it is a mind-boggling sum of money. £1.3 bn. Or, put another way, one hundred and three billion pounds. That is the amount of cash spent by the 20 Premier League clubs ahead of their 2019/20 season which was starting this weekend.
Aston Villa, who weren’t even in the top flight last season, have splashed out over £120m on new players. They are one of 10 Premier League clubs who smashed their transfer record this summer. Newcastle, Arsenal, Brighton, West Ham, Manchester United, Leicester, Tottenham, Everton and Manchester City are the others.
Meanwhile, just two divisions below the Premier League, two of Pompey’s League One rivals face an uncertain future.
Bury have had their first two league games postponed by the Football League for financial reasons. They are a fortnight away from being kicked out of the professional game.
A few miles away, one of Pompey’s former Premier League rivals – Bolton – are also facing potential oblivion. They are not the only ones suffering either – Macclesfield and Notts County’s players went months without being paid recently.
Here in Portsmouth, we know full well the end result of spending beyond your means. Even raking in the Premier League millions couldn’t save Pompey from administration nine years ago. Yet the lessons still haven’t been learned, not everywhere.
There is something morally wrong with a sport that gives its elite clubs well over £100m a season, yet allows others to slide towards oblivion.
Of course, more people care about the likes of Liverpool and Manchester United than Bury, Bolton or Macclesfield.
But those that care for those latter clubs deserve a club to follow just as much as the glory-hunters who attach themselves leech-like to the elite.
If they soon don’t have one, football is the loser – from Manchester City to Moneyfields, and every club in between.