Loyalty In Football

Discussion in 'Football Forum' started by Niall, Sep 13, 2011.

  1. Sep 13, 2011
    #1

    Niall All Powerful Super Being

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    Teams that are on the way up in the Premier League (or any league for that matter) often make grand proclamations about 'having arrived' a long time before they actually do. After their rollercoaster ride in Europe's top competition last year, Spurs count themselves as one of the biggest clubs these days, but a quick glance at the gossip columns tells a different story.

    Luka Modric was plucked from relative obscurity by Spurs several years ago, after an indifferent start, he broke his leg just as he was coming into form. Spurs, obviously, stood by him and when he recovered he produced some top class performances that grabbed attention around the league.

    In the wake of the retirement of Paul Scholes, United were obviously interested in bringing in a creative midfielder and Modric fitted the bill. Although their bid was turned down, it was evident that the interest of United had turned the player's head, and rumours began to come out that he would soon request a transfer.

    United and Spurs have history as far as high profile transfers are confirmed. The Manchester club shelled out nearly £20m for Michael Carrick, who at that time was the heartbeat of the Spurs midfield, and then pulled off a last minute coup to secure Berbatov for nearly £30m just a few seasons later.

    In both cases the players wanted to leave, Spurs at that time were not the force they are now, and the opportunity to step up to Manchester United was too good to turn down. Regardless of their progress, Spurs are still in the same bracket (as most of the league is) looking up to United, and hoping that the bigger clubs don't come in for any of their players.

    If Modric thought that Spurs had a genuine shot at the title or the Champions League next year, would he want to leave? Probably not, unfortunately, he clearly doesn't, and if one of their best player's doesn't rate Spurs' chances, what will the others be thinking?

    That said, it's not all a one way road into Old Trafford. Cristiano Ronaldo clamoured to get out of Manchester, having been attracted by the bright lights of Madrid, does this mean that Madrid are the bigger club? Hard to say, they are probably are in the minds of most neutrals, and they were certainly willing to pay an enormous sum to both the player and the club to make the deal happen.

    And that, ultimately is the point. Fans expect players to love their clubs as much as they do, but as Torres pointed out when he ditched Liverpool for Chelsea, players have other considerations. Players, at the end of the day, think of football as neutrals, they tend to gravitate towards the bigger clubs, although as Manchester City demonstrated before they got Champions League football, players also gravitate towards bigger pay packets.

    So does loyalty exist in football? Yes, if you're one of the big clubs, Giggs, Scholes and Neville are (were) all fantastic servants to United, but if they started their careers at other clubs, does anyone think they'd have stayed there? No, they'd have been snapped up by bigger clubs. Loyalty does exist in football, but only for the big clubs, if not, it's money, not loyalty, that drives the game.

    If you want to follow the progress of Manchester United this season in the post-Scholes era, you'll need to get a subscription to MUTV, just ask Sky for an add-on to your existing package or visit the club's website for more details.
  2. Sep 13, 2011
    #2

    Feeky Magee TFD

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    Pretty sure we've been confused with Chelsea there.
  3. Sep 13, 2011
    #3

    Marcosdeto Moderator

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    well, no matter what we think, in the end, footballers are just workers that want to get more money for the same job

    no matter how much we want them to stay, the fact is that they are here for the money

    and lets face it, we owe them as much as they owe us, how many times a loyal player was sold to another club because it was good business for us?

    why should the club ask for the footballers for life long loyalty when the club wont pay in the same way?
  4. Sep 13, 2011
    #4

    Dwazza Van Hernandez A Special Kind of Hipster

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    I'd get a subscription to MUTV if they offered it in Canada.

    Ahem, pay attention MUTV. Ahem.
  5. Sep 13, 2011
    #5

    stubie Full Member

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    You can subscribe to it on United's official website
  6. Sep 13, 2011
    #6

    I'm always right Banned

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    It's not live MUTV though is it?
  7. Sep 13, 2011
    #7

    stubie Full Member

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    Not to sure, unless it's a watered down version online
  8. Sep 13, 2011
    #8

    Badunk Full Member

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    I think it's a bit shit that our channel is £6 extra a month. If it was £1 or £2 I'd get it.


    I mean, Liverpool's is free, ffs.
  9. Sep 13, 2011
    #9

    Sarni nice guy, unassuming, objective United fan.

