With the Saudi takeover of Newcastle, a £2.4bn takeover of Chelsea and a hint towards a Qatari takeover of Manchester United, Football is not shy of big spending. However, Football isn’t just to blame. Sports such as F1, UFC and Boxing are all ‘guilty’ of big spending and financial investments.
Take Joshua v Fury as an example, a fight that is being billed as possibly being the biggest boxing event in history. The fight would see two Englishmen go head-to-head and finally put an end to all the talk. Finally proving who really is number one. Although claims suggest the fight is unlikely to take place. Everyone knows the fight would rake in millions from box office sales alone.
Now, the fact that both Fury and AJ are Englishmen might lead you to believe that the fight would take place in the country of both fighters’ birth. After all, we do have one of the most iconic stadiums in the world. Well, during multiple interviews it seems as Wembley Stadium is not even in the top five preferred locations. This appears to be down to one thing: money.
This got us thinking- is money ruining sport?
2022 World cup
There is no denying the sheer money being pumped into elite sport these days. The numbers are astronomical, so much so that Qatar managed to win a bid to stage the 2022 World Cup. At the time of winning, it probably didn’t even have a handful of appropriate stadiums to host the matches. I’m sure the World Cup organisers will put their decision down to the fact that hosting the tournament will create lots of jobs and it will be fantastic for the region, etc. However, we can’t get away from the fact that they probably had the biggest purse.
We can also talk about the gigantic salaries in elite sport these days, the numbers are now officially out of control. In September of 2020, NFL star Patrick Mahomes signed a TEN-YEAR contract worth up to HALF-A-BILLION dollars. I mean, there’s no denying the young man’s ability, the sky is the limit, but, having said that, what happened to playing for the love of the game?
Don’t get me wrong, I’m not sitting here saying that I wouldn’t accept that sort of money to play the game I adore but at the rate we’re going, the majority of sports we know and love are going to be driven by money and money only, when the reason we initially enjoyed them was anything but.
I myself am a huge football fan and that is probably because it was so easy to play as a kid. For just £2 subs a week you had a place in a team. It’s a game for everyone, regardless of social status. However, now, with the amount of doe being pumped into the game, could it potentially be changing for the worse?
Take tennis and golf as another example, lessons for these sports can cost around £30 which means there’s an unfair advantage right from the off and these sports now seem tailored to apply to middle- and upper-class families and sport should never be like that.
So, is money ruining sport? One thing’s for sure, these numbers are going to get higher and higher as time goes on. I just hope we don’t lose ourselves along the way and forget why we fell in love with sport in the first place.