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What defines 'plastic success' as opposed to 'genuine success'

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So a lot of teams are accused of 'plasticity', Chelsea, Manchester City, Paris Saint-Germain, and Blackburn Rovers. However, what is 'plastic success'? Is it simply 'buying the league'? However, how simple is 'buying the league?. You can't argue that all previous club only won because of money influx, it's just an apparent fact of football. However what about clubs that had a sustained success that perhaps was originally 'genuine success' but eventually snowballed into 'plasticity'. 

Manchester United for example. When Fergie first started winning at ManUtd, it was because of a fantastic youth academy, scouting and topping it off with the right transfers. It was genuine work of success with many factors going right at the same time. But what of the later years? Due to the initial success ManUtd was able to become one of the richest clubs in the world. With those riches they were able to monopolise the league by ensuring they always had the highest quality players available. Andy Cole, Roy Keane, Dwight Yorke, Ruud van Nistelrooy, Wayne Rooney, Rio Ferdinand, Teddy Sherringham,  Juan Sebastian Veron, Jaap Staam, were all expensive players and most were bought from league rivals. Would ManUtd been able to buy those plauyers without the initial success? Is plasticity and buying the league a side-affect of sustained success? Yes, there is a stark difference between foreign influx of money and club and league generated cash but at the core essence isn't using superior funds to ensure success the same thing?

For me, it's a particularly interesting question given the monetisation of football since the 90s.

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For me at least it's two things...  One part (the major one) is a club that was practically nothing (in the case of PSG founded in the 1970s) and all of a sudden is competing with the elite.  The second thing is when they practically take no notice of their academy.  There's nothing wrong with buying top players when you're a club competing against the best and want to maintain that because having a great academy you invest a lot of money to practically not use it means nothing.  Academies can't produce top of the range players in every position in every era because there are generations that for some reason come along and all of a sudden you find yourself with 4, 5 6 or maybe even more in the first team.  The proper use of an academy is seeing that players in a massive club still represent the club football school.

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1 minute ago, SirBalon said:

For me at least it's two things...  One part (the major one) is a club that was practically nothing (in the case of PSG founded in the 1970s) and all of a sudden is competing with the elite.  The second thing is when they practically take no notice of their academy.  There's nothing wrong with buying top players when you're a club competing against the best and want to maintain that because having a great academy you invest a lot of money to practically not use it means nothing.  Academies can't produce top of the range players in every position in every era because there are generations that for some reason come along and all of a sudden you find yourself with 4, 5 6 or maybe even more in the first team.  The proper use of an academy is seeing that players in a massive club still represent the club football school.

Agree a lot with this. Clubs spending money that they generate through selling merchandise, fanbase and everything else is fair enough. Rich Arabs pumping hundreds of millions into Manchester City though, for example? Fuck off. 

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8 minutes ago, Spike said:

However what about clubs that had a sustained success that perhaps was originally 'genuine success' but eventually snowballed into 'plasticity'. 

How is it possible to even avoid spending money either to keep players to buy better members to integrate into your squad? To me the word 'plastic' is relative. If a club spends 100mil because its accounts offer it to then its in a certain limit that doesn't mean a club that spends 10mil isn't really doing the same thing and breaching their spending limit either. Winning things just guarantees more cash inflow and when a club gets to that point then spending becomes imperative. 

As for the academies that's a choice that clubs have to make for future growth and if they totally neglect what they have in their youth systems to focus on winning the big tournaments by purchasing players then that's their view and their right to do so. We could all get romantic about the pure idea of football but at the end of the day anyone investing money in a club is looking at returns and to turn it into a profit at some point. Whether that materializes or not is based on decisions, timing and sometimes pure luck. 

I always thought the word plastic was reserved for fans who didn't really know much about their clubs and only cared about the scoreline for the day versus the club's philosophy, history and where they've been and the point they've gotten to over time.

