Only a Game - Why footballer Gary Cahill makes me sad

BOLTON, ENGLAND - DECEMBER 31: during the Barclays Premier League match between Bolton Wanderers and Wolverhampton Wanderers at the Reebok Stadium on December 31, 2011 in Bolton, England. (Photo by Chris Brunskill/Getty Images)
BOLTON, ENGLAND - DECEMBER 31: during the Barclays Premier League match between Bolton Wanderers and Wolverhampton Wanderers at the Reebok Stadium on December 31, 2011 in Bolton, England. (Photo by Chris Brunskill/Getty Images)
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Gary Cahill’s on/off transfer from Bolton Wanderers to Chelsea is yet another example of just how far removed footballers have become from the very people who pay their wages.

Gary Cahill (pictured above) is 26 years-old and has made seven appearances for the England international team. He’s not exactly Lionel Messi or Cristiano Ronaldo but still Cahill, and so many other English footballers, seem to cost much more than they are worth.

Cahill was reported to have asked for wages in and around £120,000 per week. It was reported yesterday that Chelsea had offered something closer to £80,000.

In previous seasons large salaries were reserved for the players who ‘deserved’ them. Whilst I’ll never able to come to terms with the fact that some footballers earn in a week what I would earn in ten years, I can understand why some clubs choose to reward to star players.

I don’t think any footballer is worth wages in the region of £120,000 per week. Quite frankly, it makes me ashamed to exist in a society where people can’t afford to put food on the table but there are footballers earning vast amounts of money and spending it on things they don’t need or want.

Anyway, that aside, it’s crazy that someone as unproven as Gary Cahill can have the tenacity to ask for such wages. It’s ridiculous.

It reminds me of the time when Leeds United signed Seth Johnson from Derby County. Seth and his agent agreed on a figure that they’d be happy with but Leeds United Chairman at the time Peter Ridsdale ended up offering him a much larger figure.

It seems that Chelsea have learned not to follow in the footsteps of Leeds United but I still think that even the reported £80,000 per week wages that Chelsea offered Cahill are far too much.

Derry man Darron Gibson joined Everton from Manchester United for a deal reported to be close to two million. Gibson has proved he has what it takes to play in the Premiership and is a proven international for the Republic of Ireland. Will Gibson be earning £80,000 per week? I think not.

It seems that if a player has an English passport they can command significantly more. I am not for one minute saying that Cahill hasn’t got the potential to go on and be a great player but wait until you have actually achieved something before you start making big demands.

Earlier this week my father asked me if I was going to watch the Manchester City v Liverpool League Cup semi-final on television. I can’t remember a time when I felt less excited about a football match.

The only reason that I could come up with for my apathy was because of just how greedy and dominated by money the game has become.

It’s fair enough to point out that footballers are employees too but it’s such a week argument.

Yes, footballers are employees but it’s ludicrous to suggest that the same principles apply to employees on £120,000 per week as it does to working class people taking home £400 (and that’s if they are lucky).

Football is entertainment and it should be regarded and seen as such. Would the world end if football didn’t exist tomorrow? Would people die as a result? I think not.

I think football would become a much more endearing sport if every footballer earning above a certain wage was made to donate some of their wages to charity or to other worthwhile causes.

Such an action would help football move closer to the fans. It would also help footballers to be perceived as human and not as greedy materialists whose only problem is to decide whether to have leather clad dice hanging from the rear view mirror in their Enzo Ferrari.

When does enough money become enough money? It seems that footballers don’t know when enough is enough and some of them would try the patience of a saint if it meant that they could get an extra £5,000 per week.

The world of football is not a bottomless pit of money and the over blown wages that have been on offer in recent season will eventually come home to roost. I am all for enjoying the finer things in life but there has to come a point when you are earning so much money that you should start to think how you can use it to help others.