LETTER OF THE WEEK: Transfer fees show world of football has gone mad

Neymar Jr.
Neymar Jr.

Growing up in the 1970s, like most boys of my era, we lived for anything associated with football.

Whether that was having a kick about with your mates as soon as you got home from school, or collecting the stickers to put in your album.

Then there was football nirvana – being allowed to stay up on a Saturday night to watch your heroes perform on Match of the Day, in colour if you were lucky.

I was also privileged enough as a child to be taken to see Don Revie’s Leeds United side play at Leicester City.

A side that had swept all before them, and was full of superstars.

I wonder what each one of those players would fetch on the transfer market at today’s prices?

I can also remember the furore that the sale of Trevor Francis from Birmingham City to Nottingham Forest caused when the price was revealed as being £1m.

Fast forward almost 40 years, and the transfer price of some footballers has gone into a different stratosphere.

Some £45m for a defender who couldn’t even get into Tottenham Hotspur’s first eleven.

Then at the other end of the pitch, we have the recent sale of Neymar Jnr from Barcelona to Paris Saint Germain for a world record fee approaching £200m.

With his wages per annum expected to be in the region of £40m, he is set to receive £550,000 a week after tax. Paris St Germain’s average attendance is 45,000.

A quarter of which is now needed to pay one man’s wages.

It might sound like I have a touch of the green eyed monster in me, but the world, and football in general, has truly gone mad.

Then we have our two Manchester clubs, who between them, have spent well over £200m on players in this transfer window alone. This amount of spending is clearly not sustainable in the long term.

As for the governing bodies of football, UEFA and FIFA, they have come up with their so called “fair play rules” but are content to let one team spend on one player, what the rest of the teams in the French league don’t even spend on their squads!

Working in London since 1986 gave me the chance to watch my boyhood heroes play in North London, admittance to the terrace back then, a whopping £3.

They say that “fools are easily parted from their money”.

Football, and those that own and run the clubs of today are now clearly full of them!

Ivan Humphrey