Can we Get to the ‘Level’ of Benfica? If so How?

Balogun1

Well-Known Member
I am not talking on the pitch, over 1 or 2 games, as we have seen this is easily accomplished.

There is a vast financial gulf when you look at the clubs’ turnovers, transfer fees paid and received and consistency in Europe.

Can we get ourselves to their level off the park? Can scouting and development get us there? Are we simply held back too much in Scotland?

What say you?
 

sammy1872

Well-Known Member
Is it impossible for a few season if you scout a high enough level of talent - no

consistently though while playing in Scotland we will struggle to reach that level because there’s only so many times you can find a gem. The best players go to the best leagues
 

tottie beck

Well-Known Member
Start importing youngsters from Brazil?

I think that is a large part of their success, indeed the financies of all the top Portugese sides. They are a gateway to European football. Speaking the same language is an attractive factor for young players looking to ply their trade in the European leagues. I dont know if there is scope for us to do similar with North America. It could be worth a try and why we have set up the tie in with Orange County. You wont get the same quality granted, but even a few gems could make it worthwhile.

It also has to be said that Benfica are one of a handfull of clubs who can truly boast of a bigger global fan base than us. There are several Benfica clubs here in Toronto and theyre well represented across North America. I'm not sure the role club membership plays in that, but I think that is idea being MyGers.
 

Tommyhlrsc

Well-Known Member
Official Ticketer
Financially not a chance playing in Scotland.
For such a small Country population wise we are already punching imo.
 

Balogun1

Well-Known Member
end of the day it comes down to the league you play in. there's a financial ceiling in Scotland
True but can we bridge the gap to say Holland or Portugal or is that simply not possible? Could we do it though better scouting and development? Is there more money in Scotland or Portugal?
 

supersonic

Well-Known Member
Official Ticketer
True but can we bridge the gap to say Holland or Portugal or is that simply not possible? Could we do it though better scouting and development? Is there more money in Scotland or Portugal?
any top 5 league in Europe or say top 5-8 has plenty of money going round, we made £0.7m last year in player fees. we would need to get our recruitment spot on each summer for say 5 years minimum for us to generate even £100m over those 5 years
 

Balogun1

Well-Known Member
Start importing youngsters from Brazil?

I think that is a large part of their success, indeed the financies of all the top Portugese sides. They are a gateway to European football. Speaking the same language is an attractive factor for young players looking to ply their trade in the European leagues. I dont know if there is scope for us to do similar with North America. It could be worth a try and why we have set up the tie in with Orange County. You wont get the same quality granted, but even a few gems could make it worthwhile.

It also has to be said that Benfica are one of a handfull of clubs who can truly boast of a bigger global fan base than us. There are several Benfica clubs here in Toronto and theyre well represented across North America. I'm not sure the role club membership plays in that, but I think that is idea being MyGers.
Ronaldo is Portuguese. Benfica have sold Ruben Dias and Joao Felix for £175m in the last 2 seasons. Both are Portuguese. This is part of why I ask? Could it ever be achieved or is it simply pie in the sky?
 

Arkanoid

Well-Known Member
A decade of CL money with 2 EL final appearances and 4 knockout stage campaigns I'd be ecstatic with yet I'm sure Benfica fans are still demanding more than what they've achieved.
Experience, sticking together, keep adding, keep demanding, stop crying
 

Balogun1

Well-Known Member
any top 5 league in Europe or say top 5-8 has plenty of money going round, we made £0.7m last year in player fees. we would need to get our recruitment spot on each summer for say 5 years minimum for us to generate even £100m over those 5 years
I know but could we over time get to the sort of position where we could be a stronger in Europe and this seen as a credible development ground, in the way Portugal is?

After all, we are next to the richest league in the world.
 

BlueSeaOfIbrox

Well-Known Member
end of the day it comes down to the league you play in. there's a financial ceiling in Scotland
To be fair, is that not also largely down to the fact the teams in Scotland are absolute pish ever since money blew up?

