There are few things that have captured my imagination since childhood like football has. In recent years however, my faith in the world game has been diluted by greed. If reports are true, it appears Barcelona’s Neymar will be sold to PSG for a whopping 220 million Euro’s in the coming days. Last year, Manchester United spent around 90 million quid on Paul Pogba and only recently shelled out 75 million for Everton’s Romelu Lukaku. Already this summer, Premier League Clubs have spent over 900 million pounds with the expectations that the summer spending will top 2 billion by the end of the transfer window. So who pays for all this?
In early 2015, the Premier League signed off on a broadcasting deal worth around 5.2 billion pounds. In 1992, the original TV was worth 191 million pounds. as the new century dawned, the dame deal jumped to over a billion pounds for the first time and there were a further four increases leading up to the 2015 deal. With so much extra money flowing through, it was inevitable that the cost of buying players and and paying their wages was going to increase dramatically in due course.
Liverpool’s Phileppe Coutinho reaps in a whopping 200,000 pounds a week before endorsements come into play. The boy earns more in one week that most of us would earn over a seven or eight year period. Even more in other cases. Just stop and think about that for a moment. It will take you at least 7 long years to earn what one footballer will earn in just a solitary week. I know this is where some of you will have counter arguments to this logic but you need to think of the supporters who attend matches every week, sometimes three times in a week. The rising cost of player fees and wages has seen ticket prices gradually creep up. A great many of my old match going mates have been priced out of the game and these days attend maybe three or four matches a year. You know what it’s like yeah? Getting married, kids, mortgage and all that lark. Holding down a job, family holidays and bills. It all adds up.
Patrick Kluivert’s nine year old son, Shane recently put pen to paper with Nike for a business deal. It is expected that the young lad, yet to even reach puberty will follow in his fathers footsteps and earn millions in the process. Shane Kluivert is already on the books at PSG. I’m sure it won’t be long before players are being signed up before the get out of nappies! Nike and PSG aren’t interested in the footballing aspect of this deal. To them, it’s all about business opportunities and the rest of the football world is following suit. More on PSG later.
Whilst a holiday maker or bucket list completest will happily shell out for overpriced match tickets, it’s the regular match goers who are being priced out of the game. As can be seen by the recent fiasco with ticket sales for the first half of the season, many Liverpool fans were left without a hope in hell of getting a match ticket let alone one next to their mates or kids. The club doesn’t give a stuff. Either way, they will sell the tickets and they seem to be not at all bothered who the tickets go to as can be seen by their lack of action and increasing ticket prices. Sadly, it’s not just at Liverpool where this is happening. Season tickets in London are through the roof with no end in sight to the price increases. What makes it hard for supporters is seeing players refusing to sign contracts because they want 150 grand a week instead of 135. You start to contemplate why they play the game? Money or love? It appears money is the only motivating factor for too many players yet we, as a society continue to make excuses for this greed.
Earlier today, Neymar put pen to paper for a deal that will see him earn 45 million Euro’s a year. Breaking it down, he will earn 123,000 Euro’s each and every day! So who’s going to pay for this greed in the long run? You and me. The humble football supporters who just want to watch our team play. I’m slowly falling out of love with football. With every passing year, come tighter financial restrictions faced with going the match. The players are losing touch with reality and there appears no end in sight.