Sport – 1

I am not a sport fan, nor do I play any sport now.  I used to play badminton and table tennis fairly regular and tennis in my younger days.

One thing that really annoys me is the amount of money clubs in a number of sports pay to buy a player along with the high wages they receive.  To me it is obscene.  Whilst I realise, a player only has so many years of playing and therefore needs a certain level of pay to prepare for post-playing.  Yet, most are still capable and skilled enough to get another job.  There is no justification for such amounts.  It has become more about the money than the sport.  It generally means that clubs charge exorbitant amounts for a supporter to watch a ‘live’ match.  Also it means that the clubs are subservient to the media in the way they are run.  The pressure is also on managers to constantly win, otherwise they get sacked.  Sport is about passion and enjoyment, not about business and money.

It is about time that the sporting bodies like FIFA, take back control of the respective sports and put limits on the money spent on players, introduce strict rules about the conduct of agents as well as television coverage, so as to increase the participation of fans who can then afford to be more involved in the life of their clubs, and not just on match days.  This should also include forcing clubs to reduce their entrance charges, have more transparent rules about who can own a club, etc.  On  ownership, I feel a number of owners of senior clubs have dubious backgrounds which have never been properly investigated by the sporting bodies.

In football, in particular, there seems to far too many competitions, thus not allowing its players to be at their best.  I would also like to see more emphasis, in international sport, being on individual clubs than on national teams; this would engender a wider loyalty and dilute nationalism.  It would also mean that teams would be using their best players and hopefully then a better game.  FIFA should be also encouraging each club to have Academies and use the up and coming players more than constantly buying foreign players.  Maybe, FIFA, needs to be more strict on the financial stability of a club, including removing them from any of the leagues?  The whole issue of transfers needs to be sorted out so that it only takes place during the ‘break’, so clubs can better plan their strategies for the seasons.  (On a personal note, all clubs should introduce goal-line technology, along with getting rid of the offside rule.)

Sport is not the only sector where pay is obscene; this happens in almost all areas of business.  It would be good if there was legislation to limit the difference between the pay of the CEO’s and the most junior member of staff to a figure of say 30 times.  For no-one really needs an salary of more than one million pounds to be able to live comfortably – it is just greed.

Any comments?