by right of its financial muscle.
Now before you all jump up and down and start shouting (or writing in green Biro) that their sports are mostly fixed franchises and the draft is based on the unique College system etc., etc, remember what I said about not having all the answers.
I am just a simple football fan who believes that our sport is the best in the world, but has been run by and on behalf of a cabal of some of the most self-interested, incompetent and corrupt people to have worked in any business in any era.
It has simply not been in the interests of these grandees of the game to change anything and hence we are now at the point of self-destruction.
However, I do believe that there are some great minds out there who could solve the problem.
Would that mean the end of FIFA, UEFA or even the Premier League, maybe! And who’s to say that that would be a bad thing?
It will take clear, altruistic thinking to come up with a solution and I for one am convinced that the general will does exist to find one. It would be able to be a simple copy of the draft, but an appropriate variant of it.
It has to be worth looking at unless you are happy with the rich getting richer and the poor getting poorer.