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Have We Killed English Football?

By Jake Wilson :  26/10/2010 :  Comments (25) :
Have we let English football go too far? Look at Wayne Rooney, he said he wanted more money and he got it. Javier Mascherano has done it Liverpool, I want to move and he got it. Even in our own club it is happening: Steven Pienaar wants £60,000 a week and we will only offer him £50,000. Why do footballers want so much money? Because they know they can get it.

Look at the German league; it is not regarded as the best league in the world but in terms of World Cups and Euro Championships, the national side is always up there. It is no coincidence; they have a wage cap to stop the cases like Portsmouth and even Liverpool. But that means they spend less on wages and big money transfers and put more money into grass roots football so their home-grown players develop into the great players.

It is probably too late to do this in English football because of the excessive wage demands players have. England will not win a major competition until something is changed. If you go to Germany or Belgium, their academies or even there ?Sunday league? style facilities are ten times better than ours.

Is it a coincidence they beat us 4-1 in the World Cup with a very youthful squad? But it had big game experience because they play regular first team experience.

Reader Comments

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Dave Lynch
1   Posted 26/10/2010 at 15:05:02

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Because money is more important than the game itself.
I have on numerous occasions stated a wage cap is the only way to get our game back on the right footing, it will have to happen eventually as IMO the game is ready to implode big time.
A european super league may well be formed and the sooner the better, then we can all get back to what is important.
The game itself !
The so called big 4 (sky whores) fan base will soon get bored and watching their attendances dwindle will be heaven to watch.
Gaute Lie
2   Posted 26/10/2010 at 15:09:33

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I agree the player salaries is too high. It started with the TV money that became big money in the 90s, money for Champions League etc. Man U, L'pool, Leeds and Arsenal all profited on that money, and could bid more and more for the players they wanted, creating an evil spiral of inflation in players salaries and transfer money.

Once Leeds didn't qualify for the top four, they had big trouble financially, and we all know where they are now. Using more money than you have is not such a good idea when it comes to football.

I think it's wise not to offer the players more and more just to keep them. It can and will cause us to take a divisiondive. I also believe there should be a wage cap for all new contracts.
Tommy Coleman
3   Posted 26/10/2010 at 15:06:22

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I don't think high wages are the reason England have been rubbish in major tournaments as that's been going on for 40 years.
I do agree though that more money should be transfered from what clubs make and put be put into grass roots. We have the richest league in the world yet we spend the bare minimum on grass roots football.
Trevor Lynes
4   Posted 26/10/2010 at 15:12:28

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This is really a 'sucking eggs' article...The Germans have always been a well organised people and even though we invented the sport we struggle to compete at the top...in four years time I am sure that Germany will be strong competitors for the world cup for exactly the reasons you mention...We totally lack foresight and it cannot be changed whilst we flood our league with top foreign players.
How can our bright youngsters develop with no chance of playing...the big clubs trawl the world of football and buy ready made stars so that they can stay on top...very few youngsters from England can force their way into the first eleven at top clubs.
These foreign stars are real mercenaries who ply their trade where the best money can be earned...and who can blame them, its a short career.
I worked abroad most of my life to earn more and did not care about the consequences...BUT..part of our job was to train locals to eventually take our place....
The only clubs who genuinely bring English youngsters forward are the one's who cannot afford the ready made stars....Germany saw this and nipped it in the bud....we just continue to pick ageing players and the replacements for them are not on the horizon with the exception of Wilshire, Johnson,Rodwell and Albrighton.
It does not augur well for the next world cup.
Sega Kana
5   Posted 26/10/2010 at 15:24:03

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Just saw the news about new offer for Blackburn by an Indian businessman. That made my blue blood boil!!! Where's our share of interested parties? What's putting off the money men? Why aren't we attractive when clearly, we only need probably a couple of £20M players to hit the Champions League places? What are the people entrusted to find the money doing? GGRRRRR!!!
Danny Jones
6   Posted 26/10/2010 at 15:19:56

