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Horton warning for future of lower league clubs

Thu 4th Sep 2014 | Money & Finance

After a record breaking transfer window when Premier League clubs spent a record £835 million on new players’ former top flight chief Brian Horton has issued a warning for the rest of the game.

Manchester United splashed out £150 million alone to recruit the likes of Angel Di Maria-a new British transfer record of £60 million, Radamel Falcao, Daley Blint and Marcos Rojo.

And the total spend was £200 million more than the previous record splashed out in 2013.

But Horton, with half a century service to the game as player and manager, is concerned for the future of the have nots.

“There should be more money coming from the Premier League down towards the lower leagues,” says Horton, one of the VIP guests at last month’s launch of the MBNA Northwest Football Awards in Manchester.” Unless we change something then some of those clubs will go.

“And that will be a major shame because the set-up we have-with the 92 clubs- is the best in the world.”

Horton, currently assistant manager to Paul Dickov at League One, Doncaster Rovers, is best remembered in the North West for his time as Manchester City manager plus a similar role at Macclesfield Town.

Now 65, he admits his time with the Blues at Maine Road in the mid 1990’s bears little resemblance to how things are now, both at the club and in the game’s top flight generally.

“It’s not just Man City,”he confirms. “It’s the whole football world in terms of Premier League, the players’ wages and the transfer fees. It has escalated out of all proportion.

“I still feel I would be saying that if I was still Man City manager. It has been talked about putting £10 million into grass roots football but I think it should be more than that.”

Despite his concerns Horton still relishes his involvement in the sport. “I love going to games, watching players and I love being around players at training.

“I still go out every day and while I don’t do as much coaching as I have done in the past, I still join in

“You can’t replicate what we do because it is not like a normal job. I am doing something I have done for 50 years since I was an apprentice footballer at 15.

“So, I think if I lost that love I would quit. But I haven’t and I still love what I am doing every day.” Seven years younger than Sir Alex Ferguson, Horton hasn’t ruled continuing into his 70’s.

And he reckons ‘Fergie’, who received a lifetime achievement honour at the 2013 Northwest Football Awards as well as manager of the year, will “without a shadow of doubt miss what he’s done over all these years

“I am telling you now he will miss it. But there comes a time when you have to think about your family, the kids and the grandkids.

“For me though until I lose that love and enjoyment of it all I will keep going as long as I can.”

United are already on their second successor to Ferguson-Louis Van Gaal-but who will follow Ferguson at the 2014 MBNA Northwest Football Awards?

Taking place on November 18 at Lancashire County Cricket Club, voting is now underway for Player of the Year categories from the Premier League down to non league.

Nominations are:

Premier League


Player of the Year

Rising Star

Everton Seamus Coleman Ross Barkley
Liverpool Raheem Sterling Jordan Rossiter
Manchester City Yaya Toure Marcos Lopes
Manchester United David De Gea James Wilson





Player of the Year


Rising Star

Blackburn Jordan Rhodes Tom Cairney
Blackpool   David Perkins Tom Barkhuizen
Bolton   Tim Ream Andy Kellett
Burnley Danny Ings Steven Hewitt
Wigan James McArthur   Martyn Waghorn


League One:



Player of the Year


Rising Star

Crewe Matt Tootle Ben Garratt
Fleetwood Conor McLaughlin Conor McLaughlin
Oldham James Wesolowski Jonson Clarke-Harris
Preston Joe Garner Josh Brownhill
Rochdale Ian Henderson Jamie Allen


League Two:



Player of the Year


Rising Star

Accrington Stanley    
Bury Danny Mayor Anthony Dudley
Carlisle Brad Potts Patrick Brough
Morecambe Andrew Fleming Aaron McGowan
Tranmere Jason Koumas Max Power


Non League:



Player of the Year


Rising Star

Altrincham Shaun Densmore Scott Leather
Barrow AFC Andy Burns  
Hyde United Josh Brizell Adam Blakeman
Macclesfield Town Danny Andrew Will Bailey
Southport Luke George Luke George
Stalybridge Celtic Paul Ennis  
Stockport County    
Vauxhall Motors  



Vote here:  www.northwestfootballawards.com 

Twitter- @NWFAwards or Facebook www.fb.com/nwfawards  

Here are the highlights from the launch of the  MBNA Northwest Football Awards: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kixNp2WaCU8

Image: Action Images / Craig Brough

Posted by: Kev Howland 

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