Footballing Mercenaries: The Uglier Side to the Beautiful Game
In modern times we all suspect that money and pride are two separate entities when it comes to the world of football with the former taking undoubted precedent over the latter.
Middle Eastern and American billionaire investors have revolutionized the game and changed the footballing landscape beyond reversal. It is difficult to even conjure the thought that there was once a time when transfer fees were nominal, players playing outside of their native country was a rarity and a team’s success was truly dictated by how good their manager was, not by the size of the check book he is presented.
Although it was refreshing and their fans will not mind one iota, there will forever be a dark cloud that shadows the success of Manchester City in the English Premier League after they have literally thrown billions of pounds at the cause in order to achieve anything. Although it is perhaps a little hypocritical of their neighbours Manchester United to suggest that they have ‘bought the title,’ after all it is nothing that they have not been doing themselves for the past 15 years, using their financial clout to bully the lesser teams out of their star players with an elitist mentality thus maintaining the void between the league’s elite and everyone else.
Chelsea were the first to spend the ‘big bucks’ and gradually many others followed suit: Manchester City, Malaga and Paris St Germain have each fallen under the vested interest of sheikh businessmen who have made their fortunes doing lord only knows what in their homelands whilst Manchester United and Arsenal are but a couple of English teams to fall into the hands of American-based tycoons.
This extravagant expenditure would no doubt trickle down to the players of the game of whom a very large percentage are motivated by money alone and have little loyalty to those who have previously overseen their rise to stardom and whom they may have been very little without, monsieur’s Van Persie and Nasri to name but two.
Of course no matter what reasons a player gives in his first interview at a new club, there aren’t many of the public that believe they are not just reading from the book of footballing clichés and pulling the wool over our eyes. It is amazing how many players make ‘a dream come true’ by also tripling their salary and how they will talk of ambition and the need to win trophies whilst we all know that behind all that comes an extra 10k or so after tax that would not have failed to sweeten the deal.
Greed is now a major player in a sport where money has bordered into the realms of the ridiculous. After all we know live in a world where the far from mind blowing talent that is Zlatan Ibrahimovic has commanded the highest overall transfer fees on the planet – something that speaks volumes for the absurdity of it all.
However, beyond all this the one man that has motivated me to write this article was none other than the king of the ungrateful, one Emmanuel Adebayor. The Togolese striker was an unknown entity before being plucked from obscurity by Arsene Wenger whom he owes essentially the bulk of his career to. Of course he had no thought of this as he raced the full length of the field to rub one of his early goals for Manchester City in the faces of those whom he had previously stated he loved to work for. I honestly don’t know what to make of his latest stunt.
For those of you out of the loop, this is a man who has essentially in no uncertain terms stated that he would rather sit and rot in the Manchester City reserves than take a pay cut and be Tottenham’s first choice striker. Blatantly putting the status of his wage packet over playing the game that gives him his living. Now part of me is thinking AT LAST, we have a footballer who has the gall albeit bare faced to admit that he is driven by money. On the other hand it is sickening to think that a professional who was once adored and whom so many less fortunate have spent their hard earned money to go and see would rank pound notes above his love and passion for the game and to wear a shirt that tens of thousands in North London alone would die to wear.
It is a slur on the game and a sign of the times. The most satisfying conclusion would be for Adebayor to be released by Manchester City and for no other club to touch him due to is insolence and thus have to go without his weekly bumper prize that comes regardless of appearances let alone performance. It is a commodity that most of the westernised society toil and graft their entire lives to earn but a pittance compared to what this man is handed to him for doing next to nothing. Of course that would never happen, there will always be somebody willing to bail out those players who have shown an utter disrespect for the profession and Adebayor would waltz into somewhere else, call it home, tell the fans they are the best he has ever played for as the vicious cycle continues.