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One Footballer or the Lives of Ten Million Children - The Inflated Transfer Market in Football

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One Footballer or the Lives of Ten Million Children You may think that over the last couple of years transfer fees in football have grown ridiculously large. As a young boy I believed that they had quite rightly grown with the game and the revenue it attracted. In recent years I have changed my view. The role of the media encourages this trend. The sports pages are the most avidly read of any daily newspaper and "Match of the Day" the most obsessively watched TV programme around. Liverpool's and other team's European successes have also increased football's appeal. My Grandfather was offered a contract by Chelsea Football Club in the 1930's but declined this to become a teacher. Footballer's wages were so bad that people became teachers rather than footballers. Of course teaching was the higher status job and the one that guaranteed regular employment. Nowadays footballers are earning �60,000 a week, which is twice as much as most teachers earn in a year. ...read more.


An alternative route to success and wealth is illustrated by the case of the Japanese footballers, Hidetoshi Nakata and Jun-Ichi Inamoto, recent signings by Parma and Arsenal respectively. Football merchandise printed with these names will sell like wildfire to the Japanese fans. Television rights and increased ticket prices also play a big part in recouping money spent on expensive big names as many more people want to see them. The club's greater appeal will attract more TV coverage. Notice how Liverpool's airtime has increased since Michael Owen shot to fame! It goes without saying that the more humble clubs cannot compete with this amount of spending. Many clubs today have gone bankrupt by spending too much on players. Even such established and successful clubs as Real Madrid and Fiorentina are only staying afloat because of huge bank loans. It may appal you that football clubs frequently make mega-million deals when in Third World countries people are dying for the sake of a few pounds. ...read more.


The elderly man in his mean hospital ward, suffering untold hardship under the NHS, might be reinvigorated by the news that his team had won by a mighty margin. But on reflection I am forced to conclude along with most other rational and humane people that the vast amount of money spent on transfer fees in football could be put to better use. It would be better spent on decent care for that elderly man in a better hospital, rather than relying on a goal from a multi-million signing to kick-start him back into life. In my opinion the whole scale of wages and transfer fees should be reduced by guidelines from FIFA. This could involve sums of money involved in the transfer being passed across to help ordinary people. I hope you'll agree with me that this is the right view. Two top class Liverpool Football Managers have contributed to the debate: Bill Shankley said that football was more important than life and death; Gerard Houllier's recent illness and its impact on his team has demonstrated that nothing is more important than health. ...read more.

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