Derek Davis' Championship Chatter

WHETHER you think Chelsea just bought the title or Jose Mourinho deserves the accolade he won this week as the world's No. 1 football coach - one thing is for sure: Manchester United, for all their wealth, Liverpool, Arsenal and the rest are all also-rans.

WHETHER you think Chelsea just bought the title or Jose Mourinho deserves the accolade he won this week as the world's No. 1 football coach - one thing is for sure: Manchester United, for all their wealth, Liverpool, Arsenal and the rest are all also-rans.

Because Chelsea didn't win the Champions' League then they have to go out and tinker with the squad by buying in another big player with Michael Ballack top of the list.

The one thing money can't buy is a player that just doesn't want to go to the London side - Steven Gerrard last season, Thierry Henry this year.

So Chelsea may or may not win the most coveted European prize but they will probably walk the Premiership again and you can't argue that money has not played a part.


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Back in January the Pittsburgh Steelers won the Super Bowl but American football fans are safe in the knowledge that they, nor the other finalists Seattle Seahawks, will waltz away with the Vince Lombardi Trophy again next year.

Although both are great franchises with fantastic players, the very essence of the National Football League is that the richest don't necessarily stay the biggest and the best and that is simply because they share revenue.

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They also keep a lid on the colossal finances and make sure no mega-millionaire can buy his way to a title by salary-capping clubs.

The current agreement has been renewed leaving each club with just under £60million each in which to pay the wages. There are no transfer fees, because players are free agents when their contracts expire but also enjoy collective bargaining where the clubs have to pay a minimum salary, and that is whether the player plays one game or 21.

The clubs maintain a status quo because the revenue is dished out evenly and the top 15 clubs making the most money outside of the television deals also contribute more to the fund.

It works well in the States because they are dealing with a relatively-small number of clubs but the principle needs to be looked at here and on the continent.

ALAN Pardew is no more a racist than you or I for wanting English players to blossom in this country. Nor for one minute do I think he was being xenophobic for saying Arsenal's victory in the Champions' League is hardly a feather in the cap for British clubs as none of the players that actually played are from these isles.

True, they play in the Premiership, and for that reason alone I would like to see them triumph over the first, second, third and fourth-best of the rest of Europe's clubs for the oddly-named top prize in Europe.

There is no doubt that foreign players have enhanced the football of this country but we have many top players to be proud of too and we should not lose the best of our youth because it is cheaper to import second-rate European players than grow our own.

The sooner the quotas being touted by FIFA are brought in the better. They my not be the complete answer because clubs will use loopholes, but if one more lad from the playing fields of Colchester, Ipswich or Felixstowe, for example, makes it to the professional level due to the rules, then let us get it done.

GEORGE Burley is already planning ahead for next season and has appointed Charlton reserve team boss Glyn Snodin as his right hand man.

The Southampton head coach got to know the former Leeds United defender when they did their pro-licence together and their friendship has blossomed.

Snodin led Charlton's second string to the Premier League (South) title in successive years after Burley's best mate Dale Roberts won the same prize with Ipswich before he died.

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