On "buying" vs. "developing" players

On "buying" vs. "developing" players

Post by Loris Magna » Mon, 21 Aug 1995 04:00:00


Quote:
>I think you forget that Franck Rijkaard began his career at Ajax before
>joining Milan later. He is more an Ajax product than a Milan product.
>BTW, Ajax has the ability to produce lots of players like that. Instead of
>Milan who only BUYS players.

>Regards, Henri.

And what is wrong with BUYING players?

What you are dealing with here, Henri and all the others who make a big
deal about how Ajax develops players, is a question of philosophy.

Ajax's philosophy is to sink a lot of money in their youth system (a lot
more than the other Dutch team, eh, lads?) and then to skim the cream
from this admittedly very efficient system. They then sell these players
to clubs like Milan or Inter or Barcelona and re-invest the money they
make in their youth system.  The coaches, scouts, trainers, etc. in
the Ajax youth system don't work for free.  Therefore, the Ajax youth
system needs $$$ to function.  

Milan's philosophy is different.  They feel they get more out of their
$$$ by buying established players rather than investing in a youth system.
Probably, given the greater numbers of good teams in the Italian League
than in the Dutch League, this is wise strategy because it would take
a proportionately greater share of the overall $$$ available in the
Italian League for young players for Milan
to corner the italian youth market the way Ajax has cornered the Dutch
(and Surinamese and Indonesian, right lads?) market.  So Milan prefers to
invest their money in this fashion.  Given their results OVER 5 DECADES
(!!!!!) I'm not going to argue against this philosophy.

So you see, you may like blue and I may like red, but you can't convince
me that blue is better than red and I can't convice you that red is better
than blue.  This is a matter of esthetics, or if you let me stretch a bit,
philosophy.

So your pride in developing players is fine, but I have pride in Milan's
long, intelligent selection of outstanding foreign talent:

off the top of my head:

Ettore Puricelli
Gunnar Nordhal
Niels Liedholm
Gunnar Gren
Dino Sani
Juan Schiaffino
Jose Altafini
Amarildo
Sormani
Karl-Heinz Schnellinger
Ernesto Grillo
Kurt Hamrin
Jimmy Greaves (!!)  9 goals in 10 games in 1961 before deciding he didn't like
                    Italy
Mark Hateley
Ray Wilkins
Rudd Gullit
Marco Van Basten
Frankie Rijkaard
Weah
Savicevic
Boban
JP Papin

It is no coincidence that Milan's worst international (and national) post-war
period coincided with the effects of Italy's closed frontiers to
foreigners from the mid-sixties to the early 80's.  (Milan was still
a power in the late sixties and early seventies because foreign players
already in Italy could still play for italian teams - e.g. Schnellinger
and Hamrin. When the internal supply ran out, Milan's decline began:
No appearances in European finals from 1975 to 1987).

You see, Juventus and Inter (to a lesser
extent) have historically dominated the internal
italian market.  Without foreign players, Milan was not able to compete
with those two teams.  

With foreign players available and Milan's PHILOSOPHY of getting the
best available,  Milan can compete with ANYONE. And their record shows it.

If you wish to stop A.C. Milan just do what Italy did in the mid-sixties.
Close the foreign transfer market (no longer possible, by the way, because
of EEC considerations).   Since this is no longer possible, you are
"stuck" with a powerful A.C. Milan at least through the end of the century.

Cheers,
Loris

 
 
 

On "buying" vs. "developing" players

Post by Arthur Mande » Mon, 21 Aug 1995 04:00:00

[Interesting article about AC Milan's ability to select outstanding
players for their team deleted].

Quote:
>And what is wrong with BUYING players?

     Nothing is wrong with it, I suppose, from the standpoint of
success. But isn't there something distasteful about forming your
team by buying players? Isn't there something nice about having
some semblance of homegrown talent, of having a sense of constancy
to a team, of not establishing a sports hierarchy merely based on
the wealth the Italian communications entrepreneur or the Colombian
drug cartel (or so on and so on) who own the teams?
     Isn't one thing we like about the World Cup that the players on
the team are actually from the country they are representing?

     Note that I am not the original poster, and so I am not defending
Ajax here. I am merely arguing with your point that there is "nothing
wrong" with a team's success based on its ability to buy a team. Maybe
you disagree with me, and I am curious to hear your arguments.

