The term ‘big club’ is given to a wide variety of clubs these days and opinions vary an awful lot on what makes a club bigger and better than any other, so I decided to take it upon myself to voice my own opinion on what makes a club ‘BIG’.
Silverware is no doubt a very important and meaningful statistic in football, but does it really decide which club is bigger than the other? I personally think no. If silverware (including historic success) decided the size of a club, then surely Leicester City would be considered bigger than numerous clubs in football today? From what I see fans across the globe use their title success (not taking away from the fact it was mission impossible) to back up their opinion on silverware making the size of a club better than any other. It is also mentioned fairly frequently that clubs such a Liverpool and Arsenal are no longer ‘big’ because, well, “what have they won in the past 10-15 years. So to put it plain and simple, no. I do not think silverware defines a ‘big club’.
For sure, some clubs around Europe have some of the biggest and most popular talents in world football, but do the players on the pitch really define a club’s size? We see them come and go, whether they play for the shirt or for their prima donna egos. I certainly think that no player is bigger than any club and they do certainly not make a club’s size differ depending on their popularity and talent. One player who certainly fits the bill in that description is Tottenham Hostpur midifielder Moussa Sissoko. Last season, the Frenchman was undeniably a large factor into Newcastle’s fall down to the Championship. His performances on the pitch did not fill the Toon Faithful with joy and excitement, but more disappointment and anger, however it was his antics off the field that angered the fan base, as in many interviews over the Summer during the transfer window, he expressed his desire to leave Tyneside in search of Premier League & Champions League football.
Despite having that ‘rotten attitude’ he has been known to have over the past few years, he finally managed to seal a move to fit his profound qualities in Tottenham, although it is safe to say that his time in North London has not been as he thought. The midfielder has consistently been benched by Pochettino and has not particularly impressed when given a chance. Not only that, but since his departure, Newcastle have finally rewarded their loyal fans with what they deserve, in a young, hungry and passionate squad, which is no doubt leading them back to the Premier League; and remember, “It’s not about the name on the back of the shirt, but more the badge on the front.”
Finally, the fans. One category that seems to go under the radar is the backing of the fans for the club they love. Personally, I believe that what makes a club ‘big’ is the fans themselves. The reason for this is that, without the fans, the club is nothing. The fans ARE the club. Once, a great in the name of Sir Bobby Robson was once quoted on what a club truly is. It spoke volumes on how much the fans give to the club without the credibility most of them deserve. They stick with their side through thick and thin, through the biting cold of the winter and the sweltering heat in the Summer.
The fans are the ones who pay to go through the turnstiles and support their team no matter the results, they are the ones who pay for shirts, mugs etc to fund the club. Their wages, provide for new players to come and for others to leave. A club without any fans would not be anything, and what would be the purpose of that club then? Nothing. It may as well not exist. As stated before, players come and go, as do managers, but the fans stick by that club through everything and that is what makes a football club great. The fans. The size of the fan base, the better, and the size of the fan base, the bigger the club itself in my personal opinion.
So yes, to summarise I believe that it is the fans themselves that make a ‘big club’. As without them, the club would be nothing.