When my grandmother was alive, she would complain whenever the sports news came on the TV announcing the next record breaking deal for the transfer of a professional sportsperson.
“There are starving children in the world,” she would say as Trevor Steven moved from Rangers to Marseille.
She was, of course, correct, but I’ve never had too much of a problem with the amount of money spent between clubs in this context. They’re transactions between businesses and those happen all the time without special thought to social responsibility as those already rich seek to become richer. Sport shouldn’t be any different so, for me, her point deserved wider context.
I dread to think what she would be thinking at the recent transfer of Neymar from Barcelona to Paris Saint Germain that was somewhere up near the £200m mark, so high that the Spanish League actually refused to accept the money.
Transfer fees began to get astronomical for a few reasons. Most recently in England the money from TV rights has had a massive impact but, before that, it was the purchase of clubs by really rich people and, in the case of PSG, a country. The super rich arrived arrived and wanted to flex their financial muscles.
Unfortunately, though, some people look at that and wonder what they’re trying to make up for. From a sporting point of view, Neymar’s transfer is a massive risk. He is, after all, one player as susceptible as any other to injury and / or poor form. Putting all their eggs in one basket is a dumb idea when the risk could have been split between 4 or 5 other players.
No football fan, other than those of PSG, are looking at PSG and thinking they are now part of the big time. Sometimes flambuyant gestures can make people look the opposite of what they’re intended to do.
Whatever the reaction of the football community, I’m sure my grandmother wouldn’t approve of any of it.
Money, get away
Get a good job with more pay and you’re O.K.
Money, it’s a gas
Grab that cash with both hands and make a stash
New car, caviar, four star daydream,
Think I’ll buy me a football team
Money, get back
I’m all right, Jack, keep your hands off of my stack.
Money, it’s a hit
Don’t give me that do goody good bullshit
I’m in the hi-fidelity first class traveling set
And I think I need a Lear jet
Money, it’s a crime
Share it fairly but don’t take a slice of my pie
Money, so they say
Is the root of all evil today
But if you ask for a rise it’s no surprise that they’re giving none away
“HuHuh! I was in the right!”
“Yes, absolutely in the right!”
“I certainly was in the right!”
“You was definitely in the right. That geezer was cruising for a bruising!”
“Why does anyone do anything?”
“I don’t know, I was really drunk at the time!”
“I was just telling him, he couldn’t get into number 2. He was asking why he wasn’t coming up on freely, after I was yelling and screaming and telling him why he wasn’t coming up on freely.
It came as a heavy blow, but we sorted the matter out.”
Money by Pink Floyd