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Every club 'buys' success pretty much. I suppose it's how they get the money. You can talk debt all you want but if it's serviceable by income, not a problem. Chelsea and City would disappear overnight as the clubs they are, as they are solely reliant on oil money, as are PSG. When I say Chelsea, they competed at a certain level, but not as champions or on a major European level regularly. Madrid would have disappeared by now if not for their continued support from the royal coffers in Spain and dodgy local land deals.

No teams are clean these days though. Football has become plastic at elite level.

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Well, a plastic club would basically refer to a club being bankrolled by a sugar daddy and the only identity of the club is one where they try and justify the spending of their sugar daddy. Any success from a club like that would basically be referred to as "plastic success".

Don't really use the term anymore when referring to Chelsea as their situation seems to have become more "normal". Man City are still capable of just spending a stupid amount of oil money on someone but they don't get as much shit as Chelsea did as they weren't the ones to usher in this new type of club and also because they seem to just waste money rather than make people feel like they're racing ahead of everyone because of their signings.

PSG at the moment seem the most plastic of clubs especially with how they compare to the other clubs in Ligue 1.

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25 minutes ago, DeadLinesman said:

Every club 'buys' success pretty much. I suppose it's how they get the money. You can talk debt all you want but if it's serviceable by income, not a problem. Chelsea and City would disappear overnight as the clubs they are, as they are solely reliant on oil money, as are PSG. When I say Chelsea, they competed at a certain level, but not as champions or on a major European level regularly. Madrid would have disappeared by now if not for their continued support from the royal coffers in Spain and dodgy local land deals.

No teams are clean these days though. Football has become plastic at elite level.

Surprisingly enough, Chelsea have actually been operating within their net income the last several years. Personally, I believe Chelsea has reached the point self-sufficiency but it never would have happened without the profile increase of the foreign billionaire.

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Another unfortunate side-affect to becoming a 'plastic club' is the disregarding of 'history' by fans and outsiders alike. Yes, Chelsea was never a consistently successful club but trophies aren't equitable to success. Just because there are less stories than other clubs doesn't  mean the stories aren't worth hearing. Peter Osgood, Roy Bentley, Kerry Dixon, Chopper Harris, Dennis Wise, Jimmy Greaves, the Leeds rivalry of the 70s, the near-death of the late 80s, and the foreign resurgence in the 90s; are all interesting tidbits of a club pre-oil money that even a foreigner like myself knows about. 

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39 minutes ago, Mel81x said:

How is it possible to even avoid spending money either to keep players to buy better members to integrate into your squad? To me the word 'plastic' is relative. If a club spends 100mil because its accounts offer it to then its in a certain limit that doesn't mean a club that spends 10mil isn't really doing the same thing and breaching their spending limit either. Winning things just guarantees more cash inflow and when a club gets to that point then spending becomes imperative. 

As for the academies that's a choice that clubs have to make for future growth and if they totally neglect what they have in their youth systems to focus on winning the big tournaments by purchasing players then that's their view and their right to do so. We could all get romantic about the pure idea of football but at the end of the day anyone investing money in a club is looking at returns and to turn it into a profit at some point. Whether that materializes or not is based on decisions, timing and sometimes pure luck. 

I always thought the word plastic was reserved for fans who didn't really know much about their clubs and only cared about the scoreline for the day versus the club's philosophy, history and where they've been and the point they've gotten to over time.

So you're ok with using an academy for football player speculation?  You loan them out and then reap the rewards in terms of financial gain!

It's ok to think that way but I don't see it romantic to think that local young lads coming through the system can't dream of one day putting on that club shirt and playing in the first team.

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Manchester United has two academy players in their teams; Rashford and Lingaard. It's indicitive of modern football that the first season they won under SAF had ten academy players (although some only made one/two appearances); Blackmore, Ferguson, Gillespie, Martin, Neville, Beckham, Butt, Giggs and Hughes.