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    He has a point about it being much easier to be loyal when you are at a big club. The likes of Maldini, Raul, Giggs etc. never really had any significant incentives to move. They played at top European side where they achieved everything, they earned very good money and had legendary status among fans.
  10. Sep 13, 2011
    #10

    Shimo Full Member

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    MUTV from the website is pretty crap, some videos and such from reserve games and then on match days you get the radio broadcasts - this was a couple years ago when I bought the year subscription thinking it was full MUTV just online.
  11. Sep 13, 2011
    #11

    Snow Somewhere down the lane, a licky boom boom down

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    I don't expect loyalty from a United player that didn't grow up at the club. I have no grudge against Nistelrooy, Ronaldo or Keane. Was more disappointed when Beckham went away.
  12. Sep 13, 2011
    #12

    stubie Full Member

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    Virgin have given MUTV free to me after I took out Tivo with them


    Liverpool have made a blunder by not making LFC TV a premium. Imagine how much money they could make off that if they charged £5 per month for the channel.
  13. Sep 13, 2011
    #13

    Randall Flagg Worst of the best

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    What about Phil?
    Dont think RVN, Keane and even Becks had much choice to be fair.

    In fact Ronaldo (and Tevez I suppose) are 2 of the only players I can remember since Paul Ince who actively looked to move.

    Any one else was the clubs choice or left due to lack of chances

    So why would you hold a grudge against any of them?
  14. Sep 13, 2011
    #14

    Sarni nice guy, unassuming, objective United fan.

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    The part about Tottenham standing by Modric when he broke his foot - well, what else were they supposed to do? Release a player they just spent £16.5m on and let him go to one of their league rivals because he was going to be unavailable for three months?

    It's a bit like people saying that we supported Hargreaves during his injury when we never really had a choice. Even if we released him we would still have had to pay out his remaining contract worth.
  15. Sep 13, 2011
    #15

    Snow Somewhere down the lane, a licky boom boom down

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    I mentioned Ronaldo with Keane and Nistelrooy. Ronaldo grew up watching Spanish football in Portugal. I didn't expect him not the be enticed with a move to Spain.

    The players always have a choice as long as they have a contract but they mostly left without a fuzz. It's a good club we have.

    Ince was a prick. I started watching football in his final season there. Hated when he scored against us with Liverpool. fecking prick.
  16. Sep 13, 2011
    #16

    Varun Wants the D...

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    Its hypocritical criticising players for their supposed lack of loyalty when we have comments like "I'd swap wilshere for cleverley/ando in a heartbeat'', ''i'd sway hernandez for aguero in a jiffy'', "i'd sway vidic for messi" etc.
  17. Sep 17, 2011
    #17

    rcoobc Not as crap as eferyone thinks

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    Rio just tweeted asking if it's easier to be loyal to a successful club
  18. Sep 17, 2011
    #18

    Varun Wants the D...

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    Yes it is.
  19. Sep 18, 2011
    #19

    Sky1981 Fending off the urge

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    Loyalty? there's no loyalty in a professional paid job.

    You do your job, you clock in, you got paid. The day United failed to pay it's player, they will leave. Was that unloyal? Not really. It is a profession after all, hence professional footballer.

    Some have developed bonds through out their career with certain employer, and probably can stick in a bad time, but at the end of the day, it's just another job.

    Most of us have been working, do we have an ounce of loyalty to our employer? when a bigger firm with a better paycheck comes knocking? Do we say to ourselves, I feel loyal so I reject a 100% raise in paycheck. No, we don't.

    It probably helps if you're playing for your childhood teams, and if they're paying you the market price , it's a win-win situation, but it doesn't always happens that way.
  20. Sep 18, 2011
    #20

    Sky1981 Fending off the urge

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    And let's not forget that Modric broke his foot while playing for Totenham's cause. The same with Hargreaves. :P
  21. Sep 18, 2011
    #21

    jojojo Moderator

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    Of course. In fact when we see a player stay loyal to an unsuccessful club people question his brains and his guts.

    And money?
    Well yes, at the top end, there are players who'll go for glory over money - even a successful and wealthy club like Chelsea can't always get their man, but there are limits.

    People talk about Barcelona players being loyal because most are "home grown" and they are, and it being a great place to live and work, but that doesn't stop them being amongst the best paid (with 5 of the top 20 best paid) players in the world.

    Same with United, we've got loyal players, an atmosphere that many describe as a family, and success, but we're also good payers.
  22. Sep 18, 2011
    #22

    Colin129 Death or the gladioli!

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    That's not the way I saw it, we all know it was his boyhood dream to go to Madrid.
  23. Sep 18, 2011
    #23

    duffer Sensible and not a complete jerk like most oppo's

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    He was a boyhood Benfica fan I thought?
  24. Sep 18, 2011
    #24

    Colin129 Death or the gladioli!

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    Only god knows...
  25. Sep 18, 2011
    #25

    forrie_x Full Member

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    If you want loyalty, buy a dog.
  26. Jan 27, 2014
    #26

    Adebesi Full Member

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    I was about to start a new thread, "What the hell is loyalty in football?" but it seems like this is as good a place to ask the question.

