Football, football, football. I am partial to a spot of footy, both playing and watching. In the words of Jimmy Greaves ?It?s a funny old game?. Over the past decade or so it seems that players are getting the upper hand and contracts don?t really mean anything. An example of this is that Cristiano Ronaldo (or actually his agent) has declared that unless he gets a massive wage increase he?ll look to move to another club that will be able to offer what he think?s he?s worth. He?s 2 years into a 5 year contract with Manchester United worth £18,000 a week.
Football is constantly changing after the Bosman ruling (freedom to move once a contract has finished) and now maybe the Cole ruling (opportunity to meet potential future employers whilst still under contract to current employer). Many argue that it?s ruining the game, but at the end of the day the Clubs are employers, Players are employees, and we the Spectators are the consumers, that?s the way it is and Football can?t be expected to be treated like anything other than a business, at the end of the day there is profit/loss and the aim to be a successful market competitor.
Show me a job where you, an individual, cannot give notice to your employer and are not allowed to look at or meet prospective employers or business oportunities. I can?t see where the future of Football will be when football players gain parity in their contract status with other employees in different fields (excuse the pun) of employment. They will be moving around will-nilly (I have never written that word before, a first, wow!).
In all fairness if another club wants to offer more money to Ronaldo, then he should be able to give a period of notice and move on after that time. But hey that?s not the nature of the beast.
I don?t doubt that players will gain their ?freedom? sometime in the future, and transfer fees will be scrapped, with the players going to clubs who can afford to pay them (Chelsea anyone?).
Maybe the only solution would be to impose a team salary cap, i.e. all players are free to move as they want but each premiership team can spend a maximum of £40 million on wages a year (See what they already pay). It?s be a bit like fantasy football, and the managers would have to decide where the wages will be going. It would also mean that players would keep their wages lower so that they don?t price themselves out of the market, and won?t ask for huge wage increases.
I do think sports players get paid too much money, but we, as the consumers, are constantly buying the ?product? so why should anything change?