What would happen if every club in Europe’s top five leagues was suddenly BANNED from buying any players?
We’re fairly sure Pep Guardiola and Jose Mourinho would find life suddenly very difficult, but considering the mad spending in the game today – not least in the Premier League, where even the newly-promoted clubs spent big over the summer – it would have a huge knock-on effect on football throughout the world.
Youtuber Jenkaldo decided to find out using Football Manager 2018, by using the game’s database editor to give every club in the top five leagues in Europe (Serie A, Ligue 1, La Liga, the Premier League and the Bundesliga) a 30-year transfer embargo.
As you’d expect, things get a little mad.
In the first couple of seasons, you see plenty of big names heading to China, while Wolves make a number of big signings in their final season in the Championship before their inevitable promotion.
After all, Wolves have the ambition and the financial backing to snap up decent players, having done so already in real life with the signings of Rui Patricio and Joao Moutinho.
Five years into the future, and we can already see slight changes to the hierarchy.
In Portugal, it took Arouca – who are relatively new to top-tier football – five seasons to topple the likes of Lisbon and Porto.
But in the other major leagues, notably France, Italy and Germany, there’s very little change, with PSG, Bayern and Juventus each winning multiple titles, seemingly making use of their excellent youth academies as a opposed to buying the top talent.
The Premier League is where it’s the most interesting, with clubs in the Championship reasonably well-off and able to compete in the transfer market, as opposed to second-tier clubs in other countries.
It’s no surprise then that after fifteen years of the experiment, the likes of Wolves and Preston are beginning to break into the top-eight of the Premier League table, while Hull, Middlesbrough and Ipswich are among the big spenders.
So how does this effect the European competitions?
Unsurprisingly, there’s little change in the Champions League after five seasons, although the likes of Celtic and Ukrainian side Shakhtar Donetsk are able to flex their muscles a bit as they’re still able to spend big.
It’s not long though before you start to see the likes of Wolves and Italian former-greats Parma knocking around in the Europa League, with Wolves winning the competition in 2024.
In fact, Wolves threaten to take the world by storm when they finally win the Premier League title in 2027, with Preston finishing as runners-up and Leeds finishing in the top-four.
It’s a slightly different story in the other major leagues, with the likes of Atletico and Real Madrid still dominating in La Liga, although interestingly Barcelona fall out of the top-four by 2033.
They’re replaced by the likes of Gijon, Tenerife and Lugo, who start to climb the Spanish top-flight table.
It’s the same in Italy, with Bari, Empoli and Padova replacing the likes of Juventus and Milan at the top.
So will we start to see a host of different teams begin to compete in Europe?
In the Europa League, the likes of Fulham, Middlesbrough and Villa win multiple titles by the year 2050.
As for the Champions League?
Well, as you can see below, Wolves and Preston dominate the competition, becoming the new Real Madrid and Barcelona of the world.
If this simulation is anything to go by, then the next few years could be very good for Wolves, but we’ll have to wait for some real-life transfer embargoes before Preston join them, we think.