How Can Clubs Compete Financially?

Man U, Man City, Arsenal and Chelsea are likely the four teams with the most money in the EPL and they occupy the top four spots.  This suggests that money seems to be the be-all and end-all to being a successful soccer club.  With this being the case, other clubs are really playing for consolation prizes and not the EPL title or Champions League glory.

So what are other clubs to do?  Do they settle for what life has given them?  Do they settle for a life of striving to stay in the EPL?  Maybe a slight hope of finishing in fourth place for a Champions League spot?  They really don't have any other options unless they get a rich billionaire owner like Chelsea and Man City have.  Or do they?

Here is a radical thought.  In the corporate world, companies often merge or acquire other companies so they can compete with the major players.  So why not do it with football clubs?  This will accomplish cutting of costs and expenditures, increase in fan support (revenue) and a therefore a more financially viable club that has a better chance to compete against the major players.

Just imagine if Sunderland and Newcastle merged to form a new club?  They would own the North East.  A Bolton and Blackburn merger would have a better chance.  Maybe a Birmingham and Aston Villa merger would be a Midlands powerhouse.  And there are all sorts of possibilites for the London clubs.

You could look all over the country and see opportunities for this.  Southampton and Portsmouth on the south coast, even my home town of Sheffield could merge Wednesday and United.

Another benefit of these mergers would be that they would be more attractive to potential new investors/owners.

But will it happen?  Not likely.  Well, not in the near future at least.  And why?  Tradition mostly.  Fans of the teams would rebel.  I just can't see the fans of Sheffield Wednesday or United, or any other potential merger to willingly accept losing their identity and starting all over again with a new club and have to share that with the "enemy"...the other supporting fans.

Which seems a shame really.  Think about it.  A potential new owner tells both clubs that he his willing to invest his money, but only if he can merge the two clubs.  He tells them by doing this, they will be financially able to compete better with the big clubs and that instead of fighting relegation every year or spending time in the Championship every few years, the new merged club could be fighting for a Champions League spot and entertaining games against the likes of Real Madrid, Inter Milan, etc.

For the new owner it would makes sense.  For any rational individual it would make sense.  But for a rabid, die hard supporter, it's not an option.

I think in years to come, the game will become more global.  Chances are Europe's top clubs will end up playing in their own league at some point anyway.  As this change starts taking shape, I think it will take a couple of forward thinking clubs and a rich owner who will actually get a merger done and then it will be like dominoes falling.

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