                         Sincerely,

                         Arthur Mandel


 
 
 

On "buying" vs. "developing" players

Post by Gabriele Marcot » Mon, 21 Aug 1995 04:00:00

: >I think you forget that Franck Rijkaard began his career at Ajax before
: >joining Milan later. He is more an Ajax product than a Milan product.
: >BTW, Ajax has the ability to produce lots of players like that. Instead of
: >Milan who only BUYS players.
: >
: >Regards, Henri.

: And what is wrong with BUYING players?

: What you are dealing with here, Henri and all the others who make a big
: deal about how Ajax develops players, is a question of philosophy.

: Ajax's philosophy is to sink a lot of money in their youth system (a lot
: more than the other Dutch team, eh, lads?) and then to skim the cream
: from this admittedly very efficient system. They then sell these players
: to clubs like Milan or Inter or Barcelona and re-invest the money they
: make in their youth system.  The coaches, scouts, trainers, etc. in
: the Ajax youth system don't work for free.  Therefore, the Ajax youth
: system needs $$$ to function.  

: Milan's philosophy is different.  They feel they get more out of their
: $$$ by buying established players rather than investing in a youth system.
: Probably, given the greater numbers of good teams in the Italian League
: than in the Dutch League, this is wise strategy because it would take
: a proportionately greater share of the overall $$$ available in the
: Italian League for young players for Milan
: to corner the italian youth market the way Ajax has cornered the Dutch
: (and Surinamese and Indonesian, right lads?) market.  So Milan prefers to
: invest their money in this fashion.  Given their results OVER 5 DECADES
: (!!!!!) I'm not going to argue against this philosophy.

: So you see, you may like blue and I may like red, but you can't convince
: me that blue is better than red and I can't convice you that red is better
: than blue.  This is a matter of esthetics, or if you let me stretch a bit,
: philosophy.

: So your pride in developing players is fine, but I have pride in Milan's
: long, intelligent selection of outstanding foreign talent:
:  
: off the top of my head:

: Ettore Puricelli
: Gunnar Nordhal
: Niels Liedholm
: Gunnar Gren
: Dino Sani
: Juan Schiaffino
: Jose Altafini
: Amarildo
: Sormani
: Karl-Heinz Schnellinger
: Ernesto Grillo
: Kurt Hamrin
: Jimmy Greaves (!!)  9 goals in 10 games in 1961 before deciding he didn't like
:                     Italy
: Mark Hateley
: Ray Wilkins
: Rudd Gullit
: Marco Van Basten
: Frankie Rijkaard
: Weah
: Savicevic
: Boban
: JP Papin

: It is no coincidence that Milan's worst international (and national) post-war
: period coincided with the effects of Italy's closed frontiers to
: foreigners from the mid-sixties to the early 80's.  (Milan was still
: a power in the late sixties and early seventies because foreign players
: already in Italy could still play for italian teams - e.g. Schnellinger
: and Hamrin. When the internal supply ran out, Milan's decline began:
: No appearances in European finals from 1975 to 1987).

: You see, Juventus and Inter (to a lesser
: extent) have historically dominated the internal
: italian market.  Without foreign players, Milan was not able to compete
: with those two teams.  

: With foreign players available and Milan's PHILOSOPHY of getting the
: best available,  Milan can compete with ANYONE. And their record shows it.

: If you wish to stop A.C. Milan just do what Italy did in the mid-sixties.
: Close the foreign transfer market (no longer possible, by the way, because
: of EEC considerations).   Since this is no longer possible, you are
: "stuck" with a powerful A.C. Milan at least through the end of the century.

Or at least  until Berlsuconi's money runs out. :)

: Cheers,
: Loris

Loris, I understand Milan is an emotional subject and I agree with most
of what you say but the real reason Milan (like most top Italian teams)
can't rely on home-grown talent is different.
Italy is a much bigger country than Holland - eighty percent of Dutch
youngsters live within an hour's drive of Amsterdam, so it is not
difficult to get them to join Ajax, since they won't be far away from
their families. In Italy, it is much different - getting a kid from
Sicily or Florence or Naples to come to the fog, gloom and doom of Milan
is very difficult (especially when one considers Italian mothers and
grandmothers). In addition, Ajax does not have the same kind of
competition for young players that Milan faces in Italy, since Ajax is
clearly number one, whereas Milan must deal with Juventus, Lazio, Roma,
Torino, Genoa, Sampdoria, Fiorentina, Napoli, Inter, etc. to get young
players. Thus prestige alone won't convince a kid.

