Nowadays in football there is no loyalty. This is because of one reason, and one reason alone: football is now a business, and everyone knows that there are no friends in business. Everyone now involved in football, whether that be players, managers, owners,or clubs and agents, are looking out for no. 1. Behind every action of a player, manager, owner, club or agent, there is an ulterior motive that benefits whoever has instigated it.
Football fans see players moving clubs for a number of different reasons. The different scenarios include a player moving to a club that is more prestigious than the club they are currently at; a player moving to a club that offers them a higher wage than the club they are currently at; moving to a club that wins trophies; moving to a club for personal reasons (family, homesickness or because he does not feel respected by the club he is currently at); and even a player moving club because his friend has recommended him to do so.
As Arsenal fans, we are no strangers to players leaving our club, and our players who are still at the club are never far from transfer speculation. In recent years we have seen a lot of players leave our club. These include the likes of Clichy, Nasri, Fabregas, and recently Song and Van Persie (all of which have been our best players). Players will move clubs for many different reasons and there is no problem with this, but when you start to see a trend in the reasons why players leave a club (players leaving the club for the same reasons), you know that there is a deep lying problem within the club.
Arsenal are now one of these clubs and have been for a number of years, with players such as those mentioned above either leaving Arsenal for a more prestigious club, and/or a club that pays them higher wages, and/or a club that has won trophies in recent times.
Players who have left Arsenal are often branded as being selfish, greedy, sell-outs and traitors by us fans, but in my opinion I feel that they were right to leave Arsenal, and I will explain why.
Firstly, for most professional footballers, playing football is a job first and a hobby second. This means that to most football players this is their career. Like anyone else who has a career, you want to improve your career and climb the ladder to get yourself noticed. For the players who have left Arsenal in recent years, moving to a club which gives them a higher wage, a club that is more prestigious and a club that wins trophies is their way of improving their career; climbing the ladder and getting themselves noticed just like everyone in the world wants to do.
Secondly, many fans say that Arsenal players who have left the club should have been loyal and stayed at Arsenal, regardless of Arsenal not winning any trophies for 8 years. I have to disagree. Why should Arsenal players who have left the club, stayed at a club that is underperforming. Suppose it was the other way round and it was the player who was underperforming. The club would not stand by him. That player would more than likely be sold as quickly as possible or just kicked out the club (forced to go on loan). We have seen this with the likes of Park, Santos etc. Suppose your boss had been promising you a pay rise for 8 years and you never got it; you would leave the company you work for as well.
What Arsène Wenger and the board must do to stop more of our best players from leaving our club for the same reasons, is very simple.
Arsène Wenger and the board must abandon their current wage structure that Arsenal are using to reward their players. Arsenal pays the wages of their football players using the idea of a ‘socialist model’. This means that the gap paid in wages between the highest earners and the lowest paid players, are much narrower compared to the likes of Manchester United, Chelsea and Manchester City.
This is shown by the likes of Podolski and Walcott, who are regular first team players for Arsenal but get paid only around £90 000 a week, and the likes of Squillaci, who is a reserve player and our fifth choice centre back, and gets paid around £60 000 which is not a huge difference at all.
Arsenal’s collective wage bill every year is around £143 million which is the fourth highest collective wage bill in the Premier League; with Manchester United’s collective wage bill every year being around £160 million; Chelsea’s collective wage bill ever year being £171 million; and Manchester City’s collective wage bill every year being the highest in the Premier League at around £201.
Manchester United’s wage collective wage bill is not that much higher than ours but because they do not follow the ‘socialist model’ of paying wages this means that they can afford to pay the likes of Van Persie and Rooney around £220 000 a week, meanwhile we cannot afford to pay wages above the £110 000 mark to players. Arsène Wenger and the board need to start paying the wages of Arsenal players based on their performances, abilities and value to the team.
In addition quite a large chunk of Arsenal’s collective wage budget is made up from Arsenal paying other clubs to take Arsenal players on loan (for example Denilson whose loan deals just seem to never end). Arsène Wenger and the board would save a lot more money if they just sold these players or released them from their contracts.
This must stop, and with the money saved from selling or releasing players from their contracts, as opposed to just loaning them out, and by switching to a new wage structure, it would allow Arsenal to pay their best players what they deserve, and also have the money at their disposal to pay the wages needed for top quality players to come to Arsenal.
If Arsène Wenger and the board can do this, we will easily start to be able to win trophies again and our club will be able to be as prestigious as it used to be, and our best players will not want to leave Arsenal.
I would love to hear your thoughts on the topic.
Written by: AFC.