A rather weary Boggs ponders that age old distinction of being a ‘Big Club’. And yes, Tottenham are a ‘big’ club…IN HIS MIND.
The mythical status of being a ‘Big Club’ is one that is argued with annoying regularity on message boards and between rival supporters. The idea of somehow being superior to another club regardless of any competitive success.
No one can even define what makes a ‘Big Club’, you’ll hear financial strength, size of stadium, trophies won, quality of players, historical icons, historical style of play, size of fan base, volume of transfer speculation, number of bearded goalkeepers, quality of half time pies.
Is it simply restricted to reputation in England, or globally? The list goes on and on.
The easiest one is that the more trophies you have won, the ‘bigger’ the club, but Chelsea is putting that theory to the test. A simple look to the left bar of this site reveals a rather heated mass argument over how history will remember Abramovich’s revolution. Portsmouth are following suit, their fans are amongst the best so will Gaydamak’s millions turn them ‘Big’?
No club and no supporter wants to feel as though their club is somehow less important than another despite whatever glaring evidence there is to the contrary, especially rivals. For Tottenham vs Arsenal disputes, the notion of the traditional ‘Big Club’ has been all that Spurs have been able to cling to for about a decade. The same applies to Everton and Liverpool while you wouldn’t find it particularly difficult to find someone ready to strip Manchester United of their status.
A few feathers also got ruffled at West Ham recently after Carlton Cole accidentally spoke while still having both feet firmly planted in his mouth but Newcastle are probably the current model of the trophyless ‘Big Club’. The Intertoto cup this summer would represent their first bit of silverware in years and yet they are still able to draw the likes of Michael Owen, Damien Duff and certainly consider themselves to have status greatly exceeding their trophy cabinet.
So we’d like to hear two things from you:
1) What really defines a ‘Big Club?
2) Who – right now – are the 7 ‘Biggest’ clubs in England, in order, and why?