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3 minutes ago, Spike said:

Manchester United has two academy players in their teams; Rashford and Lingaard. It's indicitive of modern football that the first season they won under SAF had ten academy players (although some only made one/two appearances); Blackmore, Ferguson, Gillespie, Martin, Neville, Beckham, Butt, Giggs and Hughes.

Barça have managed all 11 on the field at various points in recent years although it's been reduced somewhat recently. There are some brilliant ones one the verge of breaking through in the next three to four years though. 

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7 minutes ago, SirBalon said:

Barça have managed all 11 on the field at various points in recent years although it's been reduced somewhat recently. There are some brilliant ones one the verge of breaking through in the next three to four years though. 

Valdes, Puyol, Pique, Busquets, Iniesta, Xavi, Pedro, Messi, and?

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@SirBalon Real Madrid have flirted with academy players as well. Casillas, Casilla, Carvajal, Nacho, Vazquez, Morata, Granero, Llorente, Jese, Diego Lopez, Arbeloa,  and I'm sure a few others. They could actually have had a decent squad with Soldado, Negredo, Valero, Mata, Javi Garcia, Juanfran, Rodrigo, Saul, 

They could have had a decent team in the past few years

 Negredo - Morata

Mata

Saul - Valero - Garcia

Arbeloa - Nacho - Llorente - Carvajal

Casillas

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5 minutes ago, Spike said:

@SirBalon Real Madrid have flirted with academy players as well. Casillas, Casilla, Carvajal, Nacho, Vazquez, Morata, Granero, Llorente, Jese, Diego Lopez, Arbeloa,  and I'm sure a few others. They could actually have had a decent squad with Soldado, Negredo, Valero, Mata, Javi Garcia, Juanfran, Rodrigo, Saul, 

They could have had a decent team in the past few years

 Negredo - Morata

Mata

Saul - Valero - Garcia

Arbeloa - Nacho - Llorente - Carvajal

Casillas

Not bad although some of them never got to wear the first team shirt as you said. But "La Fábrica" is a top academy for sure. Villarreal's is one of the best at the moment. 

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4 minutes ago, Spike said:

I always forget Alba because he spent so much time away during  his developmental years.

There were loads in the squad then. Bartra, Sergi Roberto, Nolito and Samper. 

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1 hour ago, SirBalon said:

For me at least it's two things...  One part (the major one) is a club that was practically nothing (in the case of PSG founded in the 1970s) and all of a sudden is competing with the elite.  The second thing is when they practically take no notice of their academy.  There's nothing wrong with buying top players when you're a club competing against the best and want to maintain that because having a great academy you invest a lot of money to practically not use it means nothing.  Academies can't produce top of the range players in every position in every era because there are generations that for some reason come along and all of a sudden you find yourself with 4, 5 6 or maybe even more in the first team.  The proper use of an academy is seeing that players in a massive club still represent the club football school.

I'm playing devil's advocate here, but it's easy to be 'not plastic' by that definition when your club can afford to throw multi-millions around on young players. Arsenal paid up to £16m for Callum Chambers, who hasn't really made the grade. They also dropped £2m plus add-ons for Rob Holding - almost as a throwaway purchase. 

I'm not claiming Arsenal are 'plastic' in any way, but they are in a very fortunate situation where they can pump millions into their youth team, with (relatively) limited return on that investment.

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24 minutes ago, SirBalon said:

There were loads in the squad then. Bartra, Sergi Roberto, Nolito and Samper. 

We've had the debate but I will never count Nolito! Purely on the basis that Barca B isn't the academy.

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5 minutes ago, StefBWFC said:

I'm playing devil's advocate here, but it's easy to be 'not plastic' by that definition when your club can afford to throw multi-millions around on young players. Arsenal paid up to £16m for Callum Chambers, who hasn't really made the grade. They also dropped £2m plus add-ons for Rob Holding - almost as a throwaway purchase. 

