The expression ‘big clubs' is banded around much these days. You know the sort of teams - Newcastle, Aston Villa, Everton in the Premiership, Leeds United in the Championship.
Why are they big? Well they all have big home crowds – Newcastle regularly gets 52,000, the other three can all potentially get over 40,000. Granted it’s not as much as Manchester United but in these days of all-seater stadia these are big crowds.
These clubs have history – they’ve won things, in the case of Villa they were one of the founders of the league. But then again so were Preston and Notts County and look at them now.
But do big clubs deserve success just because they are big?
If you listen to some of the cliché-ridden commentaries of television football commentators, then the answer would have to be: ‘Yes.’
But I don’t get it.
No club has the right to success, it is sentimental to suggest otherwise.
It is part of the joy and glory of football that the small clubs can succeed, even if it is only for a short while - whether it is the likes of Wigan, Sheffield United or Watford in the Premiership (even if that last one of these is only going to manage a season there) Salisbury making it through to the second round of the FA Cup, or Accrington Stanley getting back into the league after 30 years.
It may be a British thing, but we all love the underdog, the small club and, ironically, we all dislike the big clubs just for their sheer size.
Or in the case of Chelsea we don’t like them because of their money, or we don’t like Man United because of their success.
Big clubs don’t deserve success because of they size. They may have big crowds and history, but they don’t have success because their teams are not good enough.
You wouldn’t find many Newcastle supporters who argue that their team is not good enough, even the most passionate Everton supporter couldn’t deny Liverpool have a better team than them, while Leeds will be just glad to stay up this season.
It’s years – even decades – since any of these clubs won anything worth winning and that’s because football has moved, while the people who own and run these clubs haven’t. That’s why ‘big’ clubs don’t deserve success.
Lawrence Gosling is group editorial director at Incisive Media (publisher of IFAonline).
The views expressed are those of the author and not those of the company he represents.IFAonline
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