Like, can the ceiling not be raised if teams do good in CL? We've seen where one or two good seasons in CL gets you 20 and 25 million for players like they got. Say if for example Rangers done this consistently, would that 25 million not become 35 million as we would be able to afford knocking 25 back due to the increase in value and cl money? Then 45 million, then we can afford some of these superstars that get sold for 60,70,80 million.

I take your point that Scotland is a shit hole but is the main difference with other leagues not the fact they're getting regular CL money and as a result they can take gambles on 10,20 million pound superstars to be and sell them for ridiculous money, unlike right now where we can only take gambles of about 1-2m generally speaking.

England is another ball game all together but the likes of the Portuguese, Dutch, etc don't exactly have billionaires pumping money in yet they're still getting these superstars bought for 10,20 million, is this not largely down to the fact they're getting regular CL and progressing?
 

Cooperfan

Well-Known Member
We'll never have access to the players they can sign. Free access to South America and selling at Massive profits is how they operate.. edit:portuguese players are also way above Scots players in ability.
 

Hurricane Run

Well-Known Member
It can be done, but it needs us to be extremely ambitious. Putting millions of pounds into the youth academy and scouting yearly. Hopefully with Brexit the laws regarding immigration could be looked at. I find it baffling that a young Brazilian footballer paying thousands a month in PAYE has less chance of getting into the country than an unemployed man from somewhere in the EU. Not wanting to turn this into an immigration discussion, but its a valid point. Having the opportunity to exploit markets in South and Central America, could be huge for us. The Portuguese and Spanish teams have mined those markets with tremendous success.
 

albertz81

Well-Known Member
Start importing youngsters from Brazil?

Sure we attempted that with Jardel back in the 90s and it got tied up in red tape over work permits and ultimately we couldn't sign him.

Not sure if anything has changed regarding criteria for work permits since then. From recollection the player had to have played in a certain percentage of International games over a time period. By the time a player is a Brazil national side regular they'll be way out of our price range nowadays
 

Balogun1

Well-Known Member
We'll never have access to the players they can sign. Free access to South America and selling at Massive profits is how they operate..
I know what you mean but Benfica have sold Dias and Felix (both Portuguese) for £175m in the last 2 years, nothing to do with South America.
 

Cooperfan

Well-Known Member
I know what you mean but Benfica have sold Dias and Felix (both Portuguese) for £175m in the last 2 years, nothing to do with South America.
Portuguese players are several levels about Scots players. It is a system to aspire too but we can only operate within our own laws.
 

northsealoyal

Well-Known Member
Developing players that are sold for huge sums is a long term project that can take years European clubs have vast scouting networks domestically that takes time to build we are 3 years into hopefully a hugely successful season we don’t have that infrastructure in place
 

Balogun1

Well-Known Member
Portuguese players are several levels about Scots players. It is a system to aspire too but we can only operate within our own laws.
At the moment they are but it hasn’t always been that way, eg. the 1970’s and early 80’s. Could we do something serious about that, through becoming a serious youth academy? I am just intrigued to get people’s views. I feel we should be looking to develop all areas of the club, to try and move to the next level.
 

Cooperfan

Well-Known Member
At the moment they are but it hasn’t always been that way, eg. the 1970’s and early 80’s. Could we do something serious about that, through becoming a serious youth academy? I am just intrigued to get people’s views. I feel we should be looking to develop all areas of the club, to try and move to the next level.
The youth academy would need to look outside Scotland and NI more. Unless something dramatic changes these areas just don't produce enough good players. This century we've only produced two of note (McGregor and Ferguson).
 

Mr_Miscellaneous

Well-Known Member
Ronaldo is Portuguese. Benfica have sold Ruben Dias and Joao Felix for £175m in the last 2 seasons. Both are Portuguese. This is part of why I ask? Could it ever be achieved or is it simply pie in the sky?
We would need the league to stop underselling itself for pennies on the pound in TV rights so the finance is there for mid-tier and lower-tier clubs to augment their players with top talent and allow competition amongst all ranks of footballers

We would need some sort of government intervention to stop top academies with knowledgeable, dedicated staff that have helped produce several international players (such as Livingston's and Falkirk's) being abandoned for the sake of a few thousand pounds a year, so there is always a production chain of top talents across all of the top two or three Scottish Tiers.

