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This summer saw yet another record-breaking transfer window for the football industry, with Gareth Bale’s £85.3million move to Real Madrid making headlines worldwide.

For some Premier League teams, player wages represent a fraction of what a club makes or is worth. But with lower league teams struggling to cover the costs of rapidly rising transfer fees, are fans losing out on better football ground facilities?

Glenigan press researcher and avid football fan Clarissa Jennings discusses how the money from multi-million pound transfer deals could be more prudently spent on the construction of new or improved stadiums.

Clarissa said: "As a fan of a lower league club, I can only wish for a billionaire to sweep in and do amazing things with my football club – such as increasing capacity at the stadium."

"If you can get more fans through the gate, the more chance you have of your football club succeeding."

She added: "So with Gareth Bale costing £85.3million, could a non-Premier League club build a new stadium for the same amount of money? The answer is yes and some clubs would even have spare change!"

Bristol City Football Club is one such team which could completely redevelop their ground for almost the same cost as the Bale transfer. The club appears on the Glenigan database as they await the outcome of a public inquiry for the construction of a new football stadium at Ashton Vale (Project ID: 07590458).

The price of Gareth Bale wouldn’t cover the whole cost of the new stadium but it would go some way to pay for their new £92million home. However if the public inquiry doesn’t go their way, they plan to increase the capacity of their current stadium at Ashton Gate (project ID: 13051050) for £40million.

Brentford Football Club also wants to move from their current home and build a new 20,000 seated stadium (project ID: 02419209) for £50million, while Heart of Midlothian Football Club is currently in the planning stages of increasing the capacity of their stadium to 23,000 for £51million.

And if newly promoted Cardiff City Football Club stay in the Premier League they plan to expand their stadium to 33,000 seats, with other alterations included in the £9million price tag.

Do you think the price paid for football players would be better spent on new stadiums and improved facilities for the fans? Or do you think a team’s performance is more important than the ground they play in? Contact Glenigan with your views on 0800 373 771 or find us on social media.

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