I’m on vacation now in Florida and have some time to kick back and relax on the beach. In the 85 degree sunny weather on the beach the other day I asked myself “what would I do if I owned a pro club?” The question has many answers depending on where in the world the club was located and what division. In the United States owning a USL or NASL team is no easy task. There really isn’t much attendance and no TV money. At that point you have to run a huge youth program under the pro club and charge money to make it work. That didn’t interest me much so my thoughts went to owning a “Championship League team” in England or some place in Europe. My main focus would be on building an academy. Modeling the club after Ajax or Barcelona. It makes sense to me when a club has a coaching philosophy and method that is taught from kids up to the first team. If the Head Coach comes or goes it doesn’t do anything to the club. The most important thing would be to create a developmental system that produced great home grown players. From a financial point of view this would be the key to the clubs financial success as well. Bring in top youth coaches from around the world to work on the curriculum and teaching methods! Identify the best local and non-local youth talent to bring in. It sounds like such a good idea.
Fluminese FC in Brazil has 130 players under contract from U16 and up. They have made over $45 million in recent transfer fees! They are running a great business. The scouts go and watch local youth leagues all over the country looking for kids that show potential. The twins for Manchester United were spotted by A Fluminense scout and signed. That transfer fee was pretty good! I always disliked when a big club would hire a big coach and through money all over the place to buy big players. Once the coach left or was fired it all happened all over again like a huge “Garage Sale”. There is no real system at some of these big clubs. It is kind of like the movie Wall Street where “Greed is Good”. Something just doesn’t seem right. I was talking to a coach in Spain a few months ago who competes on the youth level against Real Madrid. His team isn’t even a pro club but an academy. They beat Real Madrid’s Youth Teams all the time. Why? He explained that Real Madrid put little to non emphasis on their younger youth teams. Often business men with money will pay to get their kids on the team! That sounded crazy to me! Just wrong and not so cool!
I do know there are all kinds of rules that impact how much a player can make and be sold for depending on the club he is at and their rating etc. My point is find the best players you can and develop them. If you sell some and others make your first team thats great! It is a business and I understand the club needs to make money. I just think a business model that creates great players is more appealing than one that buys great players! Now its back to the beach for me! Be sure to check out my books on this site – all of them are available on Amazon!