Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Didi Hamann hails foreign investment

Man City midfielder Dietmar Hamann thinks the club's takeover by rich foreign investors is the future of European football. Perhaps if he was a 16-year-old kid starting out and not a 35-year-old veteran, he would think differently!

The former German international, who scored the last goal at the old (read "real") Wembley, told a German website he expects English clubs to dominate the Champions League for the foreseeable future, and warned his countrymen that the gulf between the German league and those in England, Spain and Italy will continue to widen.

Hamman told Sport1: "That (foreign investment) is the model for the future. The fans here are overjoyed, it can only be a good thing for the players and the club. But if things continue, the gap between Germany and England, Spain and Italy will only grow wider. English teams have dominated the Champions League in recent years and will probably continue to do so,"

As an amusing aside, Man City are thought to be weighing-up massive January bids for both Germany international strikers - Mario Gomez and Lukas Podolski. Rumours on deadline day suggested they made an outrageous offer for Gomez just before the window shut, only to be rebuffed.

One interesting note in all of this is that the German league system has dropped behind the "Big Three" by quite some margin in recent years, meaning the chances of there ever being a "Big Four" system again are very slim. The only real question is which league will drop next - Spain or Italy?

Hopefully neither will try and compete with the transfer fees and wages - if they do, they run the risk of falling into the same abyss as the English system. Those in control in Italy and Spain would be far wiser to accept English domination for a few years in exchange for being well placed to return to the fore when the Premier League blows up.