A Conversation for Talking Point: Football

I am male, teenage and British...

Post 1

shrinkwrapped

...yet I don't like football. Not even slightly. Am I alone? Probably.

I think ALL footballers who currently get paid over the salary for a relatively normal job (if there is such a thing) should have their pay docked. I see no reason why some men kicking a ball around a field like they did when they were kids should be paid far more than, say, nurses and teachers who do a far more beneficial job. I'm not saying footballers have an easy job - they, especially the premier league guys - don't. But I think we live in a very strange soceity where people who are simply in the media and are 'famous' generally get paid more - why? I seriously doubt being a TV personality or film star is harder than being a nurse, and I'd like to see some of these million pound footballers try and teach effectively in a violent secondary school.

And another thing:
could someone please explain to me why foreigners can play for, say, Manchester United, but not for the England team? Sure, you could claim that they can't play for England because they're not FROM England, so why can they play for a 'local' team?

If players weren't imported and swapped all the time, it wouldn't be the team with the most profitable merchandise who gets all the best players.


I am male, teenage and British...

Post 2

Eusebio - squad number 11

Hmmm ... I must admit, I find it very strange when I meet a bloke who doesn't like footy! smiley - winkeye

Why can't Viera, Barthez et al play for England?
Is this a serious question? smiley - erm


I am male, teenage and British...

Post 3

The Nitpicker

I agree that teachers/nurses etc should get paid a lot more than they do they are not in the business of entertaining large numbers of viewers. But teaching skills can be learned by an awful lot more individuals that footballing skills! It is far easier to be a fantastic teacher than to be Dennis Bergkamp, David Beckham or any other top class footballer in both personal and professional terms.


I am male, teenage and British...

Post 4

androyd

Good point but hopelessly idealistic I'm afraid. Football at one time was the ultimate 'performance realted' paying job and to extent still is. It's just that the level of salary has risen to astronomical levels. Can this be justified? Well since the breaking of the terrestial channels monopoly on sport and footie in particular, the game is getting the financial rewards is should. You can't believe that Murdoch should simply make millions of pounds profit out of televising football do you? No, niether do I . It follows that he should have to pay a decent rate to football.

This money goes to the Premier League clubs ( at the highest level) with a largish sum being put aside for ploughing into grassroots football by the way. Should this money just be kept by the clubs to give massive payouts to shareholders? No it should not.

Should ticket prices be reduced? Arguably but since many clubs have little spare capacity as it is this is not a realistic option - there may come a time when it is.

Facilities have undoubtedly improved generally for spectators. Money should be invested in decent training facilities and in youth teams - this is generally happening.

Ultimately this money has to go to improving the quality of the playing squad which then means paying transfer fees and players wages.

There is free movement of players across europe which means that to get the best players you have to be prepared to pay players the sort of money they could get elsewhere. However long a players career it is still short and liable to end at any moment. They are going to want as much as possible - its only human nature. The only way this will end is if people stop watching football on TV in large numbers. Otherwise players wages will get higher and higher.

Before yuo start blaming agents you only have to look at the way historically players have been treated by clubs (as disposable objects)to understand that players do need someone speaking on their behalf. Clubs will make out that agents aren't necessary - here's a little story from the Womens game which is largely an amateur game although this is about to change. A couple of years ago there was a prminent Nike advert campaign featuring Rachel Yankee a then Arsenal player. There were posters, a TV advert and magazine adverts. According to Rachels mum the player received £250 pounds for all this - no other money at all from the club or the company. Is this right? No. So thats what happens if you don't have an agent - you get exploited. Undoubtedly some agents also exploit their players but thats a different issue.

So thats why they get paid so much, on one hand it isn't right, but how else can it be?


I am male, teenage and British...

Post 5

Orcus

These guys aren't just good at football. They're fantastically good. Even players in the Football conference are amazingly good players. In the premiership they are the best in the country. I think they are paid a bit *too* much now but I don't see why someone shouldn't be rewarded for being a top international talent in any field of discipline. When millions of people are prepared to pay a lot of money to see/watch something this will generate a lot of money though and hence those who wish to take the lion's share will pay over the odds for those players who will win and generate more cash.
It is a shame for nurses and teachers but the world is full of injustice and personally I don't think this is the worst form of it.


I am male, teenage and British...

Post 6

shrinkwrapped

Yes, it's a serious question. Think about it - they're not allowed to play for England because they're not English. So why are they allowed to play for Arsenal or Man U or whoever it is, when they don't come from there either?


I am male, teenage and British...

Post 7

Eusebio - squad number 11

Well, before we even start spouting about freedom of movement and restraint of trade ... players have always played for clubs which are not in their own backyard.
In 1878 Newton Heath FC was formed as the footy team for the Lancashire and Yorkshire railway, yet a large proportion of their players were recruited from the Druids club of Ruabon, Wales. This club later changed their name to Manchester United! Players have always moved to play for different clubs. The prevelance of Scots players in the Liverpool side of the 70s and 80s is testament to this.

International matches were started in order to find out which country's footballers were better not which countrie's league was better (although League XI matches between England and Scotland and England and Italy have taken place and the League of Wales play a regular fixture against the League of Ireland).
Vierra plays for France because he's French ... Giggs plays for Wales because he's Welsh ... Viduka plays for Australia becaus he's Aussie ... simple as that.


I am male, teenage and British...

Post 8

Ormondroyd

The FIFA rules say that anyone a player is qualified to represent a country if he, or at least one of his parents, or at least one of his grandparents, was born in that country. Obviously, this means that many young players have a choice of countries to play for - but once they've appeared for one country, they cannot subsequently change their mind. Hence there are no "transfers" at international level.


