Monday, 25 October 2010

Sort Ya Life Out!

I know it's a bit late, but hey ho.

This is Ian Holloway's first season in the Premier League. What started as a pipe dream turned into reality for the Tangerines as he led them to Wembley, where they won the Championship play-off final against Cardiff. He and his chairmen may be the newest diners at the top table, but him and his 'original' statements are known to all.

Some may see him as a joker or the light relief in comparison to the serious manner of those at the top of the league. Regardless of that, one thing that is always stated about Ian is that above all else, he is a 'football fan'. A trait that exudes from him and brings a sense of purity to the financially oriented most watched league in the World.

A honest man who appreciates the purity of the beautiful game. Lets be honest, his press conferences are a rare gem in a time of contrived and preprepared media moments. Friday would have been the first time some supporters had ever seen or heard a manager speak with so much passion - unless arguing over a penalty appeal. Because of who said it, some may not have listened.

I agree with him when he questions the weight a contract holds in this era of obscene wags and the Bosman + Webster rules. I also don't think he'll be the last to question the ever increasing involvement of agents and 'player advisors'.

These worries have been raised before but because it was England's talisman trying to orchestrate a move, it becomes front and back page news. Come on, modern contracts are worthless to a football club. The only people they benefit are the player and his 'team'.

At the end of the day, if and when a player wants to engineer a move then they will do whatever it takes. We have seen players under contract covet other clubs in the media. Some have gone on strike or underperformed. Others have created such a bad atmosphere in the changing room, the manager has to let them go for the god of the club. Without any consideration that player will make sure he gets his move or pay rise, citing whatever reason his PR decides sound best in print.

While football clubs continue to pretend they aren't actually businesses first they will never be able to ensure their 'employees' abide by their contracts. This is a problem of football's own doing, no matter how they try to deny it. They gave the players the power and now their annoyed when they use it in a way that doesn't benefit them.

So yes, most of what Ian Holloway said was right. But he needs to look around that top table for who is really at fault.

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