If someone from a foreign country asked you, let’s say 12 months’ hence; “who are the real kings of English football today?” what would you tell them – and why would that be exactly?
Of course, you’d first have to put aside your personal preferences, likes and dislikes etc. And if you’re being brutally honest with yourself, you’d still probably respond, albeit begrudgingly, with a “Man United” response.
But how long will that hold true for? After all, if anyone had asked you the same question in the mid-1980s, you’d have had to respond with an equally begrudging “Liverpool” even though Manchester United were still getting bigger attendances at the time.
That’s because the title of the “biggest club” depends upon a whole host of factors including numbers of supporters, attendances at the ground, trophies in the cabinet, spending ability today and the whole gamut of history.
And we’d all apportion different scores to these factors depending on our age and personal preferences etc. But it’s probably fair to say that the biggest clubs in the whole history of English football are Man United, Liverpool, and Arsenal, and probably in that order (though there are predictably opposing views on this).
Quite what the future holds; nobody has any real idea because things change so quickly in the game today that anything is possible. After all, it’s just 19 years since Blackburn Rovers were the wealthiest club in the league – outbidding Man United for the services of one Alan Shearer, for example, who helped them land the Premier League title in 1995.
The bottom line, however, albeit a depressing one, is that money talks on today’s game. And it wouldn’t take long for the two biggest spenders in English football (namely Chelsea and Man City) to become the biggest names given the short memories of the Internet age.
But if you want your club to get up the rankings, then you’d better win the Christmas lottery draw that attracts millions of Spanish players quickly – as it’s the really “big one or win the Lottery or Euro Lottery – and even then, you probably won’t make much of a dent in the overall standings!