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The only way to introduce a wage cap, is if it's Europe or World wide. Players will always want to play for the clubs who pay the most. Perfect example is City, any player be it English (Lescott, Barry, Millner) or foreign (Silva, Tevez, Balotelli) will always go for to the clubs who pay more money. Human nature. Doesn't matter if it's in England, Spain, Russia or America. Why do you think that You get kids from South America turning out for Wigan and the likes.
Adam Bennett
7   Posted 26/10/2010 at 16:33:22

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Hopefully when/if the new UEFA regulations come in to effect in a few years, in regards to the spending percentage of turnover and bans from UEFA competitions for clubs with certain levels of debt, will sort out the wage structure in the Premier League, and bring it to more sensible levels.

I have a feeling the Wayne Rooney new contract shenanigans had something to do with that. Stretford realising that with these new regulations clubs won?t be able to spent crazy amounts of money for wages anymore and saw it as one last chance for a ridiculously massive contract.
Norman Grimwood
8   Posted 26/10/2010 at 16:42:41

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Simple answer: Yes.
Graham Brimage
9   Posted 26/10/2010 at 16:54:39

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Is it the players or the agents that are ruining the game?
Jimmy Hacking
10   Posted 26/10/2010 at 16:53:12

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(4) "The Germans have always been a well organised people".

This is perhaps best exemplified during the years 1933-45.

Did you know that Koreans also eat dogs, and The English have bad teeth?
Jimmy Hacking
11   Posted 26/10/2010 at 16:56:04

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a little more on-topic, IMO wages are gonna rise before they fall, the EPL will follow US baseball and "football", with players demanding £500k a week and even MORE control over things like image rights.

Whenever someone mentions a wage cap in England, someone always says "but all the best players will leave", but will they? I doubt many of our premier league "stars" could earn similar amounts in Spain and Italy, except for four or five like Rooney and Fabregas. the rest would have to like it or lump it.
Nelaj Behajiha
12   Posted 26/10/2010 at 18:17:52

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Too many reasons why German football is better evryone knows it is.
Kunal Desai
13   Posted 26/10/2010 at 18:52:27

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Those that run the PL are stupid and naive. Honestly who in their right mind gets a pay rise and have underperformed and been shit in their profession for months.
There needs to be a reality check millions of people are redundant and more cuts along the way whilst this prick pockets £8M a year!!! It's absolutely disgusting!
Leon Perrin
14   Posted 26/10/2010 at 20:22:42

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The money problem relates more to the managers than the players, they're so well paid they're shit scared of getting the boot so they all play this defensive crap: 4-5-1... Christ!
Larry Boner
15   Posted 26/10/2010 at 20:44:48

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Franck Riberys wage at Bayern is £165k/week - some wage, some cap.
Dick Fearon
16   Posted 26/10/2010 at 23:25:45

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Since comiing to Oz and missing my matchday experience, as a kind of replacement therapy I became heavily involved in promoting and developing our game down under.

In Liverpool on holiday I was staggered at how little attention and support is paid to the junior side of the game. I made it my business to study coaching sessions as often as possible and questioned many coaches.

What struck me most of all was the lack of structure that was employed. There seemed to be very little feedback or support from further up the chain of command. None of the coaches had heard of let alone attended any kind of accreditation course. Most were ordinary blokes doing it for the sake of their own kids and their involvement ended when the kids moved on.

Compare that to my local club here in Oz, which has 26 teams aged between 6 and 16 years. Each team has an appointed accredited yet volunteer coach plus a manager who in most cases is also accredited.

While in Liverpool, I could not get to watch any games of kids up to age 11. I did ask where I could observe those mini ages but not one of the dozens asked had a clue. Everyone was of the opinion that 11 was the starting age.

Mini or Rooball as it's know here is seeing, and for the past 30 years, has seen tremendous growth. Clubs and junior associations are continuously providing and promoting courses in club administration, safety, First Aid, Coaching etc of junior football.

