Despite Manchester United, Manchester City and Chelsea reaping the rewards of their spending in recent years, QPR have shown the formula is not so simple to replicate.
From a first glance at the Premier League table, if would appear those with the biggest resources inevitably rise to the top.
Manchester City and Chelsea have an almost infinite budget and so can outbid everyone else and have reaped the rewards, if at least not this season.
Similarly Manchester United’s expansion of Old Trafford and their commercial success, especially in the Far East, has given them a larger budget to spend on new players than they had before.
By the end of the 1990s, as the benefits of the stadium expansion began to kick in, they were able to outspend everyone else, spending large sums on players such as Dwight Yorke, Wayne Rooney, Juan Sebastian Veron and Ruud Van Nistelrooy.
You could link their increased budget to their two titles won on autopilot in 2000 and 2001, without any serious challengers.
There are other examples of more money meaning more success. Look at Portsmouth, whose fortunes were artificially inflated for a while on the back of foreign money.
The club would have been extremely unlikely to have won the FA Cup or played AC Milan without it, however that same money - or sudden lack of it, would also prove their downfall.
The same is true about Blackburn’s 1995 title win. Lots of promoted clubs like Reading and Blackpool struggle in the Premiership because they don’t have the resources to build a strong enough team.
Also, football fans have been swooning over Bayern Munich, but how hard is it to dominate a league and do well in Europe when you can spend 31 million euros on a player, and when your transfer budget is said to be twice as big as the next team?
When you look a bit closer at the evidence, it becomes clear that money is just one part of the jigsaw of a successful club, and so you see how it is not possible to “buy success”.
You need a good manager, tactics, team spirit and a good board. Just look at QPR, where a series of spending splurges has done nothing to boost their fortunes, and the club now face a disastrous relegation.
This was because after spending big they had no team spirit, and the players lacked any kind of passion or organisation. All of these problems were the result of the big spending, as they had a squad full of mercenaries who didn’t care about QPR and were looking for one last pay day, like Jose Bosingwa, who cared so little he laughed after his team had gone down.
QPR would have been better off looking for hungry younger players from the lower leagues and abroad, like Wigan have done. Another example was the expensively assembled Real Madrid Galácticos, who crashed and burned due to their lack of balance and organisation.
I mentioned above the accusation Manchester United have been able to buy success, but David Beckham, Paul Scholes, Ryan Giggs and Gary Neville didn’t cost them anything and Peter Schmeichel, integral to their 1990s success, only cost £500,000.
Also, United only really began to increase in popularity once they had got a few titles under their belt. So in that sense it was a reward for their hard work.
There are also examples of teams who have done the opposite of QPR, who have achieved things on limited budgets. Just look at David Moyes at Everton.
If the Premier League really was all about money, surely QPR would have finished be above the Toffees?
image: © wonker