Wednesday, 9 October 2013

Should it annoy others that AFCB have money to spend?

I have grown up knowing that AFCB would never have more than a few pennies to rub together. Now that has all changed. We are one of the lucky clubs that have a wealthy backer and a board that have invested significant amounts of their fortunes in the club that we all love. But it is human nature for fans of other clubs to see our good fortune as being unfair because it hasn't happened to their clubs. In a way I can see where they are coming from. After all when Blackburn Rovers, Chelsea and Manchester City found they had more financial clout they benefited very quickly from their extra spending power.

The Financial Fair Play Rules are designed in part to stop rich owners from having such a significant impact on our game in future seasons. Still that does not seem to have slowed down the investment in AFCB. At the start of this season I did not expect too many new players and those we signed at the beginning seemed to back that up with the free transfers of Elliott Ward and Ian Harte as well as the year long loan of Andrew Surman. While Mohamed Coulibaly was also signed nothing had prepared me for the kind of fee said to be paid out on Tokelo Rantie (~£2.5m).

Charlie Daniels talks with Alexey Panferov, AFCB director.
That signing really told me that AFCB really are in the Championship now. We are no longer a small town side but mixing it with big city teams and our new signings have to be able to cut it at this level if we are to sustain our position in this league. It may seem hard on other clubs that are just trying to exist, but Bournemouth have been there and have suffered like any other club going into administration a couple of times. 

While the threat of over spending exists you have to wonder why the going rate for players should be as high as it is. You can't just blame the players there is something fundamentally wrong with the structure of the leagues and the prices for tickets and the TV money. It's no longer the working man's game.

For me it's great that AFCB is a club is now being known for their football. Moreover, I want the club to be known for its style of football and its great players above all the talk of its financial might, but these days I am afraid that the two probably go hand in hand. It is difficult to build a successful team without substantial financial backing. 

So back to the question - should it annoy others that AFCB have money to spend? No, it should not because if a club wants success it has to attract financial backing. Look at the clubs that have been promoted to the Premiership recently, most of them have wealthy owners that are able to pump funds into the team when they want. Cardiff, Southampton and Hull all have powerful owners and come January you can expect teams in the bottom three to be spending big like QPR did last season in an attempt to stay in the Premiership.

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