Over a couple of beers in the local, talk inevitably turns to football. The question asked, “Is ‘Big Sam’ the right person for the job as England manager?”
I had to say that, quite honestly, I just didn’t care as I was no longer interested in football at all. Surprisingly, the consensus of opinion agreed with me. And most felt that today there is just too much money in football.
I’m old enough to remember when it seemed everyone watched the FA Cup final on television. In those days, Stanley Matthews and Nat Lofthouse used to travel to the ground by bus, sitting with the supporters. Nowadays, footballers have supercars, and I read that at Manchester City staff bring them from the car park for the players after training so that they do not get cold or wet walking to them. Oh bless!
This summer I did not watch any of the football from Euro 2016, except on the news the following morning. It seems that I did not miss anything. All said that almost all the matches were really quite boring, except England v Iceland, which apparently was a total embarrassment.
We were told during the tournament by the then England manager that, despite his players being professional athletes, it was too much to ask them to play a game of football every four days on average so he had to rest some of his key players. I can only assume that their little leggy-weggies were getting too tiredy-wiredy.
Perhaps they should look at Andy Murray, who often plays four or five hour matches with only a day’s rest in between, or Chris Froome who had to cycle over 100 miles a day for three weeks, up mountains, through hail and storms, and after two nasty crashes.
There is more news about footballers and their wives on the celebrity and front pages than in the sports pages. Every week there seems to be stories about players and their antics.
Also, despite being paid obscene amounts of money, players are not satisfied and advertise everything from hair shampoo to moisturiser.
Yes, modern day football is all about money, with players concerned about extra income from their “intellectual property”.
Just how much money is there in football you might ask? Let’s look at some figures.
The Premier League received £5.14billion from the sale of its TV rights. That is more than the GDP of some countries. The BBC paid £204million for the rights to show the highlights on Match of the Day. It is reported that Mr Rooney is paid £300,000 per week. That would pay for 600 nurses.
So we were all agreed that football is awash with money.
But that begs the question why, in these days of austerity and cutbacks, the Government gives £40million each year to the Football Association to ‘promote the game at grass roots level’?
Answers please to Mrs T May, c/o 10 Downing Street, London.