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

Late Tackle Football Magazine - - CASHING IN -

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

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