"£25 million", My Mum moans at me, "How can a bloke who kicks a ball around be worth that much ?"
To be totally honest it's been years since my club paid out huge transfer fees that competed with the big bucks of the time but big money moves for £15 million or £20 million are commonplace in the Premiership. Recently we have seen Cristiano Ronaldo move from Manchester Utd to Real Madrid for £80 Million and Manchester City, thanks to their mega rich owners think nothing of paying out £30 Million a time if they want a particular player. But are these footballers REALLY worth all that money ??
In the case of Manchester City and before them, Chelsea I'd say no as they have bought several players in quick succession and if you look at their yearly accounts they post huge losses and if they did not have the Billionaire owners to back them they would be bankrupt very quickly.
Aston Villa's recent signing of Darren Bent though can be looked at in a different way, the £24 Million paid to Sunderland to bring him to Villa Park was a club record and Aston Villa do not make a habit of splashing out such amounts. So how do they justify this outlay ? Well at the time of signing Bent Villa were in the Premiership relegation zone and the cost of relegation has been estimated at around £50 Million due to the loss of the TV money so if Bent does the business and fires Villa out of triouble then his transfer fee will be justified.
Another way a huge spend out of that magnitude could be repaid on the pitch is if a player is signed and leads his club into the Champions League, which is universally recognised as being extremely lucrative. It can be argued that Chelsea's outlay has won them titles and Champions League football, However the amout they have outlayed far exceeds the amount they have won at the time of writing. Manchester City have yet to see the benefit of their excessive spending spree in terms of on the pitch success.
In the case of Cristiano Ronaldo who moved in the summer of 2009 for that £80 Million fee the case is slightly different as Real Madrid are not in the habit of fighting relegation and are regulars in the Champions League so it can't really be said that as good as he is, Ronaldo will earn Real Madrid any extra revenue. But such is the size of Real Madrids fan base that they have almost certainly made up their money in shirt sales and other sponsorship and merchandise that Cristiano Ronaldo brings with him.