Over the last few days we have truly seen the problem with the modern game of football (“soccer” if you are reading this in the US of A).
First up, let’s set the record straight: I’m a Fulham fan so no vested interest in either party here.
Who is involved?
In the left corner, wearing red all over:
Manchester United, the “Red Devils”, without a doubt one of the marquee clubs (that’s “franchise” if you are reading this in the US of A) in the world. Something like 40+ major trophies, a heritage that the Roman Catholic Church would be proud of, a stadium that is the envy of most European clubs and a manager that is almost the definition of “icon”.
In the right corner, wearing a red shirt on a green underlayer:
Wayne Rooney, undoubtedly a very very talented player. Good at Old Trafford, apparently plays well away also. 100+ Premier League goals, ~25 goals in an England Shirt. Husband to Colleen, father to Kai, worshipped by millions.
Ego or Greed – you decide.
There are surely only 2 scenarios playing out and both look bad for the player.
1) Wayne is not happy with the treatment he has received in the light of recent press coverage of his private life = EGO
2) Wayne thinks he is worth more than the <insert vast sum per week> he currently earns and in light of the possible FIFA/UEFA fair play wage sanctions being imposed in the next year or two wants to cash in = GREED
If there is a hidden 3rd (or even 4th) scenario playing out, I would love to hear about it.
Long story short, Wayne plainly thinks he is bigger than the Club. Wrong. No player, no matter how good, will ever be bigger than their club. Fact.
And the problem I mentioned at the top of the post?
I have little sympathy for the giant clubs because they created the problem in the first place. The arms race of ever escalating wages can only end one way, somebody pushing the big red button and blowing it all to smithereens. I’d quite like to see Sky push the big “backup” button on their giant remote control of the Premier League and next time around bid much, much less for the TV rights, after all the BBC and ITV can’t afford it anymore…
Let’s hope it happens soon or else Sepp and the FIFA posse will pony over the horizon and all hell will break loose!