Is There No Loyalty in Scottish Football?
I’m certain that this question could easily be applied to a number of other football leagues around the world, but lately I have found myself asking it. We have had Brendan Rodgers give up his “dream job”, a possible historic treble treble, and shots at the Champions league every year – for what? Mid-table obscurity with a premier league side? Now don’t get me wrong, I get that them draw of the premier league is too much for some people. The financial rewards on offer there dwarf anything that we can offer up in Scotland – but when did football all become about money? What happened to the greats of the past? When the pinnacle of your career was playing for the club you supported as a boy or turning out for your national team? It’s a sad state of affairs to see players claiming to be “true supporters” then turning their back on the club in order to double their wages at some mid-table Championship club. Listening to the pundits, they will tell you that footballers have a “short-career”. Granted that this is true for many players, however the wages that they make during this short lifespan are still far beyond what the normal person could expect to see in their lifetime. Take an average player at Celtic or Rangers that may be on 15k a month. That is still 180k a year. To put that in perspective, that nine years pay for the average man on the street. All that before taking into consideration bonuses, signing on fees, etc. If a players lifespan is ten years, it would take the average man ninety to equal their wages. So how much money is too much. I honestly feel that we have lost – or perhaps sold – the heart and soul of football.
The fans ability to relate to one player and live out their dreams through him also seems to be a thing of the past. Footballers are now much more likely to want to move on and line their pockets. The days of the one club man seem to be coming to an end. This coincides with the influx of foreigners to Scottish football. It is difficult to support a team growing up, when the first time you set foot inside the country is to sign. Many clubs now look for instant success rather than bringing through their own talent or utilising the players in the lower Scottish leagues. There seems to be some sort of stigma that playing in the Scottish Championship or below means that you are not good enough. This comes despite seeing players in the English Premier league having came up through non-league clubs. Perhaps it is that these player are not as marketable as one from abroad who has two caps for a provincial nation. Perhaps they are not as glamorous as a player that was once in the youth ranks of a team that has played in the Champions League.
Sure they will retire from football with bigger bank balances, which seems to be more important than bigger trophy cabinets.