Sunday, 28 July 2013

"Earth calling football...Can you hear us?"

With the Premier League start a few weeks away the massed media continues to feed us with all we need to know about the "Greatest Show on Earth".  Every story, transfer, rumour of transfer, or even hint of a gist of a rumour of a transfer gains yards of print newsprint, hours of TV coverage, and millions of giga-watts of online coverage.

The media are utterly convinced the public are salivating for latest tidbits of top-level footballing stories.  EVEN WHEN ABSOLUTELY NOTHING IS HAPPENING!!!

A quick peruse of the BBC sport website has brought me up-to-date with such incredible news that, after several weeks of negotiations: -

  • Gareth Bale may or may not move to Real Madrid.
  • Wayne Rooney may or may not move to Chelsea.
  • Luis Suarez may or may not move to Arsenal.
  • Cesc Fabregas may or may not move to Manchester United
  • Any number of other exotically named footballers may or may not move between clubs across Europe.

The only item of interest in these non-stories is the jaw-droppingly large amount of money casually banded about for these proposed deals.
Is Suarez worth £40 million?
81 million for Bale!  40-odd million for Suarez, Fabregas and Rooney.  Not bad for a time of economic stagnation? 

I always wonder how a club can justify spending such sums on a player.  Add in the millions of pounds per year the player would get paid too.  And for what?  To hopefully win a league title or get to the last eight of the Champions League?  Just how much money does that earn for the club?  God knows.  But I'd be amazed if a club could ever win enough prize money, or additional paydays for reaching latter stages of tournaments to come even close to funding even one multi-million pound signing.

In the past twelve months sportsmen in this country have achieved unprecedented levels of success and glory.  Athletes.  Cricketers.  Rugby players.  Cyclists.  All have beaten the world.  Only one group of sportsmen consistently fail in this country and yet get more and more money thrown at them - footballers. 

How on earth did we get into this mess?  It is becoming increasingly difficult to even try to defend modern football when challenged by someone who doesn't follow the game in any way.  How can anyone justify where football is heading?  Should the beautiful worldwide game be simply geared to making a few hundred men who can kick a ball well, enormously, obscenely rich?

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