With the number of upsets we’ve witnessed recently in the FA Cup, football fans will undoubtedly be questioning whether money is actually killing the game, as many have claimed in recent years.
Neymar’s transfer from Barcelona to the French giants, Paris Saint German, last summer broke transfer records at a fee of €222 million. This transfer was deemed as controversial because Neymar’s integrity was questioned throughout: was he moving to PSG for more money? Why would he want to leave the best club in the world for PSG? Fans concluded that the transfer was money driven, despite Neymar stating that the move was to better himself and his ability.
For many, this transfer solidified the debate of recent years that money is the dominant factor in football. However, as of more recent circumstances, the FA Cup has subverted these claims on several occasions.
The magic of the FA Cup seems to be the greatest opportunity that lower league teams get to prove themselves against the best clubs in the country. There are many examples of financially troubled clubs dominating the top clubs, proving that money is not the be-all and end-all of the game.
League Two side Newport County held a Premiership Tottenham Hotspur to a draw at home, managing a replay at Wembley. Following this, in the 5th round, relegation battling Rochdale from League One also attained a replay against Spurs. Additionally, in the 5th round, League One’s Wigan Athletic beat Manchester City, destroying their hopes of achieving the quadruple.
These particular matches conformed to the opinions that success in football comes from passion and determination, rather than the materialistic elements of the game. On the other hand, it could also be argued that money is a large incentive for lower league clubs when they get the opportunity to play big teams. Reaching the Fifth Round of the FA Cup accumulates circa £200,000, which is an unthinkable amount of money to a struggling lower league side.
Money seems to have taken over the game in the past decade, however, we still see promises that traditional factors are remaining dominant in the game.
What is your opinion? Let us know in the comments below!