Gabriele

 
 
 

On "buying" vs. "developing" players

Post by Gabriele Marcot » Mon, 21 Aug 1995 04:00:00


: [Interesting article about AC Milan's ability to select outstanding
: players for their team deleted].

: >And what is wrong with BUYING players?

:      Nothing is wrong with it, I suppose, from the standpoint of
: success. But isn't there something distasteful about forming your
: team by buying players? Isn't there something nice about having
: some semblance of homegrown talent, of having a sense of constancy
: to a team, of not establishing a sports hierarchy merely based on
: the wealth the Italian communications entrepreneur or the Colombian
: drug cartel (or so on and so on) who own the teams?

We may have domineering, exploiting, overly capitalistic, bourgeois,
government-subsidized bastards owning Italian teams (Juventus and
Agnelli), but to my knowledge we don't have drug lords.

:      Isn't one thing we like about the World Cup that the players on
: the team are actually from the country they are representing?

:      Note that I am not the original poster, and so I am not defending
: Ajax here. I am merely arguing with your point that there is "nothing
: wrong" with a team's success based on its ability to buy a team. Maybe
: you disagree with me, and I am curious to hear your arguments.

Ajax just buys the players at a younger age. Instead of luring in all the
talent in sight with millions, they do it with the promise of future
millions. It's essentially the same thing.

:      
:                          Sincerely,

:                          Arthur Mandel

 
 
 

On "buying" vs. "developing" players

Post by JWil » Mon, 21 Aug 1995 04:00:00


:Nothing is wrong with it, I suppose, from the standpoint of
:success. But isn't there something distasteful about forming your
:team by buying players? Isn't there something nice about having
:some semblance of homegrown talent, of having a sense of constancy
:to a team, of not establishing a sports hierarchy merely based on
:the wealth the Italian communications entrepreneur or the Colombian
:drug cartel (or so on and so on) who own the teams?
:     Isn't one thing we like about the World Cup that the players on
:the team are actually from the country they are representing?

:     Note that I am not the original poster, and so I am not defending
:Ajax here. I am merely arguing with your point that there is "nothing
:wrong" with a team's success based on its ability to buy a team. Maybe
:you disagree with me, and I am curious to hear your arguments.

When the issue of buying vs. developing players is discussed
in today's context, one has to be realistic enough to acknowledge
that an ever-increasing amount of the football talent playing in European
leagues today comes from outside of Europe, and therefore is developed
somewhere else.  This has been true of South American and Central
American players for some time, but now is becoming increasingly
true of African players as well.  And even while Ajax is to be
commended for their dedication to developing youth talent, all of their
young players are not local.  Also, if one thinks back to the Champion's
League final between Ajax and Milan, Ajax actually started the same
number of foreign players as Milan (Litmanen and Finidi vs.
Desailly and Boban).  I also believe that Ajax have added a top Brazilian
defender to the team this season.

My point is simply that no one country holds a monopoly on football
talent, and as long as money and prestige remain in playing football
in European leagues, it is reasonable to assume that these leagues
will continue to attract the cream of the world's football talent
for the forseeable future.  Therefore, teams that want to win are
going to have to continue to look outside of their own systems and
their own countries for top talent when it becomes available.
Even Ajax, with all of its homegrown talent, is no exception.  

 
 
 

On "buying" vs. "developing" players

Post by Arthur Mande » Tue, 22 Aug 1995 04:00:00


Quote:
>We may have domineering, exploiting, overly capitalistic, bourgeois,
>government-subsidized bastards owning Italian teams (Juventus and
>Agnelli), but to my knowledge we don't have drug lords.

     Sorry. I wasn't trying to imply that drug lords own Italian teams.
I was speaking of sports (or at least soccer/football) in general.
I believe certain Colombian teams have morally shaky owners (although
I am not sure of this -- more information would be appreciated from
those in the know.)

Quote:
>Ajax just buys the players at a younger age. Instead of luring in all the
>talent in sight with millions, they do it with the promise of future
>millions. It's essentially the same thing.