We'd need a significant revamp of the SFA so the youth levels are trained at the top level and have the access to competitive football at the correct load. Too much too young and you're burned out before 25 (see the 'Hibs striker curse') too little and prospects wilt. We would also need them trained in the correct, modern methods.

We would need the media (especially in Scotland, but across the UK) to stop undercutting the league at every single possible opportunity to the point it is seen as a joke across most of Europe.

We would also probably need some form of League reconstruction as our league structure is seen as a joke based on 'Old School' momentum rather than skill, dedication and technique.

For Rangers, we would need sustained success domestically. We would also need sustained (relative) success in the top tier of European competition.

At that point we might be able to sell a player for more than £40m and have a replacement without a drop in quality.

In terms of getting Benfica's revenue, we'd have to do the fucking impossible.
 

Balogun1

Well-Known Member
Very good point but from a Rangers prospective we let Billy Gilmore move and couldn’t prevent it
Good example. How was that unpreventable, when say Felix was not poached? I don’t know the answer. Might be a personal/family decision? Might be legislation? Big clubs in the top leagues would have known about him.
 

LD5

Well-Known Member
Not sure if it has been mentioned, Liga NOS TV money is like £100m more than ours is it not?
 

Balogun1

Well-Known Member
We would need the league to stop underselling itself for pennies on the pound in TV rights so the finance is there for mid-tier and lower-tier clubs to augment their players with top talent and allow competition amongst all ranks of footballers

We would need some sort of government intervention to stop top academies with knowledgeable, dedicated staff that have helped produce several international players (such as Livingston's and Falkirk's) being abandoned for the sake of a few thousand pounds a year, so there is always a production chain of top talents across all of the top two or three Scottish Tiers.

We'd need a significant revamp of the SFA so the youth levels are trained at the top level and have the access to competitive football at the correct load. Too much too young and you're burned out before 25 (see the 'Hibs striker curse') too little and prospects wilt. We would also need them trained in the correct, modern methods.

We would need the media (especially in Scotland, but across the UK) to stop undercutting the league at every single possible opportunity to the point it is seen as a joke across most of Europe.

We would also probably need some form of League reconstruction as our league structure is seen as a joke based on 'Old School' momentum rather than skill, dedication and technique.

For Rangers, we would need sustained success domestically. We would also need sustained (relative) success in the top tier of European competition.

At that point we might be able to sell a player for more than £40m and have a replacement without a drop in quality.

In terms of getting Benfica's revenue, we'd have to do the fucking impossible.
Good, considered post.

Re your last point, why do you say that? Things that are out of our control or just too many hurdles to overcome?
 

northsealoyal

Well-Known Member
In Europe clubs have access to the whole continent a Rangers scout can’t jump in his car and drive to Lisbon for example so we are at a disadvantage to the bigger market for young talent
 

L&D RSC

Well-Known Member
Read something earlier saying that since the year 2000, Benfica have brought in 1.16bn euros in transfer fees. A net profit of 602.4m euros.

They are the epitomy of a very well run club.

The top Portugese sides have such a lock on top Brazilian talent in particular. Must be a smooth transition for a young Brazilian to make due to the language and climate.
 

Balogun1

Well-Known Member
Not sure if it has been mentioned, Liga NOS TV money is like £100m more than ours is it not?
Really?! Is it in demand in other countries? They only have 2, occasionally 3 big teams. Other than maybe Spain, who else craves it? Maybe Brazil? Portugal is not a rich country in European terms, for tickets, , tv subscriptions, etc.
 

northsealoyal

Well-Known Member
Really?! Is it in demand in other countries? They only have 2, occasionally 3 big teams. Other than maybe Spain, who else craves it? Maybe Brazil? Portugal is not a rich country in European terms, for tickets, , tv subscriptions, etc.
I would say their FA promotes their product rather than let a bunch of incompetent anti Rangers anti unionist run our game
 

Beer Belly Loyal

Well-Known Member
Transgressing into Europe wasn't really our (fans) goal if we are honest.

We have a league title to win, something we've waited a long time for due to tarrier interference and something the fans want badly.

