Yes, I love watching footie on telly. And in pubs. Yet almost all our usually revered but patently overpaid wind-filled pigs-bladder bashers (past and present) are tragically silent as the world either enters or continues coronavirus lockdown.
In England the chief culprit is Professional Footballers Association (known as the players’ union, the PFA) head honcho – for longer than any despotic national ruler in the world might I add bar a pair of Africans – Gordon Taylor. Salary published as over £2m a year.
The man is usually, swiftly across the English media with blanket coverage on the sadly regular occasions he staunchly defends the frequently indefensible behaviour of his higher profile wealthy membership.
This lot of One Percenters, him included, are all happily gilded in their mansions protected by a posse of on tap private medical help and lackeys to order groceries which personal chefs then prepare.
Whilst there is absolutely nothing wrong with top entertainment talent being well recompensed, there is something very wrong about them – albeit with the odd laudable exception – and their union boss doing what appears to be zilch to aid their less well-paid lower-league brethren nor, critically, the staff at their clubs earning the bare minimum. (Not to mention their loyal ticket buying fanbase.) From kit men to tea ladies to stewards, without these they could not perform, and it is in part because of their enormous wages – an issue undoubtedly exacerbated by scurrilous owners – that the pay packets of the ‘ordinary folk’ are suppressed.
I was slightly heartened Sunday to hear the words of the main administrator of the professional English game underneath the vaunted EPL. In remarks to the tax-funded broadcaster;
“I’m not a fan of the begging-bowl culture … [rather than] just looking for handouts, it’s better to go with a self-help mentality, saying ‘this is what we’ve done, this is the problem that we find ourselves in, so how can we all help to produce a better future?’ I think it’s much better, in dialogue with the Premier League, to talk about sustainable futures and how we might be able to have a reset going forward.”
You feel his previous job – as first chief exec of the Premiership back in 1992 – might contribute to not putting any burden upon his old buddies. But still, a refreshing approach. And reminder as to how we should think when making our way through the ‘post-war’ climes.
Comrade Taylor’s most recent pronouncement I can find is six days prior to my blogging here. Blurting out his ‘the premier league season must get completed’ line.
Since then, total radio silence. Unbelievable.
I may be misinformed. Taylor may be fully across this. In which case, I’d be happy to note a humble correction.
Yet the fact I’ve not heard or seen it, having been glued to the bombardment of news and sport movements since self-isolating, suggests to me he hasn’t a moment to lose. Instruct his members earning over a certain amount to put a (small will do for starters) percentage into a benevolent pot. Then get someone who isn’t him and free of his satrapal oversight to divvy it out among the least well-off in their footballing family, then progress into the wider community. And do this whilst squaring the circle that you don’t let often oligarchical or shady-monied club Chairman off the hook. Tough ask, but especially with four decades experience, his time is surely now.
Should we scrape through this, our funnel is gonna need some serious ‘self-help mentality’ as well. We must engage with all around us ‘to produce a better future’. And we definitely have to plan ‘to talk about sustainable futures’ – the very essence of my whole blog – and the required ‘reset’. with all our clients, prospects, colleagues, partners, suppliers, stakeholders. That time (even using this same language) to work on these, albeit with half-an-eye naturally right now, is now.
7 Apr 2020 update noted … smh
9 Apr 2020 update … about time, and still work to do – well done Mr Health Minister for stirring them into (some) action