I'm not claiming Arsenal are 'plastic' in any way, but they are in a very fortunate situation where they can pump millions into their youth team, with (relatively) limited return on that investment.

Chambers and Holding are not academy players!

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48 minutes ago, Spike said:

Chambers and Holding are not academy players!

This is it - Arsenal have a massive reputation for developing academy players, but in truth, they invest very heavily in youth players developed at other clubs. I'm diverging off the main topic, I know, but I felt I needed to comment on this notion that Arsenal are not 'plastic' because they bring through lots of youth players. Gibbs, Iwobi and Coquelin are the only current players in the Arsenal first-team squad that really came through their own system (unless I've missed someone obvious). 

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35 minutes ago, StefBWFC said:

This is it - Arsenal have a massive reputation for developing academy players, but in truth, they invest very heavily in youth players developed at other clubs. I'm diverging off the main topic, I know, but I felt I needed to comment on this notion that Arsenal are not 'plastic' because they bring through lots of youth players. Gibbs, Iwobi and Coquelin are the only current players in the Arsenal first-team squad that really came through their own system (unless I've missed someone obvious). 

I'd barely say Coquelin counts. I googled his career and he joined Arsenal the same year he made his debut.

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This might surprise some here, but Monaco are viewed as a plastic side in France. The principality team can offer tax breaks that French teams can't. They barely fill their stadium on occasions as Monaco as a place is so superficial the residents are wiping their arses with 100 euro notes on their yachts.

The young players typically aren't products of AS Monaco but bought/taken from youth academies elsewhere. Mbappe for example is a product of Le Centre Technique National Fernand Sastre.

Plastic.

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14 minutes ago, Batard said:

This might surprise some here, but Monaco are viewed as a plastic side in France. The principality team can offer tax breaks that French teams can't. They barely fill their stadium on occasions as Monaco as a place is so superficial the residents are wiping their arses with 100 euro notes on their yachts.

The young players typically aren't products of AS Monaco but bought/taken from youth academies elsewhere. Mbappe for example is a product of Le Centre Technique National Fernand Sastre.

Plastic.

Pardon my ignorance, but isn't that final bit the done thing in France? I was under the impression that these national academies were the preferred way for young French players to get into the game?

23 minutes ago, Spike said:

I'd barely say Coquelin counts. I googled his career and he joined Arsenal the same year he made his debut.

You're right. Fair point, which reinforces further the avenue I was going down.

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1 minute ago, StefBWFC said:

Pardon my ignorance, but isn't that final bit the done thing in France? I was under the impression that these national academies were the preferred way for young French players to get into the game?

They are. But he'd already been at another teams youth academy prior to going to Clairefontaine. I don't know how true it is, but Monaco may have offered financial inducements to the parents for Mbappe to sign on.

Monaco have a history of sniffing around other teams youth academies. And have done since Wenger worked at the club all those years ago. 

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3 minutes ago, Batard said:

They are. But he'd already been at another teams youth academy prior to going to Clairefontaine. I don't know how true it is, but Monaco may have offered financial inducements to the parents for Mbappe to sign on.

Monaco have a history of sniffing around other teams youth academies. And have done since Wenger worked at the club all those years ago. 

Wenger really brought youth poaching to the forefront didn't he?

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Just now, Spike said:

Wenger really brought youth poaching to the forefront didn't he?

Clubs don't value their youth players as much as they should.

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Morally what's the difference between selling merchandise to millions of foreigners who have nothing to do with the club but claim to be fans and being financed by one foreigner who has nothing to do with the club?

You can blame the Chelseas and Man City's all you want but it was the Premier League and clubs in it like United who kick started the whole process.

Now if you're saying money from actual fans vs money from a foreign owner then you've got a point but that's definitely not been the case for any big club in England for just under 2 decades now.

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The Premier League is plastic as fuck on the whole, the notion of an additional fixture played abroad for pots of cash was sheer cringe. The establishment is as plastic as the owners looking to milk the clubs through global product placements 

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