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Buy the way

Crystal Palace – Chelsea 1-2

Vieri, Thuram, Raul and Makelele, I bought them all. I had already Davids and Cannavaro at my pay roll at Crystal Palace. Why not! I was rich after all. Selhurst Park and Nationwide First division had never seen this expensive line-up before. I won promotion easily but was struggling to win The Premiership or The Champions League. My hunger for trophies was huge and I bought Buffon and Ferdinand as a final guarantee to reach my goals, which I eventually did. It is fun this Championship Manager with Playstation.

For some people Playstation isn’t enough. For them it is fun to play the same game in the real life. Chelsea’s new Russian owner Roman Abrahimowich doesn’t have a Playstation or he is bored with too much money in his pocket. For him fun and going shopping means for example buying a football club and a new starting line-up for it. Or actually trying to buy success.

This man can get anything he wants in life, because he has enough economical power for that. I instead in my computer game had to cheat and break the code to have the dove to buy anything. My managerial skills and patience in the game wasn’t good enough to produce any success. So I had to use the dirty money to buy all my favourite players.

Still my international players were all the time unhappy and I found it hard to find a combination of fitting all the stars in. I spend couple of late nights playing to solve these things out. I guess in real life it requires more than a cup of coffee and packet of Jaffa bisques to make a functional and successful team. After all we are talking about humans with real feelings, pressure and every day problems. Building up a team is not just having great names in the team sheet.

It is interesting to follow this Russian fun. Everyday the back pages of papers are filled of potential newcomers to Chelsea. I think they have tried to buy everyone else except me during last month. There are no limits to the owner’s ambition. You would think that Raul in Real Madrid or Vieri in Inter Milan are taboo area for any bids. But no! It has all changed, now everyone has a price.

Still I have to say that so far Chelsea’s signings have been quite good and sensible ones. The real problem will be to fit so many new and already existing great players into one functional and successful team. At least in Chelsea they must have a big parking lot and good name memory, and you never know who is coming in from the door next.

Chelsea will be watched closely all over the world this season. It will be interesting to see how they perform under such a huge pressure and envy of everyone. Chelsea is now the team everyone wants to beat and everyone wants to see to struggle. Great ambitions and power always creates great resistance and enemies. That is the price they have to pay. Plus that 80 millions already spend.

I had a chance to play against this all stars line-up at pre-season friendly at Selhurst Park. Most of their midfielders were worth more than the whole of our season budget. At the bench they had some world-class internationals. Not often I have been running in the same pitch with so many expensive legs. With the price of Duff you can have around 52 Riihilahtis. In that way I felt injustice that it was still only one of me against him at the pitch. Still the friendly was an even game, although there should never be put too much emphasis on these pre-season friendlies.

Money in football seemed to be calming down but now again the pounds are rolling. I don’t know if this kind of money spending is good for football. It surely makes The Premiership even stronger league and changes its power relations. Chelsea has bought themselves a title of being one of the Big Ones now and they have a limitless checks-book to buy more, which they will do. All this gives a pressure to other clubs. It also makes it problematic to pricing players. The same player will cost differently whether it is Charlton or Chelsea buying him.

On the other hand football was in a deep and painful recession and now these Russian roubles have given some life to the transfer markets. The results have been more money involved in football and more transfers happening in all levels when teams are recycling the money originally started from Chelsea. That can save some clubs when their assets, players so to say, have a value again when teams have restarted spending to fill the gaps made by transfers to bigger clubs.

How long term this Russian revolution is and what are its effects to English and worldwide football will only be realised in the future. One thing is for sure though: no matter how much tradition, structure and passion to football there is, still even one man with the money can change everything. And he says he is only having some fun!

The conservative football world is always thought itself to be too big and untouchable for any outside influence. Now it is proven that football is not a religion, money is! All the skills, tactics and sportmanship obey the power of money. Football is proud of its history and tradition but now the economical power are strongly involved in writing the next chapters. Football is a sport driven by money these days.

So let’s say in five years time Chelsea has won all the trophies and Mr Abrahimovich’ dreams are fulfilled. What happens after that? There is nothing more to achieve, he has had all his fun. I usually get bored with Playstation after I have played any game through. Then I want to change it to another game or buy a new one.

So does Mr Abrahimovich try then to swoop Chelsea to couple of cricket clubs and a rugby team? Or does NBA provide him more fun as a new real-life game? Or is he not a Playstation player at all and his passion to football is as big as any die hard Chelsea supporters? The answers lie in the future. Meanwhile we can just be entertained by following it.

- All easy problems have already been solved -

Unknown Aki

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