ON the way home from London on Sunday I got talking to a man about football, and it got me thinking – how many people will be watching the game in the next two to three generations.
Already people are complaining about the obscene amount that pampered players are paid and I had to agree. And still they complain they aren’t paid enough.
But tell that to the doctor who fails to save a patient after a lengthy operation, or the soldier patrolling the borders of a war-torn country being demolished by airstrikes.
These are the people who deserve more money in their pockets, not footballers. I have to admit this is a harsh generalisation as many footballers are sensible with money and their careers and despite it being a short lived success they can prolong their sporting lives for years afterwards, but a lot just don’t think that far ahead.
In fact I would bet that some footballers, if not for football, would be in jail or on the streets.
I love the game but soon the regular fan will be priced out of watching the sport as ticket prices rise to pay for the players wages.
Generations of fans won’t get to enjoy the game as I did, with tickets for children at just £1.
Without giving away how much I earn I worked out I would have to work for 10 years straight to earn what Wayne Rooney earns in a week. Now, I may be just a journalist but that beggars belief.
I think his weekly wages would near enough cover the wages of our entire editorial staff here, and that’s based on our annual salaries against his weekly one.
And even then he is a shocking role model. Foul mouthed rants, on more than one occasion, urinating in the street and having sex with prostitutes are interspersed with occasional flashes of his obvious talent – and still he thinks he is worth more.
The wage bills in the Premier League are staggering and last year Chelsea paid over £160 million to their squad. Manchester City and Manchester United nearly reached £140 million with Arsenal just about topping £100 million.
But compare that to their ticket prices and you will see that Arsenal’s top seats cost £94, Chelsea’s hit £65 with Manchester City and United separated by £5 at at £44 and £49 respectively.
I hope the future is bright for the sport, despite it being filled with billionaire owners, because with the current economy making life miserable, I would hate for football to taken away as well.
What else would I do with a Saturday afternoon?