    This whole business with Rooney has really got me thinking about loyalty. Are we naive to even be thinking in those terms these days? Ive come to the conclusion that we are. How much of loyalty is circumstantial? How many of our loyal servants would have been loyal if we werent Man United but, say, Spurs? If the chance had come to leave to join a bigger club with more of a chance of winning things, would they have stayed? And if your players are only loyal because they have everything they want anyway, is that loyalty? Or is that just finding yourself at the right club early in your career? If Madrid had gone after Giggs the way they went after Ronaldo, would he have resisted? How many great players have we had that have angered another set of fans during their journey to us, causing them to question said players loyalty? Van Persie. Rio. Berbatov. Carrick. We werent the first ones to question Rooney's loyalty, that was Everton.

    What about Ronaldo? People dont talk about his loyalty too much anymore (though they did), it seems all you have to do to manage the perception people have about loyalty is make sure you bang on about how much you love a former club whenever the cameras are rolling. In another thread it was asserted to me that Baines is more loyal to Everton than Rooney is to us and that got me thinking and led to this post. On one level I cant deny the validity of the point: Rooney looks anything but loyal to us, Baines has been very professional in the way he has conducted himself with Everton. But how substantive is the difference? How much can we deduce from their commitment to the cause from what they say in the media? Baines has kept fans onside better but could that be down to being more diplomatic? If two players are at a club for the same length of time but one publicly entertains the notion of leaving but the other keeps his thoughts to himself, has the latter been more loyal, or just more guarded?

    It is quite natural that as fans we see football through a prism of loyalty, I have done as much as anyone in the past, my thinking on this has developed a lot quite recently. But more and more I think the increasing amounts of money coming into the game render any notions of loyalty that existed - and it would be interesting to hear from older fans how this has changed from the days when fans and players used to walk to games together - at best misleading and at worst utterly nonsensical. Misleading because Im sure there are people who are loyal to their clubs, wouldnt leave for more money, more silverware, more anything. They just want to play because they love the game and they love the club they are at and all they ever wanted was to play for that club. But I dont know how easy it is to identify those players due to their public utterances. I imagine Leeds fans thought Alan Smith fitted into that category, I remember being completely stunned when he signed for us for the sheer disloyalty of it.

    I dont know. I am mostly just thinking out loud here but I think there is far more opportunism in football than loyalty and a lot of what gets praised as loyalty is really just better public relations.
  27. Jan 27, 2014
    #27

    Cantona'sCollar Full Member

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    He did indeed support Benfica as a kid, but that wasn't exactly the pinnacle of football at the time - for kids living in that part of Europe at the time (and much of the rest of the world), it was all about Real. He and his mother, if I remember correctly, had always wanted for him to end up at Real Madrid. It's always nice to see someone fulfill a lifetime ambition, it's not something a lot of people get to do these days (unfortunately) & so for that reason i'm happy he went on to do it. I don't understand how anyone can begrudge him for going - he gave us six amazing years when he could've left to Real after three or four. He worked harder than anyone for it and deserves everything he gets, in my opinion.
  28. Jan 27, 2014
    #28

    peterstorey Specialist In Failure

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    ... and they are lovely beyond any singing of it.
    Their loyalty runs about as deep as your loyalty to your employer. However, I think anyone but a right cnut would be loyal to their employer if they had spent about half the preceding eight years on sickleave
  29. Jan 27, 2014
    #29

    Adebesi Full Member

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    Exactly. Nobody puts their loyalty to their employer above their own ambition. I dont think you can twist this into a case of RVP being a particularly egregious case of disloyalty either, it is just consistent. You want to do the best by your former employer you can (unless you happen to hate them of course) but at the end of the day everyone puts their own interests first and that is fair enough.
  30. Jan 27, 2014
    #30

    Plugsy Banned

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    Owners are expected to have no loyalty. Want to accept a bid and effectively force the hand of someone to move clubs, cities, countries or maybe even continent - without even so much as a murmur of consultation? That's fine

    Fans? It takes little more than a couple of poor results for them to start booing, jeering or at the very least leads them to take to twitter and message boards to slaughter the players, coaching staff and probably the board of directors at the same time. Yet funnily enough if anyone is going to drone on endlessly about loyalty - it's the fans.

    Players are expected to show 100% loyalty and if news even breaks of a request for a pay rise or new terms for him - hell is not unlikely to break loose. "How dare he? Mercenary prick!". They're not even allowed to freely discuss future employment options with suitors - that's tapping up. Instead they're locked into 4 year deals where their situation can only change at the whim or financial imperative of the owners, what they earn will automatically be to much and if they ask for more at any point they're even bigger pricks than we thought. Perform below what fans expect for a consistent or even short period then they'll get abused and ridiculed. Ask away? fecking judas!!

    So loyalty in football tends to be something everyone expects of others but few actually give it in return.

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