THE Mainland Premier League that officially climaxed on May 28, with 20 teams on the bandwagon, was highly competitive, but had its hitches as well.
The race for the league silverware was hotly contested during the league season was a long period, but towards its climax, it was the fight for survival that caught the public attention. For the winners Simba, runners-up Young Africans or second runners up Azam, they know clearly that what placed them at the top was superior professionalism in playing and managing players.
Ahead of the coming season, there will be a transfer period.
If a week is a long time in politics, then a month in football can seem like an eternity. The Mainland Premier League transfer window is now a well-established tradition that can tease, delight and disappoint supporters in equal measure, delivering a ceaseless flow of news and half news all wrapped up in eye-watering spending by the clubs.
It is therefore of little wonder that major competition for experienced players will drive up transfer values and annual salaries. So, what can we expect from this window? But let’s think about the strategy for a moment here.
Should clubs look to invest in youth with a view to a more long-term developmental strategy or throw the kitchen sink at signing experienced players for big money?
For many at the bottom end of the league, it is the latter strategy that often takes hold despite the returns being so difficult to obtain. Spending beyond your means does not always guarantee success.
It is true that evidence suggests that most successful clubs with the most spending power do often outperform their rivals, but the tradeoff between financial and sporting performance is hazardous, and many clubs now need to chase multiple objectives.
So, what does this tell us? Well, it tells us that whether your club is struggling, or even challenging for trophies, the temptation is always to spend your way out of trouble.
Buying new players appeases the terraces and might even buy the manager some more time. New signings often rekindle the feel good factor, but spending money on the wrong players is often worse than doing nothing at all.
We, therefore, urge our football administrators to better plan the next league season so as to avoid undue advantage situations from arising.
A well-planned league is conducive to prospective investors, sponsors and other stakeholders who are considered essential to development of the game.