By John Brindley - Staff Author
VERY well paid footballers from Bolton Wanderers caused a professional match to be postponed today (Saturday) because their big fat wage packets are a few days late.
And the money rich, socially complacent, completely out-of-touch world of football largely sympathises with them.
‘How dare a guy who runs one of our clubs run out of money!’ The sheep have been bleating their condemnation of the latest businessman to discover that the beautiful game is a great way of squandering your fortune.
To me – ironically a big football supporter, albeit of the game rather than its politics – this is a parody of how two different worlds operate at once.
The elite and rich are the first to complain when things get rough. And have no problem throwing everyone else to the wolves when it happens.
Meanwhile the 99 per cent have far more pressing problems. Many struggle to afford the ticket prices to watch these spoiled brats play.
To be fair, Bolton’s players aren’t at the top of the pile. They aren’t paid the telephone numbers of their Premier League neighbours from Manchester or Liverpool, but they are still doing pretty well.
It’s difficult to believe that a contracted professional at a Championship club is on less than £1,000 a week, which is roughly the some earned by our dearly beloved MPs. Some of the squad at Bolton, who have been relegated ignominiously to League One, will bring home far more than that.
They actually have very few financial worries whatever happens to their club.
Should, as seems very likely, Bolton go into administration, the first employees to be paid back in full will be the players. It will be the support staff – media team, commercial department, scouts, administrators, even coaches – who will lose their jobs. And these are people, let’s remember, who unlike the players have been doing their jobs well this season.
And what about all the ordinary folk who suffer because Bolton’s players have thrown their toys out of the pram.
Organising a professional event is no small deal. It involves a lot of cost and preparation.
Bolton’s long-suffering fans paid good money to watch in one last forlorn hope to be entertained this season, staff are needed both in and outside the ground, the police allocate much needed resources to keep everyone safe and so it goes on and on.
Should I have bought tickets to see a famous entertainer tonight only to be told earlier on the same day he’s no longer coming because he is in dispute with his manager, I’d make a mental note – never, ever to support one of his events again.
In 2019, people lose their jobs every day. Some are made redundant. Others don’t have jobs at all.
Many would give their right arm to walk onto Bolton’s pitch and kick a ball for them.
The reason these footballers aren’t being paid may involve mismanagement by the club’s owners. But it also has much to do with the culture of the sport in Britain.
Spend, spend, spend is the order of the day in the hope they will get into the promised land of the Premier League where money is no object.
The figures don’t add up. Some clubs pay their players more than the club’s entire income. They rely on TV money, commercial backers and their owners to keep them in business.
Bolton are far from alone with their financial problems. The time is almost certainly nigh when a genuinely big club will go to the wall.
And who will be the real losers. Genuine people like you and I who love nothing more than supporting them.
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