You can,t buy loyalty
NIK SINGH says players may earn mega-bucks but won’t become club legends if they’re always on the move
THERE was a time when footballers were brought up to fight for their club no matter what the situation might be, to give it their all at every point in time.
Players were loyal to the club that had given them their big break and were happy to play for them year in, year out.
However, these qualities look forgotten among the new generation of players coming through.
Barring a few, it seems most of them are just looking forward to the increased salary at their new club, and the cars and lavish lifestyles this can produce.
Yes, I can understand players wanting to earn big bucks, it is a short career after all, but pressing ahead to such an extent that disrespects your current club, perhaps even going on strike to force through a move, isn’t the right way to go about it.
Top players earn vast sums anyway. A pay hike is temporary while the respect and love you attain from fans over time at a club you were part of ever since the dawn remains forever.
Here are a few examples: Gonzalo Higuain – The Argentinian completed a move to Juventus from rivals Napoli for a reported fee of £75.3 million this summer.
Napoli had put everything on the table to persuade their talisman to stay and declined the initial bids made by the Turin outfit but, after his release clause was triggered and the player himself was adamant about leaving, there was nothing that could be done. At the age of 29, that fee for a striker is massive – but this is how the market is turning out these days.
A fierce Napoli fan even declared he would offer pizzas to everyone for 1 euro every time Higuain picks up an injury at Juventus! Alex Teixiera - Another highly sought-after player in Europe, he was chased by a host of European clubs, including Liverpool, last transfer window but he chose to ply his trade in China for Jiangsu Suning who offered him a massive salary to move to the far east. Liverpool boss Jurgen Klopp admitted they were interested in the player but they were put off by his huge wage demands. The Brazilian could have been one of the best players around under his tutelage at Liverpool, if not the best, but he chose China who were offering him the cash. Ashley Cole - Cole came through the ranks at Arsenal and established himself as a permanent fixture at left-back, but when Chelsea came for his signature his loyalty for the North London club went for a walk.
The Gunners offered him a not-too-shabby wage of £55,000 a week to persuade him to put pen to paper on a new deal while Chelsea were offering £90,000.
Angered by the Gunners’ paltry offer, he chose the latter – and the Arsenal fans still mention him as a traitor. Carlos Tevez - The Argentinian striker played for a host of European clubs but never put down roots long enough. He always seemed to be eyeing the next deal…
He played for Manchester United, who were then on a roll under Sir Alex Ferguson and one of the best clubs in Europe.
Manchester City had just burst on the scene with cash flowing into the club from their new Arab owners and offered Tevez a massive pay hike to join them from their bitter rivals. Not surprisingly, he took it. His name still doesn’t go down well among the Old Trafford faithful now. These are just a few high-profile examples but most footballers these days appear to be just running behind the £££ without ever thinking about the club that made them. The influence of money in football is ruining the game we love, the so-called beautiful game no longer looks that way. I finish with a quote from John Wooden: “Don't let making a living prevent you from making a life.”
Ashley Cole Gonzalo Higuain Carlos Tevez