Loyalty. That’s been a burning issue this summer as players agonise on whether or not to break contracts they have only recently signed in order to move to clubs who are dangling even more obscene amounts of money in front of them.
Now fans up and down the country, indeed all over the world, will look upon these players, should they leave, as nothing more than mercenaries, they look upon them like you would a person who they wanted to have a relationship with, only to find all they were after was a quickie.
But should your club decide to sell them though and use the money to fund the transfer of an even better player, than that’s perfectly acceptable. See the double standard?
Let’s all be honest for a moment. If you were offered more money to go and work for another company you’d probably take it, you’d certainly think long and hard about it. I know I would. We all have the right at any time to leave our jobs and start a new one, or go travelling, or return to education. I’m sure the Chief Executive of the company I work for wouldn’t think me disloyal if I left to start a new job. Why should footballers be any different?
Is it really so wrong that John Terry is mulling over a ridiculous contract offer from Manchester City? Does Xabi Alonso really owe anything to the Liverpool fans? Was Gareth Barry really that wrong to eschew a move to Liverpool in order to make an astonishing amount of money at Manchester City? Was Carlos Tevez wrong to join City so soon after leaving United?
The answer is no. Players careers are short, and in most cases they have no qualifications to do any other career at all. Why shouldn’t they make as much as they can? Also, consider players playing in the lower leagues who don’t get paid a great deal and often need signing on bonuses to pay their mortgage. Is that disloyalty?
Where it does become wrong is when you hear a football oxymoron get wheeled out. The loyalty bonus.
Players now want even more money for either, not leaving to join another club or leaving but not having asked to leave. That is greed of the highest order. For Emmanuel Adebayor to demand a payment from Arsenal is a disgrace, especially given that he was apparently manoeuvring the previous season for a transfer and I hope that John Terry, should he turn down a move to City, doesn’t expect an improved contract to reward his ‘loyalty’. It is total madness.
Also, with regards to the players that do spend all or most of their career at one club can often be criticised for having a lack of ambition for not seeking out new challenges and staying within their comfort zones. Players can’t win either way.
I do understand people who say that footballers should behave differently due to the vast wages they receive. However apart from the astronomical wages, the only real difference between them and us is that thousands and thousands of people don’t give a toss who we work for.
Players should display more sensitivity when they leave a club. They should try and avoid making outlandish statements that come back to bite them on the arse. Like Gareth Barry stating he wanted to leave Villa to play Champions League football but taking the millions on offer at City.
The reason we all demand loyalty from the members of our team is that to us it is inconceivable that anyone would ever treat playing for our clubs, a dream most of us have, lightly. Remember though, you were (probably) a supporter before these players came along, and you’ll still be a supporter after they leave. Your loyalty is to the club, not to the players.
If you want loyalty, I suggest you go and buy a dog. Don’t expect it from a complete stranger who just happens to play for the team you love.
What do you think?