As regards to making a name for ourselves in European competition I think we are a million miles from that yet, yes it's fantastic our progress in that field is satisfying to say the least but without being hoity toity 55 is the most important thing today.

If we can continue to enthuse Gerrard in his journey, and it is some journey for him as he sets out, then where he takes the club could be bigger than anything we've seen before.

I'm confident we will win the league this season but I'm thinking our current management team are looking much further than that.

The Champions League? Oh yes.
 

ClubFootZzZ

Active Member
Probably not over a long period of time, but in any given season yes I believe we can be as good as Benfica. We'll need prolonged Champions League football and to continue doing the good things we are off the pitch in recruitment, backroom staff etc.

I think Salzburg are the best comparison for us in Europe right now, with them coming from a similarly sized league to the SPFL. They've been a conveyor belt of talent for years with Mane, Minamino, Upamecano, Haaland and Naby Keita all having spent time with them, and are evidence that with the right infrastructure you can compete at a high level in Europe even with financial limitations. If we make a success of the buy low and sell high model we're aiming for, it will look something like Salzburg do right now IMO.

If we do want to reach that level though, our fans are going to have to get used to us selling players far more regularly than we have historically. Although I think there is an awareness that players will have to be sold, I'm not sure our fans are quite ready to accept the extent to which this will be necessary. I think the situation between us and Celtic competing at each others throats every season lends itself to the club not necessarily selling its assets at the best time; Celtic right now are evidence of that - Ajer, Christie, Edouard and Ntcham will all have one year left on their deals at the end of this year, thus depreciating their value as assets, and have been kept in pursuit of domestic success and keeping us at bay instead of for the long-term health of the club.

If you contrast our rivals decision making with Benfica, you can see a clear difference. Benfica have sold Ruben Dias and Joao Felix recently for mega bucks, and in recent history you can also throw Ederson, Renato Sanches and Victor Lindelof off the top of my head as players who they've sold for good money. Despite them having more threats to their dominance in Portugal than us or Celtic, with Porto, Braga and Sporting all potential title winners in any given season, Benfica are ruthless in selling their assets for the maximum price available with no regard for how it might affect their success domestically in the short-term, as they have faith that their recruitment is good enough to replace the outgoing players, and the infrastructure at the club (youth development, coaching ability) will allow players to thrive. This is the situation we need to aspire to, even if as I said earlier I believe it is most likely for us to be on a smaller scale, akin to Salzburg.

I guess what I'm saying in a very long-winded way is that yes we can reach Benfica's level in any given year, but likely not on as consistent a basis and more akin to a Salzburg level team. But, to do this we will need to continue developing our infrastructure, and not allow ourselves to fall victim to the complacency and short-term thinking that has been prevalent in the east end over the past few years. We can be a success in Europe, but to do so we have to not allow ourselves to sacrifice our business model in favour of short term success - we will be successful in Europe if we plan to be, but if we start to make decisions that prioritise immediate success over the clubs long-term future, we will have much shorter boom and bust cycles that will make it hard to compete at a good level in Europe regularly, as Celtic are finding out right now.
 

Mr_Miscellaneous

Well-Known Member
Good, considered post.

Re your last point, why do you say that? Things that are out of our control or just too many hurdles to overcome?
It's mostly media narrative, some specific benefits with regards to South American players and recruitment

Take this perspective, The Portuguese League has been won by five teams. Belenenses have won it once, Boavista have won it once. The other 84 titles have been won by Benfica, Porto and Sporting.

It is not considered a "three team league" across the continent, It is considered as one of "the big six" leagues, even at times Russia or Belgium or the Netherlands were above them in the coefficients.

As such, even a bang average player from the Portuguese top flight is going to command at the very least million pound transfer no matter the quality. You could count on one hand the amount of players that us and other clubs outwith the taigs have sold for more than a million pounds in the last five years. If you're looking for examples, Fabio Cardoso. Love the guy, mid-table bang average, million pounds.

Secondly, they have an access to South American talents we can't access due to Work Permit issues and cultural issues. We know that South Americans are over-valuated in the transfer market, especially Brazilians, and we simply cannot attract these players unless we come across someone as talented and willing to take a risk to benefit their career like Alfie and that happens very, very rarely.

