WE CAN’T LET MONEY RUIN THE GAME WE LOVE
I LIVE in the real world. I can understand that a player might want to double, treble, quadruple – or more – his salary.
I get the appeal of moving to a bigger or better club, or moving for a king’s ransom. In fact, I am sure that we all understand that.
However, if a player has agreed a contract with a football club, to play for a certain amount of money for a certain length of time, then that player has a duty to fulfill his obligations and play to the very best of his ability on a continuous and consistent basis. The club will pay him under contract if he is injured. He must give his all when he is required.
John Stones is perhaps a good example of this. He wanted to go to Chelsea. He was honest and submitted a transfer request. But he played well throughout the saga, showed his club, Everton, decency and represented Eng- land last week. It makes me angry to consider that a player could ever let any other club’s interest get in the way of his professional responsibilities. All this ‘head not right’ stuff doesn’t wash with me.
In professional football, there are some privileged existences. Particularly at the top of the game. It is dreadfully wrong for the current AGREED contract to be disrespected by a player.
It also pains me to hear that a player would ever sit back and accept wages for staying where he isn’t wanted rather than move elsewhere to play the game that he ought to love. It is wrong.
Of course life is a two-way street and a club has to honour the contracts it agrees just as a player ought to.
My mantra is that if you love football then football loves you. You have to give to receive.
The entire football community should stand together and make sure that money does not destroy the principles of respect and teamship that are core to the values of the game of football.
There is a lot of hard-earned, working class money being paid into clubs to support the game. Nobody lucky enough to earn money at any level in professional football should ever be able to forget that.