     Again, I am not defending Ajax. I am merely questioning whether we
like it that a team's success is related to the wealth of its ownership.

                               Sincerely,

                               Arthur Mandel

 
 
 

On "buying" vs. "developing" players

Post by Ben L » Tue, 22 Aug 1995 04:00:00


says...

Quote:
>Loris, I understand Milan is an emotional subject and I agree with most
>of what you say but the real reason Milan (like most top Italian teams)
>can't rely on home-grown talent is different.
>Italy is a much bigger country than Holland - eighty percent of Dutch
>youngsters live within an hour's drive of Amsterdam, so it is not
>difficult to get them to join Ajax, since they won't be far away from
>their families. In Italy, it is much different - getting a kid from
>Sicily or Florence or Naples to come to the fog, gloom and doom of Milan
>is very difficult (especially when one considers Italian mothers and
>grandmothers). In addition, Ajax does not have the same kind of
>competition for young players that Milan faces in Italy, since Ajax is
>clearly number one, whereas Milan must deal with Juventus, Lazio, Roma,
>Torino, Genoa, Sampdoria, Fiorentina, Napoli, Inter, etc. to get young
>players. Thus prestige alone won't convince a kid.

>Gabriele

Ajax is not N.O. 1 either, there are also PSV and Feyonond(?) boasting huge
amount of cash and abudance of talent.
 
 
 

On "buying" vs. "developing" players

Post by Loris Magna » Tue, 22 Aug 1995 04:00:00

Quote:
>    Nothing is wrong with it, I suppose, from the standpoint of
>success. But isn't there something distasteful about forming your
>team by buying players?

Not from my point of view...this is what I was saying in my original
article.  It's going to vary from person to person.
 When I was a boy growing up in Milan, my favorite player was
Gianni Rivera.  But my second favorite player was Karl-Heinz "Carletto"
Schnellinger.  We all knew he was German, but that didn't stop us from
considering him one of our own.  Because he wore the "maglia rossonera"
(red-and-black shirt).  It's the colors (in the American street gang
sense) that are important.  Players come and players go, but the colors
always remain.  As long as a player wears the red-and-black with honor,
I really, honestly don't care one iota where he comes from.

When Frank Rijkaard came to Trieste to play the return match of the
Ajax-Milan series from the first round of the Champions League he was
cheered so mightily by the Milan fans that it brought tears to his eyes.
(so he said, anyway)...what's distasteful about that?  He set up
Kluivert's goal in the final to beat Milan.  Do you think that the
next time he comes to Milan (maybe for an old-timer's game) he will be
cheered any less ? I don't think so.  The reason is because while he
wore the red-and-black, he honored those colors with his play,
and so he honored us (the Milan fans), and so we will honor him always.
The fact that he's dutch doesn't enter into it one bit.  

That's the emotional argument.  The rational one is that Italy is a fairly
large European country.  Milan is made up of players from all over Italy.
Actually very few are from Milano or even Lombardia.
 So, to me, as a milanese, it never mattered
that someone came from Padova, or Roma, or Napoli, or by extension, Stuttgart,
or Vienna.  Maybe in Holland all Ajax players come from Amsterdam because
that's where their youth program is...but that's not going to work in a country
as large as Italy....

Quote:
>     Note that I am not the original poster, and so I am not defending
>Ajax here. I am merely arguing with your point that there is "nothing
>wrong" with a team's success based on its ability to buy a team. Maybe
>you disagree with me, and I am curious to hear your arguments.

I don't expect you to agree with me, because as I said in my original
argument this business comes down to a matter of opinion.  But at least
you know where I stand.   From my perspective, it's the Red-and-Black
which is most important.  Where the man comes from is a detail (like the
colors of his eyes, or hair) which is interesting but does not matter
to me.