Perhaps I asked the wrong people while in the old town but I found not a shred of evidence that any of that stuff was provided..

Jamie Sweet
17   Posted 26/10/2010 at 23:33:37

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Nobody on this planet needs to earn that much money - it's sickening when there's so much poverty in the world. All this bullshit about a footballers career is short blah blah blah. And it's us, the fans who are basically paying these wages by going to the games / subscribing to Sky / buying merchandise etc.

Using the Ribery example above - ten years for him earning at that level... would take me over four thousand years to earn in my job! FOUR THOUSAND YEARS!

I think a salary cap is needed, but it should have happened in the 90's before wgaes got this fucking ridiculous!
Eric Myles
18   Posted 27/10/2010 at 02:30:29

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Aren't players wages in England so high because the tax is so high? When you take 50% of it away to give to the government then the money is more comparable to Europeean clubs players.
Kevin Jones
19   Posted 27/10/2010 at 08:24:01

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Put a wage cap in place and the Clubs will get round it. Rugby league went down this road a few years back and they allegedly got round it by paying the players wives big saleries to work in the souvenir shops for an hour a week. Also how can you have a wage cap, surely this contravenes some European Law, who caps how much Roman Abramavich earns or Elton John or Bill Kenwright or me or you or anyone for that matter. People earn what they earn. Yes I think it's greedy and gone way to far but I'd take it without hesitation. There's an old saying in life " More Wants More". Never more apt in todays climate.
John Daley
20   Posted 27/10/2010 at 12:58:24

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"Rugby league went down this road a few years back and they allegedly got round it by paying the players wives big salaries to work in the souvenir shops for an hour a week"

Nice. Let's get Mrs Arteta in the megastore for a few shifts.
Jimmy Hacking
21   Posted 27/10/2010 at 18:50:33

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I'd stick Bilyaletdinov in the megastore, and let his wife play left-wing.
Ciaran Duff
22   Posted 28/10/2010 at 12:32:42

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On the poor state of English national team, I'm with Dick on this one. The coaching methods and the whole system (too much emphasis on clubs) does not produce enough good technical players. As Dick says, there is a big push for youth development, small sided games, elite coaching etc here in Oz. I think we'll be crap in the next WC but after in 8-12 years time I expect to see the fruit coming through.
Ernie Baywood
23   Posted 29/10/2010 at 12:05:23

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Won't happen Ciaran, because any England manager will be scared to pick the best available team and will instead pick the best available players. Is it our media that's the problem?

The talk of Germany being a well organised people is so far off the mark its untrue. In a footballing sense they are innovative and refreshing. None of your robotic shite - they're open to new ideas in a way that shames England. There's no way England would have chosen that coach, there's no way England would have chosen that team. Given what they had available it was just a perfect balance of youth and experience, encouraged to play good football but a very astute coach. Half of them had already played in an underage World Cup final as well... against England... for whom only one had made the same progression (Milner I think, from the top of my head).

In the meantime England picked the same players who had already failed and expected a different result. Doesn't make sense.
Ciarán McGlone
24   Posted 30/10/2010 at 13:43:41

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I love this suggestion that Germany is somehow the paragon of footballing virtue... It's nonsense.

Yes, they admitedly have some good ideas, but finance is as rampant over there as anywhere else. The only difference is that it is relative. The fact that English football is the top league in the world at the moment exacerabtes the financial implications...

I don't know if the writer has watched the German league lately but, outside of the top contenders, the football is pretty mediocre.

As for German footballing virtue... in the year Hoffenheim came up to the top league, they were the second biggest spender in Germany next to Bayern. They spent big and hoovered up all the young talent ? that is not the same as nuturing young talent.

As Alex would say...."You see a cow in another field... blah, blah, blah."
Ciarán McGlone
25   Posted 30/10/2010 at 14:08:53

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And by the way - who is this figurative 'we' you speak of?

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