Man City’s break with Haaland – kicker

The Haaland transfer is a novelty for Manchester City – and could still become a problem for the Premier League. A comment.

Soon to be in the same jersey: John Stones and Erling Haaland (right).
picture alliance/dpa

When one of the highest paid footballers in the world is being hailed as a bargain, you can only be in the Premier League. No matter which expert commented on Tuesday in the English media – and it was pretty much all of them – Manchester City’s signing of Erling Haaland was at least considered a great deal.

“Very expensive for those who can’t afford it, a good deal for those who can,” summarized the “Guardian” and could have meant the German real estate market.

In any case, there are gaps between poor and rich, between rich and very rich; between the Premier League, which came close to winning the Champions League final for the second time in a row, and the rest of football Europe; between Man City, who may soon be champions for the fourth time in five years, and the rest of the English league.

For the first time Man City buys a superstar

Because Haaland’s transfer is a novelty even for ManCity: other newcomers have also been expensive, but for the first time the Abu Dhabi club is buying a real superstar without first developing it into one. What failed last year with Harry Kane and apparently this summer with Paul Pogba can be interpreted as a break with previous transfer policy that threatens to distance national competition.

“Unfortunately, this is a very good transfer,” said Liverpool coach Jürgen Klopp on Tuesday. “Very good” for Man City, “unfortunately” for everyone else.

The Premier League still has an exceptional position because the title is not awarded weeks before the last matchday and a Cristiano Ronaldo team can miss the European Cup. But their special form of balance, because all members are rich thanks to unrestrained openness to investors, is increasingly crumbling.

And that should also be a warning to anyone who can imagine doing something similar in the Bundesliga to break Bayern’s crippling dominance. A league in which everyone gets richer does not automatically become more exciting, but only automatically richer.