Sports, Football

Kings’ financial muscle flexes as rivals cry foul

Published : 13 May 2024 10:14 PM

Bashundhara Kings tightened their grip on Bangladeshi football, securing their fifth consecutive Bangladesh Premier League (BPL) title on Saturday. This dominant victory left traditional powerhouses Mohammedan and Abahani fuming, highlighting the vast financial disparity within the league.

Meanwhile, Kings will confront Abahani in the Federation Cup semifinal match at the Sheikh Fazlul Haque Mani Stadium on Tuesday, as they set their sights on securing the treble. 

In BPL, Kings sealed their fate with a 2-1 victory over Mohammedan, avenging their only defeat of the season in the process. This triumph, achieved with three games remaining, further underscores their dominance.

However, the celebrations were met with frustration from rivals. Mohammedan coach Alfaz Ahmed pointed to the stark financial difference between the teams. "Sound financial backing" allows Kings to attract "national players and quality foreigners," creating a "champion team" that other clubs simply cannot compete with. He also criticized their strategy of acquiring promising players from other teams, thereby weakening the competition.

Abahani manager Nazrul Islam echoed these concerns. While acknowledging the quality of local players across the league, he lamented the financial gulf in acquiring foreign talent. Kings' "big spending" allows them to attract the best players, further solidifying their position.

Maruful Haque, a renowned Bangladeshi coach, offered a more scathing critique. He pointed out the unprecedented situation of Kings having a surplus of national team players on their bench, a luxury no other club can afford due to "abnormal" transfer market prices fueled by the Kings' financial muscle.

This scenario raises questions about the future of the BPL. Can the league maintain competitiveness with such a dominant force, or will it become a one-horse race? Will financial disparity stifle the development of talent in other clubs? These are issues the BPL needs to address to ensure a healthy and exciting league for all.