Cheers,
Loris

 
 
 

On "buying" vs. "developing" players

Post by Gabriele Marcot » Tue, 22 Aug 1995 04:00:00


: says...
: >Loris, I understand Milan is an emotional subject and I agree with most
: >of what you say but the real reason Milan (like most top Italian teams)
: >can't rely on home-grown talent is different.
: >Italy is a much bigger country than Holland - eighty percent of Dutch
: >youngsters live within an hour's drive of Amsterdam, so it is not
: >difficult to get them to join Ajax, since they won't be far away from
: >their families. In Italy, it is much different - getting a kid from
: >Sicily or Florence or Naples to come to the fog, gloom and doom of Milan
: >is very difficult (especially when one considers Italian mothers and
: >grandmothers). In addition, Ajax does not have the same kind of
: >competition for young players that Milan faces in Italy, since Ajax is
: >clearly number one, whereas Milan must deal with Juventus, Lazio, Roma,
: >Torino, Genoa, Sampdoria, Fiorentina, Napoli, Inter, etc. to get young
: >players. Thus prestige alone won't convince a kid.
: >
: >Gabriele

: Ajax is not N.O. 1 either, there are also PSV and Feyonond(?) boasting huge
: amount of cash and abudance of talent.

It's not the same thing. Ajax has traditionally been head and shoulders
above the other two. Furthermore, there is a massive gap between Ajax,
PSV and Feyenoord and the rest of the dutch league, in terms of wealth
and resources.

Gabriele

 
 
 

On "buying" vs. "developing" players

Post by Giuseppe Valet » Thu, 24 Aug 1995 04:00:00


|>
|> >You and I must be one of the few "thinkers of days gone by". Your point
|> >is well taken - it is much more fun playing on a team that is "developed"
|> >rather than one that is bought and the same thing holds true from the
|> >spectators view point. But money is everything......
|>
|>     I wonder how "few" we really are. My guess is that most people are not
|> like Loris -- but to each his own, I suppose. He certainly is on the side
|> of history.
|>
|>                          Sincerely,
|>
|>                          Arthur Mandel

|>

I also agree with your idea: to me there is something inherently wrong
and even unethical (at least when we see excesses like in the case of
AC Milan or Juventus in Italy) in the "supermarket" attitude of many
big-money clubs.
Don't forget that by buying the best players around, clubs don't just
make themself better, but at the same time weaken the possible opponents,
both at the national and international level.
This has been consistently a strategy for Milan (and, I am sure, for other clubs)
in its latest years of success: rememeber that for example Savicevic was hired
and then experienced little playing time for a year or so, sitting mostly out
while other 3 foreign players were chosen to play. There was a time
2 seasons ago in which AC Milan had 7 (!!!) foreign players simultaneously
on the team (which meant 4 international all-stars seeing NO playing time
each given Sunday).
The Savicevic deal was done since there were consistent rumors that he
was going to join some other top Italian team (I can't remember now,
but possibly Inter) and AC Milan did not want to risk that.
So they just handed out  another couple of million dollars or so
to him (and,for sure,to his agent) and got away with a contract for "the Genius".
Another example (at the italian level) was Di Napoli, then a
consistent national-squad member, who was hired by Milan and saw virtually
nothing but the bench for three years or so. But I am sure that he has retired
as a much richer man than if he had remained at Napoli, which was his previous
side (and at the time was the most serious competitor of AC milan in Serie A).

As a fan of Torino, which is (together perhaps with Cremonese and Atalanta)
the team in Italy that consistently develops the best young Serie A players
every year, (names like Marchegiani,
Dino Baggio, Crippa, Benito Carbone, Lentini just in the last few years)
but has little (if any) financial power, and sees its young stars always leaving
for richer clubs that are too lazy to develop good players on their own
(how has AC Milan fared at the "Primavera" level in, say, the last 15 years?
Those would also be interesting stats to post),
I am clearly in favor of a system that is more fair and just to little clubs,
perhaps a VERY STRICT salary cap mechanism, which should be studied in detail
to prevent the usual loopholes.

DISCLAIMER: I consistently took AC Milan as an example because it is the most
prominent case of this monopolistic attitude in Italy
in the latest years, and it is
therefore easier to relate to it for our international readers, NOT because it is
the only one; I could have talked about other teams and/or other periods.

                                                        Peppo

 
 
 

On "buying" vs. "developing" players

Post by Arthur Michael Mand » Thu, 24 Aug 1995 04:00:00


Quote:

>(red-and-black shirt).  It's the colors (in the American street gang
>sense) that are important.  Players come and players go, but the colors
>always remain.  As long as a player wears the red-and-black with honor,
>I really, honestly don't care one iota where he comes from.
>When Frank Rijkaard came to Trieste to play the return match of the
>Ajax-Milan series from the first round of the Champions League he was
>cheered so mightily by the Milan fans that it brought tears to his eyes.
>(so he said, anyway)...what's distasteful about that?  He set up
>Kluivert's goal in the final to beat Milan.  Do you think that the
>next time he comes to Milan (maybe for an old-timer's game) he will be
>cheered any less ? I don't think so.  The reason is because while he
>wore the red-and-black, he honored those colors with his play,
>and so he honored us (the Milan fans), and so we will honor him always.
>The fact that he's dutch doesn't enter into it one bit.  

