Every summer for the last few years now the best and brightest players in the Barclays Premier League are stolen away by one of two clubs, either Barcelona or Real Madrid, and this has proven to be no exception so far as Luis Suarez left Liverpool for a vaguely obscene amount of money. Some had hoped that the massive influx of oil/gas money into the French league might redress the balance a bit across Europe, but aside for Paris Saint Germain and Bayern Munich there doesn’t appear to be a club capable of properly denying the Spanish giants what they want, and even the former are only able to do so with a massive budget themselves. When and if Real or Barca ever decide to come for the likes of Eden Hazard we might see a different outcome, but right now the Spanish division has the pulling power.
Javier Tebas is the league president where the rain falls mainly on the plains, and he has said this week the he’d like all the top players to operate in the Spanish league eventually. This would confirm it as the strongest in the world, but you can’t ignore the fact it would be terrible for the game over there overall and only shows how the Spanish system needs reform. In a league dominated totally and utterly by two massive clubs that can exercise their financial superiority even during a transfer ban any further strengthening of the top two would make the situation worse, and if Spain ever want to be where the Premier League is, in a place where as many as five clubs can compete for the league title or have world-class players they need to redress from within rather than splashing about in the money pit.
It may help Barca and Real in the short term if they can do a Bayern and weaken their opposition with every passing window but in the longer terms we’ve seen the damage a lack of domestic competition can do to any big club and there is no reason why it should be any different in this case. Individuals like Gareth Bale, James Rodriguez are happy to move while the money is good but can they be said to actually have proved anything after running through a dying competition? At the moment the answer seems to be yes, but if Mr Tebas gets his way and the talent drain to Spain continues eventually even the league title won’t matter a jot as a two-game season will decide the champion, and we’ll be looking at SPL2.