As more and more fans struggle to keep up with the cost of your average Premier League ticket, the players that effectively now control the game show just what a beast that has been created by the media who pump more and more money into the game to ensure that these players turn more into the obnoxious individuals that they already are.
The modern football player is not the same as the one that many of us grew up watching when we were younger. Back in those days there was a pride in the players to play for the club that they played for. There was a pride in them to play for their countries. The pride that they had to play two or three games per week which meant that they were successful and their clubs were progressing in cup competitions. And the final pride was that they weren’t overpaid for what they did which gave them that sense of reality that today’s players do not have.
When you read that a club in China is prepared to pay Diego Costa Â£30m a year to play football then you know the game is spoiled and only the authorities can step in to change it. But we also all know that they will not do anything to change it as they are more than happy to let the players dictate everything that happens around them.
At no stage has anyone tried to stop the players and their actions both on and off the pitch and we have seen many occasions in recent years where so called player power gets managers the sack – some of it very close to home. The simple fact is when a player decides that they do not want to play then generally they get their own way and when they decide as a group that they don’t like their manager then the manager is only a matter of time away from the sack.
Payet was West Ham’s star last season yet now he is happy to sit in the reserves until they crumble and give him what he wants in a move away. Chelsea are in dispute with the obnoxious Diego Costa who says he isn’t fit to play and yet they think differently. It is alleged he doesn’t want to play as he wants the move away as clearly the six figure fee Chelsea pay him on a weekly basis is clearly not enough to live on.
The contracts that are given to players these days mean nothing. They know when they sign them they do not need to see them out nor will people generally force them to because a player earning more than Â£5m a year is not generally one that a club can afford to see sitting around doing nothing week in week out.
This week it was reported that John Terry was happier to sit around doing nothing week in week out than finish his career playing at Bournemouth for the rest of the season – no pride in wanting to play football there just another example of a player happy to pick up the big wages (which he would have done anyway) than maybe prove that he really isn’t as good as he thinks when he doesn’t have his world class team mates around him.
Barcelona – one of the biggest clubs in the world – have this week said they are not sure they have the finances to agree a new contract with Lionel Messi which will no doubt somewhere earn the little magician in excess of Â£25m per year somewhere no doubt with some clauses that maybe he doesn’t play more than one game per week.
It annoys me to read all these stories and then remember stories of players of our past training on the concrete behind the North Bank before socialising with the fans after the game. Things that don’t happen in the modern game, can you imagine…!
Things like the two examples referred to at the beginning are classic examples of what is wrong with football but sadly it is difficult to see anything changing so we will just read more and more about it. And that saddens me greatly.