The Premier League is losing it’s appeal and there’s more enjoyment to be had watching non-league Salford City, claims Manchester United legend Paul Scholes.
As one of the famed Class of 92, Scholes made 718 appearances during his time at Old Trafford and was widely regarded as one of the game’s most talented midfielders.
But after becoming a co-owner of the non-league side alongside Gary & Phil Neville, Ryan Giggs and Nicky Butt, Scholes believes there’s much more to like about watching football at a grass-roots level.
“I probably do enjoy watching Salford more,” Scholes notes in his new book, Class of 92: Out of our League. “I don’t know if it’s as much that I don’t like the hassle of going to the game, getting in, sitting in traffic. Going to Salford, I park up behind the goal and get out of my car.
“In the Premier League in the last two years, have I really seen a game of high quality? A game that I’ve thought: “Wow!” It’s difficult to think of any.
“I genuinely get more enjoyment from watching even my son’s team, Royter Town. It’s like a men’s team, but he’s 16. He started playing a few games for them last season. I went to watch him once, it was 5-4. It’s just entertainment.
“There’s some good players, really good players, but it’s not always the best for quality.”
Scholes believes the decline he senses in attractive football in England comes down to the pressures on managers to get results.
He added: “If you lose three or four games on the trot obviously you’re under big pressure and you’re sacked. The money’s the most important thing these days about football because owners, the majority of them, are just interested in making money for their football club.
“They don’t care what they see on a Saturday afternoon on the pitch. They’re purely businessmen, whereas at Barcelona you have a balance between business and football.”
Scholes said Spain’s La Liga is “the best by far” when it comes to success in Europe, and praised the idea of fan ownership, with the large memberships of clubs in Spain wielding heavy influence.
He added: “So they want to make it pay, but making as much money as they can isn’t the primary objective. It’s entertainment. Winning the Champions League, winning the best prizes. That’s why they have the best players.”