Saturday, 23 February 2013

Is Money Ruining Football?

“What is a club in any case? Not the buildings or the directors or the people who are paid to represent it. It’s not the television contracts, get-out clauses, marketing departments or executive boxes.
It’s the noise, the passion, the feeling of belonging, the pride in your city.
It’s a small boy clambering up stadium steps for the very first time, gripping his father’s hand, gawping at that hallowed stretch of turf beneath him and, without being able to do a thing about it, falling in love.” - Sir Bobby Robson
What a beautiful quote from one of football's greats. It sums up everything important about the beautiful game. A club is not about the players, it's about the people who are part of it, the fans. In an age where a family day out at a match can break the bank, we take a look at the effect of money on football.

A very average footballer, Stephen Ireland in a very expensive
Firstly, wages, they are rapidly spiralling out of control. They've taken the desire to succeed out of the game in my opinion. Why should a player care about whether he wins or loses when he knows that whatever happens, he'll still go home to a beautiful house and snazzy car with all the latest gadgets he could find. Many players play with such little desire to win, they are only there for the paycheck. Money has even taken loyalty out the game, how rare is a one-club-man these days? When a player has joined a team purely because of how much they're willing to pay him, then he doesn't deserve the money in my opinion. Money should be the last reason you chose to play for that team, not the first. What I also find disgusting is that players are now even willing to sit on the bench, just to get their wage, they don't even care about playing these days. When it gets to this point then you know that for them, football is dead. They represent an army of fans who adore their team and support them every week, willing for them just to give their all for the club, but they don't care, not when they earn more in a week than most earn in a year.

Agent fees are another thing that tarnish our wonderful spectacle too. It is becoming increasingly common for a transfer to collapse, solely due to a greedy agent. Whether it is true or not, an example can be taken from the January transfer window. Mohammed Diame, contracted to West Ham was the subject of interest from many clubs, however it seemed Diame just wanted to stay at Upton Park. His agent, Willie Mckay was not having this and constantly tried to persuade him to move on for more money. He tried to force Diame to seek a more lucrative contract instead and even reportedly manufactured rumours in order to get the wheel spinning to attract interest in his player! He had no care for the player or any of the clubs involved, only in himself. He just wanted a big fat agents fee and nothing else. 

Perhaps the most important reason money is ruining football is in terms of the cost of watching. In the Premier League, most tickets for adults are over £35 and if you're a family of 4 with 2 kids on top of travel and food costs it can become a very expensive experience. As Sir Bobby Robson said, a club is about it's fans but it seems football is trying very hard to drive them away with such extortionate prices. The atmosphere is one of the best things about going to football for me but it seems with the loss of terracing and ridiculous pricing, it is declining at many clubs (not all!). If the prices continue to rise then I'm sure many people will turn their back on going to the games and seek to spectate through a television screen. 

What I think needs to happen is a cap on wages for clubs and this will in turn help other aspects of the game. If clubs can't just throw all their money at players' wage packets then hopefully they can invest it somewhere else, whether that be into their youth system or into making tickets cheaper. That might not be the best or only solution but one thing is for sure, something needs to happen before money completely takes over.

Do you think money is ruining football? What should be done about it? Tell us in the comments section below!

Thanks for reading, I hope you enjoyed it!


  1. It probably is and it won't get any better because of the FFP rulings which will just be abused by the top clubs.

    Players are the ones in control, but you cant blame them for taking the money if offered it. Its just s shame the fans are the ones that pay the price.


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