I am male, teenage and British...

Post 9

Comrade Rumble

I think people have missed this questions point. He's not asking "What is the difference between qualifying to play for England and qualifying to play for Man U?" he's asking "why is there a difference?" what moral right do Manchester United have to the Manchester part of their name if the players aren't from there? Why aren't they called a generic name like The Raiders or something? My answer would be because the original clubs were formed locally and their supporters (who are the most important, durable factor here) are local.

In answer to the comment "If players weren't imported and swapped all the time, it wouldn't be the team with the most profitable merchandise who gets all the best players." I'd say this isn't always the case players will often look at what moving to a certain club will do for their reputation as well as the money, so a team like Barnet could have £500 million to spend and still not be able to draw the best players.

Just my thoughts on the matter.


I am male, teenage and British...

Post 10

Ormondroyd

Apologies for the garbled first line in the previous post. I'd just come in from celebrating a very rare event in contemporary football - a Bradford City win! smiley - alesmiley - ok
Mr T, with reference to the title of this thread: I can truthfully say that these days, the stereotype of the football fan is being broken down more and more. You don't have to young, male and British - I mean, I'm hardly young these days! I have two middle-aged female friends who hold season tickets at their chosen clubs, and one of them's an American convert to the delights of Liverpool FC! Not all of us footie fans are the same, honest...


I am male, teenage and British...

Post 11

Ormondroyd

The other key point about football finance is that success breeds success. Just being IN the Premiership gets you a stack of money from the TV rights, which facilitates the purchase of top players, which should give you a good chance of staying in the Premiership, which brings in more TV money... and so it goes on. The same applies to European competition, and there the stakes are even higher. The trouble is that it's making the game very predictable. Manchester United win the Premiership again! How smiley - sleepy exciting...
That said, it IS still possible for an unfashionable club to buy its way to success, given a big enough cash injection. Just look at Fulham... smiley - bigeyes


I am male, teenage and British...

Post 12

Eusebio - squad number 11

If you want to become a footy convert, Mr T, forget the Premiership (like Ormondroyd has smiley - winkeye) get yourself along to a second or third division side (prefrably a local side) and watch REAL footy!

Where do you live Mr T?


I am male, teenage and British...

Post 13

shrinkwrapped

I live in Basingstoke...

And don't think I can't hear you smirking.

Besides, I don't WANT to be a football convert. I watch the World Cup/Internetational matches, if England gets to a final or whatever, but other than that, I just don't care enough to bother.

If I was to support a team, it would have to be local, and that would mean supporting Basingstoke Town or whatever it is they're called.


I am male, teenage and British...

Post 14

androyd

Ever been to a live match? Go and support your local team and sample the delights of non-league football. There you know the players can hear any loud comments and so can the officials - much more interesting if not so much of a spectacle.

MT has a strange definition of 'real' football - what he actually means is 'less skillful'.


I am male, teenage and British...

Post 15

Eusebio - squad number 11

What ever happened to a bit of piss-taking and banter - I thought that's what being a footy fan was all about, not disecting and analysing every posting.
What I actually mean is footy where the fans go because they are fans ... the footy certainly is poorer by comparison, which means you don't get the corporate hangers-on or the celebrity "going to the match to be seen" type of fan.


I am male, teenage and British...

Post 16

The Nitpicker

A bit of p**s-taking and banter is fine by me but just leave Ormy out of it - whoever you are it is TERRIBLE seeing your team relegated even though you may be able to look forward to your team winning a lot of matches in the next season!
When I looked around at Highbury last Saturday there were thousands of fans who go because they are fans - many of them have been going regularly for over 20 years and had to suffer truly 'boring, boring' Arsenal performances for a long time before 'Judas' came along and started winning things by using boring tactics! They are now in seventh heaven watching the standard of football being played by a team managed by a man who was destined to be the Arsenal manager (I doubt if his parents named him Arsene deliberately) - well most of the time anyway!


I am male, teenage and British...

Post 17

androyd

Slight flaw in that argument MTRF - Robbie Williams supports Port Vale who are not a successful club so by definition he must be a 'real' fan whereas some celebrity supporting Arsenal or Man U must not be real supporters because they are successful clubs. Well I agree that there clearly are some 'celebrity ' fans who 'support' a team for image purposes and they tend to be one of the bigger clubs - part of what I don't like about the 'new image' of football is that people are not ashamed to say they like the game, twenty years or so ago saying you were a footie fan was like saying you were raving pyscho nutter in polite company and these celeb fans tended to keep their heads down. However there are many well known people who are both celebs and true fans.


I am male, teenage and British...

Post 18

Eusebio - squad number 11

Point taken ... but four words will mean you have to agree with me that celebrity fans are really annoying ... David and Mellor and Zoe and Ball smiley - winkeye.


I am male, teenage and British...

Post 19

Eusebio - squad number 11

Nitpicker, I'm sure the only fans in Seventh Heaven on Saturday were 'Boro fans smiley - winkeye.
Good Luck to the Gooners against Valencia smiley - ok

On the subject of celebrity fans, at Farrar Road this afternoon watching Bangor City's 4-0 defeat at home to TNS was h2g2's very own Livzy smiley - biggrin.


I am male, teenage and British...

Post 20

androyd

Point taken - one of the worst Arsenal memories I have ( other than that bit of Samba magic on Saturday)was in seeing a trio comprising David Dein, Jim Rosenthal and Jeremy Beadle walking round the North Bank - Now Mr Dein has done a great job for us but I can't imagine choosing either of the other two for company!! I'm glad Arsene Wenger chooses the players if that's an indication of the taste of our board!smiley - smiley


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