By Craig Silver
January 16, 2009
I was absolutely astounded to see what Manchester City are prepared to offer to prize away one of the world’s best football players from AC Milan.
We’ve known for many years that football is no longer a game, it is quite simply a business. And the deal being discussed this week in Manchester and Milan is utter insanity.
Is any professional football player really worth £100 million? Of course not. And does any person deserve to get paid £500,000 a week. It just makes me angry when I hear about this simply because we are in a global crisis with the recession and to see this sort of money literally being thrown around quite honestly shocks me.
Granted Kaka is an exceptional talent, and there is no doubt he is in the league of the Cristiano Ronaldo’s and the Lionel Messi’s, but it just makes me ask the question – has the money involved in the game gone too far?
Look back to 1996, the year I believe money started to control the game and turned it from players playing for the badge to playing for just the money. The fact is winning medals should be more important to any player than their wage.
I can’t believe Robinho, who joined City from Real Madrid for £32.5 million, went there for medals. At this moment in time it looks as though he moved for financial reasons because City are a million miles away from challenging for honours.
In the summer of 96, Alan Shearer became the world's most expensive player when he moved from Blackburn to Newcastle for £15 million, with the current transfer record held by Zinedine Zidane, who moved from Juventus to Real Madrid in 2001 for £47m.
My big fear now is that when all these rich owners stop flaunting their cheque books around and eventually get bored, what will happen to the clubs like Manchester City who will be left to pay Kaka that £500,000 the following week. It’s a growing concern and it could well spell a crisis in our game.