Insult to a footballer
Lots of attention to poor Ashley Cole in the press this week. Certainly, I was saddened to hear that Arsenal were prepared leave him destitute by only paying him £55,000 per week.
I can only say I nearly wept when I read the following heartbreaking extract from a resume from Cole's book "My Defence:"
'One telephone call changed everything about how I viewed and felt about Arsenal,' he writes.
'Ash! Are you listening?' said Barnett. 'I'm here in the office and David Dein is saying that they aren't going to give you £60k a week. They've agreed £55k and this is the best and final offer. Are you happy with that?'
Cole was not. 'I nearly swerved off the road. "He is taking the p***, Jonathan!" I yelled down the phone. I was so incensed. I was trembling with anger. I couldn't believe what I'd heard.'
It all seems quite a contrast with the game I watched this afternoon in which Bideford drew 2-2 against Bridgewater in the FA Cup Qualifying stage. It was an enjoyable match in which both teams played with real commitment even if they lacked the finesse of the Premiership teams. I guess many of the players got paid but it was not on a grand scale as none of the teams in this part of the world are flushed for money.
I am all for players being decently rewarded for the skills they acquire and the commitment they show. Indeed, I think Ashley Cole probably deserves the £60,000 he sought, but for a year rather than a week! It is sad that the world of professional sport is increasingly money obsessed. In the case of the top levels football, it is increasinly the play thing of the super rich with agents and top players raking in obscene fortunes whilst fans seem to exist to be ripped off.
Anyhow, back to Ashley who apparently felt unloved as a result of Arsenal not offering him £60,000 a week. What are we to do to make him feel better. I guess we could offer him something from the Benevolent Fund or even arrange a flag day to assist him in his need. Actually, we might not need to do so for the Robber Baron who owns Chelsea is apparently showing compassion by paying him £90,000 a week and managing to do so for Ashley and his team mates by charging prices for admission that are beyond the means of many fans to afford. All this is not to mention the other rip offs that are perpetuated on fans by the football aristocracy.
Clearly, the game is being taken away from working class people. Were we to think, we have nothing in common with the spoilt popstars of the Premiership and our international teams.
Anyhow, just in case the Methodist Recorder are looking in, I can tell them that even if Ashley was offended that his bosses were 'taking the p...' out of him for offering £55,000 per week, I will be only too happy for the Methodist Church to take the p... out of me in such a way. I'd be delighted to get that amount per annum if they could afford it. Actually, I'm just happy having a job in which I'm paid annually just under the level that Ashley found to be an insult for 2 1/2 days of his precious time. And for that which I get, I am very grateful.