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Sunday, January 18, 2009

Football is about to go too far, apparently

People say £100 million and £200,000 a week for Kaka would be a price too far. Fans can no longer relate to players. It's distorting the market. It's obscene. It's just too much.

Which makes me wonder, what would have been an acceptable amount? What would not have been obscene? £50 million and £100,000 a week? Would that have been within the range where we could still relate to players?


  1. Jimmy Hill's to blame for getting rid of the minimum wage. It's been downhill from there.

    Seriously, though, who are we to judge? It's an obscene amount of money, but where do you cap it? It's not our money their spending.

  2. Interesting point, turning the finince/sport debate on its head gives food for thought. Would it be true to say that to quantify the acceptabilty thing it needs to link into accessibility? With all this money flying around it's,presumably, highly unlikely that you're going to bump into your footballing hero in Marks and Spencer or down at The Dog and Duck. Therefore we are much less likely to relate to players. If this is so then it raises the question, at what point did we move away from this this situation? Maybe in the lower divisions this is not an issue and you are still able to 'relate' to your local star striker over a pound of mince at the butcher's.
    Whatever, I still whistfully reflect on the days when I could afford to go and see my team on a whim. To see two teams battle it out in gladatorial mudbath!

  3. I'm only in my 40s and even I remember when you could bump into Chelsea players in local boozers.

  4. The point used to be that if the money generated by the game did not go to the players, it would go to the club owners. It was better that the players got it, toiling as they do. We now know that some wealthy men are prepared to throw money at players in much the same way as certain men, not necessarily the same ones, throw money at prostitutes. The players morality is secured, based on the simple fact that it is a market and they are acting within it. Kaka is in an interesting position. He is a devout Christian and knows - coming as he does from Brazil - that money used well can change lives. He surely understands that it would be immoral of him to refuse the money on the table, because with it he can build schools and hospitals. Suddenly the word 'obscene' fades away. It is possible and likely that hundreds of thousands of people will benefit from this money, as odd as that may sound.

  5. It’s long been Man City’s alloted role to be a kind of benign laughing-stock and I can’t see it being any different now that they’re the Beverly Hillbillies of football. You just know that we’re in for a series of hilarious mishaps and misjudgements. Much merriment all round. Good old City.

  6. That would seem to be true, Richard - The Times is saying City have just paid West Ham 14 million quid for Bellamy. Talented maybe, stable not so much.

  7. The only thing that would make the vast spending power more entertaining and 'accessible' would be if Harry was in charge of the City chequebook. He might have bought 100 £1 million pound players instead. Arf.

  8. Good piece in the Independent over the weekend about an encounter between some Newcastle fans and Les Ferdinand and Warren Barton on a train a few years back. Warren Barton shared out the turkey sandwiches his wife made for him for the journey.

    Can you imagine Kaka or even John Terry (a) taking the train or (b) having a packed lunch of turkey sandwiches on it.

    That time (must have been at least 10 years ago) was the last time that fans were connected and I think football is in danger of losing its way totally now as a result of the disconnection.

  9. I think Gillinghqam were once paid a set of tracksuits for Tony Cascarino. Once they started throwing in runners, socks and multipacks of Ready Salted crisps to sweeten deals the whole thing began to feel alien to me.

  10. I hope André Carlos Raposa is right & that many hundreds of thousands of people will benefit from Kaka's money.

    At the end of the day I guess if people are willing to pay that much, why not take it?
    Would any of us decline an offer of that magnitude to use our talents at tiddly-winks?

    As a Christian myself I pray that Kaka will glorify Christ with his talent & everything else as 1 Corinthians 10:31 tells us that "whether we eat or drink or whatever" (playing football, using our finances etc fall in here) "we do, do everything to the glory of God."