     Just to clarify -- of course, a player's nationality doesn't matter
to me, either, in terms of club teams.
     I was really just bringing up the point that if a team is able to
change teams constantly, and buy and sell players at will, it seems
to me somewhat distancing. This doesn't happen as much in soccer/football
as it does in certain American sports, I feel, and this seems to me a
good thing. Do you disagree?

                          Sincerely,

                          Arthur Mandel

 
 
 

On "buying" vs. "developing" players

Post by Arthur Mande » Thu, 24 Aug 1995 04:00:00

Quote:

>You and I must be one of the few "thinkers of days gone by". Your point
>is well taken - it is much more fun playing on a team that is "developed"
>rather than one that is bought and the same thing holds true from the
>spectators view point. But money is everything......

    I wonder how "few" we really are. My guess is that most people are not
like Loris -- but to each his own, I suppose. He certainly is on the side
of history.

                         Sincerely,

                         Arthur Mandel

 
 
 

On "buying" vs. "developing" players

Post by Gabriele Marcot » Thu, 24 Aug 1995 04:00:00


: |>

: I also agree with your idea: to me there is something inherently wrong
: and even unethical (at least when we see excesses like in the case of
: AC Milan or Juventus in Italy) in the "supermarket" attitude of many
: big-money clubs.
: Don't forget that by buying the best players around, clubs don't just
: make themself better, but at the same time weaken the possible opponents,
: both at the national and international level.
: This has been consistently a strategy for Milan (and, I am sure, for other clubs)
: in its latest years of success: rememeber that for example Savicevic was hired
: and then experienced little playing time for a year or so, sitting mostly out
: while other 3 foreign players were chosen to play. There was a time
: 2 seasons ago in which AC Milan had 7 (!!!) foreign players simultaneously
: on the team (which meant 4 international all-stars seeing NO playing time
: each given Sunday).
: The Savicevic deal was done since there were consistent rumors that he
: was going to join some other top Italian team (I can't remember now,
: but possibly Inter) and AC Milan did not want to risk that.
: So they just han

: Another example (at the italian level) was Di Napoli, then a
: consistent national-squad member, who was hired by Milan and saw virtually
: nothing but the bench for three years or so. But I am sure that he has retired
: as a much richer man than if he had remained at Napoli, which was his previous
: side (and at the time was the most serious competitor of AC milan in Serie A).

: As a fan of Torino, which is (together perhaps with Cremonese and Atalanta)
: the team in Italy that consistently develops the best young Serie A players
: every year, (names like Marchegiani,
: Dino Baggio, Crippa, Benito Carbone, Lentini just in the last few years)
: but has little (if any) financial power, and sees its young stars always leaving
: for richer clubs that are too lazy to develop good players on their own
: (how has AC Milan fared at the "Primavera" level in, say, the last 15 years?
: Those would also be interesting stats to post),
: I am clearly in favor of a system that is more fair and just to little clubs,
: perhaps a VERY STRICT salary cap mechanism, which should be studied in detail
: to prevent the usual loopholes.

: DISCLAIMER: I consistently took AC Milan as an example because it is the most
: prominent case of this monopolistic attitude in Italy
: in the latest years, and it is
: therefore easier to relate to it for our international readers, NOT because it is
: the only one; I could have talked about other teams and/or other periods.

:                                                         Peppo

 
 
 

On "buying" vs. "developing" players

Post by Gunther P. Nack » Fri, 25 Aug 1995 04:00:00


Quote:

>Ajax just buys the players at a younger age. Instead of luring in all the
>talent in sight with millions, they do it with the promise of future
>millions. It's essentially the same thing.

No, I can't really agree to that. It makes a huge difference to find the real
talent in the mass of youth players and then still put in a tremendous effort
to develop this talents and 'produce' world class soccer players.