Then there is general recruitment. How often in history could we sign a player for ten million pounds, not play them for months upon months because we need them to develop to our style, know the place, know the players etc. and not have a significant backlash?
 

Southsideblueblood

Well-Known Member
Can I point out that we beat them on aggregate and we more than matched them over two games. We are much better than we are given credit for. It's incredible what we have/ are achieving.
 

tottie beck

Well-Known Member
Ronaldo is Portuguese. Benfica have sold Ruben Dias and Joao Felix for £175m in the last 2 seasons. Both are Portuguese. This is part of why I ask? Could it ever be achieved or is it simply pie in the sky?
I take your point. However I think to an extent you answer your own question. We need to improve the standard of football in Scotland. We need to get back to encouraging players in this country (especially youngsters) to play freely and develop skills with the ball rather than be obsessed with tactics and results.

How far away from that are we at present?

I still think the fact Brazil and Portugal share a language make that country the ideal gateway into European football for talented Brazilians, which in turn elevates the standard in that country.
 

KuwaitBear

Well-Known Member
Until we start bringing through youth players regularly, who are then able to be sold on, the glass ceiling in Scottish football will remain.
 

RFC1976

Well-Known Member
Need to have regular CL group stage appearances and being able to sell two players a season for decent money down south while still maintaining performances on the pitch which apart from Gerrard role makes Wilsons job at the club one of most important role to get right as its not easy replacing quality players
 
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brain

Well-Known Member
Haven’t we always had a work permit issue with South America compared to Portugal?

Even if that issue was resolved, we’d be picking up the scraps, not attracting the level of talent they can from there.
 

AdiGaz

Well-Known Member
I am not talking on the pitch, over 1 or 2 games, as we have seen this is easily accomplished.

There is a vast financial gulf when you look at the clubs’ turnovers, transfer fees paid and received and consistency in Europe.

Can we get ourselves to their level off the park? Can scouting and development get us there? Are we simply held back too much in Scotland?

What say you?
Well im guessing they will be up there with the favourites to win the europa league and they haven’t been able to beat us over 2 games.
 

Beege

Well-Known Member
Benfica have 233,228 members paying a monthly contribution. They are a genuinely huge club.
Talking with a Portuguese guy i work with and he says they're very selective about the amount of tax they pay, same as Porto, and he's a Porto fan.
 

JamesMc

Well-Known Member
I think the big difference is player values , did they not sell a player to Man City for 70 m ? And the year before selling felix for 120 m Or something along tho lines ?that’s nearly our full turnover with player sales also qualifying for the champions league season in and season out
 

KGR98

Well-Known Member
Would need us to be in charge of our own tv deal so we can get a fair price for it and years of UCL qualification and we could improve further but a lot of ifs buts and maybes
 

Leo_Ger

Well-Known Member
I don't think direct comparisons with Benfica help very much. Every team has its unique circumstances and what's available to them. All we can be is the best version of ourselves and while it might not entirely bridge the gap, it would go someway to doing so.

Consistently making the CL group stages and European football beyond Christmas would be a game changer for our revenue.

Management and coaching staff - If Gerrard leaves down the line, both himself and his coaching staff needs to be replaced by one that's as tactically astute with insight into elite levels who can improve players. Our tactical awareness and fitness levels have been huge for how we play and how we've managed to bridge the gap so far. We can't go from that to like over the city where they're basically just encouraged to run about.

Scouting - Have to continue what we're doing there. We've found great value for what we've paid in the likes of Barisic, Kamara, Aribo, Morelos etc. It's a difficult task to do this well year in, year out but it's what we have to do. Signs suggest we're on the right track with Wilson. Once we're able to sell one player for a big fee then it will potentially establish us more and broaden our appeal to players who are looking to develop for that next move.

The Youth Academy - There's some really good work that has been done in the last five years to rebuild our youth academy from where it was. We're coming into the period in the next few years where some of that should come to fruition. This isn't without its difficulties (bridging that 19-21 development stage) but our youth academy is probably more forward thinking than it has been for some time.
 

