The MacLamity

The News That Stays News, Reported Live

Wednesday, October 12, 2005


The head of Fifa's criticism of greed in football dazzles with the shiny polish it puts on old-world values. It's not just that he has a 1930s view of grotesque capitalists strangling the games view, it's also his belief apparent belief in the superiority of gentlemen over players. Some choice comments:
“reminiscent of a misguided ‘wild west' style of capitalism”.

Among the main targets of a remarkably hard-hitting attack are excessive wage demands by “semi-educated, sometimes foul-mouthed” players sometimes guided by “unsavoury” agents.

wealth comes from “individuals with little or no history of interest in the game” who had happened upon football “as a means of serving some hidden agenda”.

“More than ever before, the majority are fighting with spears, while the greedy few have the financial equivalent of nuclear warheads.”

“What logic, right or economic necessity would qualify a man in his mid-20s to demand in a month a sum that his own father could not earn in a decade?”

that young players are bought by speculators who generate a profit each time those players are subsequently sold, [is] “a new type of slavery”.

Of course, back in the 1950s, England solved this problem by having a maximum wage. Jimmy Hill, Chairman of the PFA at the time, brought this to an end by threatening a players strike:

[When wasit that you f]irst began campaign to abolish the players' maximum wage?
Because I was usually the only one who could read, write and add up, I became the PFA rep at both clubs I played for. The maximum wage had always riled me. There were no other careers - sporting or otherwise - in which you had something like that. We had players meeting up and down the land about it. We were deadly serious about striking if we didn't get our way. It was scrapped in 1961.

Was it better when players were semi-educated and underpaid?