The other day, and for the past god knows how many years, I have seen footballers hounded by non-football fans for their wages, and how they do not deserve it simply for kicking a football around. They are often called Mercenaries when wanting to leave for a new club, or when asking for more money when it comes to getting a new contract, or high signing on fees.
It got me thinking – how is it any different from any of us? If anyone was offered say double the money to do the same job, but with a different company, would we say no? I seriously doubt it. Inside most people are driven by earning more, because then you can afford things you have wanted, weather it be clothes, a car or a season ticket!
Although some footballers are idiots, Joey Barton and Mario Balotelli spring to mind, even Cheick Tiote making an appearance on the front page of the Sun – but they all seem to be tarred with the same brush. Many footballers are family people, who stay out of the spotlight between games, and donate large sums to charity, or former football clubs. Kaka and Messi are two examples of that sort of thing, however it is typical of the jealous ones to pick the bad examples.
If you go down the leagues, especially in England, even some of those struggle to make ends meet. Often some leave the profession to venture into something new. These men and women only have a limited career, so what if they go after the money, they are just looking out for their best interests for the future – what if they break their leg the next game and can never play again?
The fact is football is a multi billion pound business, and these people are the main attraction. Like a website is nothing without a readership, football is nothing without footballers. They may get paid extortionate amounts, but from that comes tax (on the most part…), charitable donations, visits to sick children who get to meet their idols and so on. Because they are paid so much, others will benefit. If the government didn’t have hundreds of footballers earning hundreds of thousands or even more, they would lose a hell of a lot of money.
Like in all walks of life, there is always the minority who act like fools, idiots and stupidly…but like mentioned above the vast majority are family orientated people, putting their children through school, like the rest of us. Unfortunately, the vast majority of non-football fans probably won’t consider all of this, they just look at the size of the pay-packet, see an idiot on the front page and label all footballers the same.
So, to answer my own question, footballers are victims of their own success…