Theoldgeezer

Well-Known Member
Probably not over a long period of time, but in any given season yes I believe we can be as good as Benfica. We'll need prolonged Champions League football and to continue doing the good things we are off the pitch in recruitment, backroom staff etc.

I think Salzburg are the best comparison for us in Europe right now, with them coming from a similarly sized league to the SPFL. They've been a conveyor belt of talent for years with Mane, Minamino, Upamecano, Haaland and Naby Keita all having spent time with them, and are evidence that with the right infrastructure you can compete at a high level in Europe even with financial limitations. If we make a success of the buy low and sell high model we're aiming for, it will look something like Salzburg do right now IMO.

If we do want to reach that level though, our fans are going to have to get used to us selling players far more regularly than we have historically. Although I think there is an awareness that players will have to be sold, I'm not sure our fans are quite ready to accept the extent to which this will be necessary. I think the situation between us and Celtic competing at each others throats every season lends itself to the club not necessarily selling its assets at the best time; Celtic right now are evidence of that - Ajer, Christie, Edouard and Ntcham will all have one year left on their deals at the end of this year, thus depreciating their value as assets, and have been kept in pursuit of domestic success and keeping us at bay instead of for the long-term health of the club.

If you contrast our rivals decision making with Benfica, you can see a clear difference. Benfica have sold Ruben Dias and Joao Felix recently for mega bucks, and in recent history you can also throw Ederson, Renato Sanches and Victor Lindelof off the top of my head as players who they've sold for good money. Despite them having more threats to their dominance in Portugal than us or Celtic, with Porto, Braga and Sporting all potential title winners in any given season, Benfica are ruthless in selling their assets for the maximum price available with no regard for how it might affect their success domestically in the short-term, as they have faith that their recruitment is good enough to replace the outgoing players, and the infrastructure at the club (youth development, coaching ability) will allow players to thrive. This is the situation we need to aspire to, even if as I said earlier I believe it is most likely for us to be on a smaller scale, akin to Salzburg.

I guess what I'm saying in a very long-winded way is that yes we can reach Benfica's level in any given year, but likely not on as consistent a basis and more akin to a Salzburg level team. But, to do this we will need to continue developing our infrastructure, and not allow ourselves to fall victim to the complacency and short-term thinking that has been prevalent in the east end over the past few years. We can be a success in Europe, but to do so we have to not allow ourselves to sacrifice our business model in favour of short term success - we will be successful in Europe if we plan to be, but if we start to make decisions that prioritise immediate success over the clubs long-term future, we will have much shorter boom and bust cycles that will make it hard to compete at a good level in Europe regularly, as Celtic are finding out right now.
Food for thought Sir
 

Theoldgeezer

Well-Known Member
I don't think direct comparisons with Benfica help very much. Every team has its unique circumstances and what's available to them. All we can be is the best version of ourselves and while it might not entirely bridge the gap, it would go someway to doing so.

Consistently making the CL group stages and European football beyond Christmas would be a game changer for our revenue.

Management and coaching staff - If Gerrard leaves down the line, both himself and his coaching staff needs to be replaced by one that's as tactically astute with insight into elite levels who can improve players. Our tactical awareness and fitness levels have been huge for how we play and how we've managed to bridge the gap so far. We can't go from that to like over the city where they're basically just encouraged to run about.

Scouting - Have to continue what we're doing there. We've found great value for what we've paid in the likes of Barisic, Kamara, Aribo, Morelos etc. It's a difficult task to do this well year in, year out but it's what we have to do. Signs suggest we're on the right track with Wilson. Once we're able to sell one player for a big fee then it will potentially establish us more and broaden our appeal to players who are looking to develop for that next move.

The Youth Academy - There's some really good work that has been done in the last five years to rebuild our youth academy from where it was. We're coming into the period in the next few years where some of that should come to fruition. This isn't without its difficulties (bridging that 19-21 development stage) but our youth academy is probably more forward thinking than it has been for some time.
Excellent post Sir
 

Barisic's Bandage

Well-Known Member
Rather than ask ourselves how we get to Benfica level which seems rather pointless, I was thinking how do we just improve?
Appreciate we'll get better year on year, but which part of the team do you think we can improve on, which positions etc?
 
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