Rise of the petro-giants: PSG, Manchester City and Chelsea eclipse old guard | Jonathan Wilson

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Jonathan Wilson

The travails of the traditional European elite as new money dominated the transfer window suggest things have changed

In times of crisis, the winners are usually the rich. As clubs across Europe continue to struggle against the financial impact of the pandemic, the lesson of this transfer window is that the powerful are mopping up. Or at least they are if they are well-run, which rules out the two Spanish giants and several clubs in Italy.

The transfers of the two players who have defined football for a generation understandably generated great excitement, with fans camping out at the airport in Paris to welcome Lionel Messi and queuing round the block to buy a shirt with his name on the back while Manchester United’s share price rose by almost 10% on the news of Cristiano Ronaldo’s signing before falling back slightly. That will excite executives and seem to vindicate the outlay, although whether those upticks are sustainable enough to pay both players’ vast wages is less certain.

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