That is not about buying youth players, often they don't have to buy them,
they come from alone. It is about the most important thing to keep football
/soccer were it is now: at the very top of world sports.

If all clubs would just act like Milan, where would the good players come
from?? To me clubs like Milan are in a way just parasites, fueled by a lot
money, but without any real contribution to the future of the sport, just
to the presence !!!  Ajax' contribution to soccer thereby exceedes the
contribution of Milan by far!

Don't get me wrong, it's not bad for a club to have money! But it is not
only important to have it, it is also important how you use it. In every
business that produces something, it is important to do research to secure
future markets when the product life cycle of your current products is over.
From that point of view clubs like Milan are always in the danger of
bankruptsy,
as soon as the huge investments for buying developed players do not pay off
right away and the Goodfather/sponsor looses interest or ability to pump some
more million Dollars into the club.

GunNa

 
 
 

On "buying" vs. "developing" players

Post by Gabriele Marcot » Fri, 25 Aug 1995 04:00:00



: >
: >Ajax just buys the players at a younger age. Instead of luring in all the
: >talent in sight with millions, they do it with the promise of future
: >millions. It's essentially the same thing.
: >

: No, I can't really agree to that. It makes a huge difference to find the real
: talent in the mass of youth players and then still put in a tremendous effort
: to develop this talents and 'produce' world class soccer players.

A close friend of mine played in the Ajax youth system for six years, on
the same team as Kluivert and Seedorf. He told me that Ajax pulls in
hundreds of kids with even the smallest shred of talent and then keeps
them around as long as they still show some promise. This often means
giving up outside friendships, serious studies and time with family
members. While they are treated very well while they're there, when their
performance begins to lag, or when they shatter their kneecap in a
scrimmage (as happened to my friend) they are unceremoniously dumped. Now
I'm not saying only Ajax does this - most big teams do exactly the same
thing - but it shows that Ajax is not the big happy family that searches
out new talent that people think it is. It offers a lot of hard work,
sacrifices and shattered dreams for 99 percent of the kids it takes in.

: That is not about buying youth players, often they don't have to buy them,
: they come from alone. It is about the most important thing to keep football
: /soccer were it is now: at the very top of world sports.

They have a virtual monopoly in Holland and  they exploit. Nothing wrong
with that, but recognize that that is exactly what it is: there is not
much of free market.

: If all clubs would just act like Milan, where would the good players come
: from?? To me clubs like Milan are in a way just parasites, fueled by a lot
: money, but without any real contribution to the future of the sport, just
: to the presence !!!  Ajax' contribution to soccer thereby exceedes the
: contribution of Milan by far!

Again, let me premise that I hate Milan and like Ajax, but you're wrong
once again. Without the money of teams like Milan, many other teams like
Ajax could never maintain the huge youth system they have. BTW, did you
know that Milan actually spends more on its youth teams than Ajax does?

: Don't get me wrong, it's not bad for a club to have money! But it is not
: only important to have it, it is also important how you use it. In every
: business that produces something, it is important to do research to secure
: future markets when the product life cycle of your current products is over.
: From that point of view clubs like Milan are always in the danger of
: bankruptsy,
: as soon as the huge investments for buying developed players do not pay off
: right away and the Goodfather/sponsor looses interest or ability to pump some
: more million Dollars into the club.

That is sooooo simplistic. It's not about Godfathers (a very classy mafia
reference). It's simply that soccer is a much bigger sport in Italy than
it is in Holland, in terms of how many people fill the stadiums, how much
they're willing to pay to see the games and how big television contracts
are. Did you know Juventus actually made over 12 million dollars last
year? Or that Milan broke even? ***teams like Bari, Napoli and Genoa
routinely pack 40 or 50 thousand fans in their stadiums: how many dutch
teams can say that? Their owners aren't idiots, they're
shrewd businessmen who do not like burning money. Yes, their passion for
the team plays a part, but there is much more than that. They spend a lot
on their youth system, it's just that buying ready made players can
sometimes be easier.

: GunNa

BTW, how about a random comparison of five Milan-raised players in the
last ten years and five Ajax raised players:
Who's better: Van Basten, Rijkaard, Bergkamp, Overmars, Jonk or Baresi,
Maldini, Albertini, Evani, Costacurta.
You have to admit, Milan is not that far off.