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August 26, 2007


chris y

Maybe the set of people who believe that wages should be set according to majority opinion about desert largely overlaps with the set of people (much larger than the press imagines) who wouldn't care, or probably notice, if the Premiership collapsed into a black hole this afternoon.


Hi, Chris,

A question

Do you think there is a case for the industry being regulated, or waking up, in a bout of altruism, to the plight of the young boys who get encouraged to beleive they have a future as professionals?

From ages long before one could make any sort of informed consent, certain boys lose focus from schooling to live and breathe the game. Club scouts are obliged to keep anyone with potential interested in the clubs the scouts work for. But many boys reach ages in the range 17-20 only to learn that their dream will come to nothing. They are summarily dumped by the clubs. They will have long since burned their bridges in conventional education.

Might it not be beneficial for the good of the game that those boys who gave up everything else in their youngest years to satisfy an ambition, came close but did not make the grade be given a bursary or scholarship or some sort of five-year fixed term guaranteed minimum income, so that they can steer themselves through this disappointment to some other way of making a living?

(Disclosure - my ex wife's nephew found himself dumped by a middle ranking London club, aged 17 and hadn't the first clue what to do after having his dream of the past 8 years shattered)


There must be a million intelligent criticisms to be made of our current model of capitalism. But The Left has never made any, simply being busy being stupid. I suppose that I might exempt you from this remark, Mr D, but damned few others.


Well put Chris. However, we are nearly at the end of the summer silly season and hopefully these such articles will be behind us soon!

As to Will. Is it not the role of the parents to see the obvious self-interest of the clubs and keep their kids learning too?


I agree about allowing the market to determine wages.... but surely the problem is the recognition that markets don't function efficiently and thus some regulation is alays going to be needed. I don't know the answer to wage caps either - whether or not they work. I agree with the idea that footballers and city managers are paid too much without mostly demonstrating why they should, so maybe the answer is for the government to tinker with regulation that allows so much money to flow to players ?
I'm just throwing out ideas here....


I guess my point is, shouldn't the left be concerned with gross economic inequality? I am, I think it leaves a society less at ease with itself.


Cityunslicker's point is dead right but the negotiating odds favour the clubs. Clubs will throw away reassurances that youngsters go to the local FE colleges without, I believe, making clear the chances that your kid won't be kept on after 12 months.

Inequality of bargaining positions.

el Tom

"Having wages bear no relation to desert is the price we must pay for economic efficiency."

Efficiency to what end?


To not living in turf huts on the moors, el Tom.


Quasi-rents and producer surplus, yep, good arguments for a progressive tax/social security system.

Scholarships for apprentice footballers, yes it would be good - but I think you need a parents union for that one. I know, that in Sydney Canterbury/Bankstown RL used to run such a scheme (my father was a benificiary) and as a consequence were more educated that the average RL team (but not clearly more successful).

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