Date: 17th January 2009 at 11:54am
Written by:

What is the point of having contracts, what do they actually mean – the players pretty much hold all the cards and what they say and do goes… most of the time!

You can tie a player down to a long-term contract, but what does that really mean?

‘It puts you in a stronger bargaining position if/when they want to leave’ of course, but does it? Once a player decides that he wants to go more often than not he will – and if he is not allowed to go then the toys are thrown out of the pram and a paddy is thrown until he gets his own way.

Latest point in case seems to be West Ham’s Craig Bellamy. ‘The Spurs manager’ constantly makes reference to players, and he is one of them – although to be fair so has Citeh’s Mark Hughes as far as Bellamy, and others, is concerned. Redknapp says that he wants Bellamy at Spurs, West Ham reject the offer and offer a new contract. Bellamy rejects this offer and tells the club he wants to leave for Spurs, but he is told he is not going anywhere… As a result of this he is ‘said’ to have basically ‘gone of strike’ until he gets his way, and gets his move. Possibly just pure media sensationalism, but then again maybe not?

We had a similar position with Jermain Defoe. It is still said that it was actually the club that got the ball rolling on his parting, but he would not have taken much encouragement. He then mopes around the pitch as he wants his move, misses a penalty in the processes and costs us points. He then pulls ‘a sicky’ to make sure he does not get himself cup tied, claims ‘death threats’ – if true a disgrace from so called fans, but a far too easy ‘out’ for me – before making a miraculous recovery from ‘Spurs-flu’ to make his move, of course being wrapped up warm like a London chimney sweep probably helped…

Managers are they same, maybe a mid season approach for someone already in work should not be allowed. Invariably once an approach is made, if the club refuse this club permission to talk to the manager they will usually walk anyway, so having to wait until the ‘off season’ could cause less disruption during a season – then again, if you have manager in charge who does not want to be in charge, or has his mind elsewhere you are buggered – I think we found that out in Portugal when we got stuffed by Braga!

Something needs to be done to stop these million pound playboys from getting things there own way all the time – getting them to actually honour the contracts that they have and honour the fans, who help pay their obscene amounts of money, needs to happen.

Of course, on the other hand you sometimes have clubs that force players or managers out of the door, and we could not have pushed Benjani and harder, when he had his feet so firmly planted that he almost grew roots! No loyalty at all from us in that instance, but more often than not it is not the way it works with transfers. Usually if an offer that is ‘too good to refuse’ comes in most players, being the professionals they are, realise that the club are willing to sell them so once this offer is accepted they accept their fate and move on – Gary O’Neil is a prime example there, another that did not want to leave Pompey but the club made it clear he could, so he did. He is also an example of how the likes of Defoe and Bellamy should have acted! He was told he would not be allowed to leave this month, have we heard a peep out of him? Not one, he will get back into the Boro side and give his all like he always has!

Managers talking openly about them often turn player’s heads, and this must stop. Giving ‘cash fines’ for these apparent ‘tapping up’ of players – which appears a ‘fair an legal way’ of taping up a player, why is that by the way? – is not enough. You can argue hitting clubs in the pocket is where it hurts more, but a point’s deduction could hurt even more! These dropped points could mean missing out on a title, missing a European place, or even being relegated. The repercussions of this could be worth far more to the club involved, financially and otherwise…

The players themselves now have to be punished much, much more for their actions. If they express a desire to leave before their contract ends, if they go public with their thoughts or throw the toys out of the pram, which is not only a slight at the club itself but all of us, the fans, they and we should be able to do something back to punish them. Usually transfer dealings are in the best interests of all concerned, but when a player feels he has the power to get his way something has to give.

Refusal to play for the club, or half hearted effort if he does, should result in some form of punishment – not paying them until they do leave, which means the club get an offer they want to accept, not feel they have to accept, could be the answer? If you or I do not want to do our jobs, we will not get paid, so why should they! If it is the club trying to force a player out, that does not want out maybe paying up their contract or something could happen – although money will not be compensation for the player if they do not want to leave, and then ‘most’ players would claim this argument when it came to moving as their greed takes over!

Disillusioned, I think that is something that fans are becoming more and more with regards to football and its ‘greed’, a word just used, which I think is the key word in the world of football today. This increasing greed is ruining football – more and more of the working class football fan is being forced away from the game because of this, and mark my words even more will be in the months and years ahead, but also mark these words, as much as the media, organisations such as sky sports – who seem to think that football did not exist pre-premier league, the players and the clubs like to think ‘the bottom will never fall out’ as far as football is concerned, it most certainly will one day if things carry on the way they are, without a doubt as far as the premier league is concerned anyway…


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