Chris Sutton’s blistering attack on Jota, for chasing Saudi gold, is exactly what I would have wanted, and expected, our former player to write.
More ex-pros, and some current ones, should be calling this thing out for exactly what it is; untrammelled greed, slowly poisoning the sport. The money their clubs are throwing at players is utterly obscene, and we have the right to complain because we’ve said the same about the EPL – who started this global insane arms race in the first place.
Sutton has nailed it. This is the effective end of his career at the top level, in his mid 20’s. The Saudis may kid themselves that the world will be watching their league of over-paid old duffers and the occasional young player they can tempt with the gold, but the money is not going to overcome the attraction of the greatest club competition in football; the Champions League. It is not going to erase from the global consciousness the hyped up EPL.
I am an avid MLS watcher, but I can’t find a handful of people amongst my close friends who have ever watched one of their games. It simply does not register. All of them will watch football from Germany, Spain, France, Italy or England. The idea of them watching the J League would never even dawn on them; that’s why the likes of Kyogo were such a surprise.
No-one will kid themselves that this isn’t about money, and not just money but greed. Money, he can have moving anywhere in Europe. Tax free money in vast quantities, that’s the attraction here, because there is no discernible “football case” to be made for what he’s doing.
He might kid himself, or try to, that there is real talent in that league, and glamourous players on the way, but a 38-year-old Cristiano Ronaldo is no longer The Real Deal and aside from the handful of names they are already paying obscene money to, the quality in that league will make the SPFL look like the Bundesliga. No national coach will be watching him there.
No major European club is going to buy him either, not on the basis of whatever he does in the desert. At best, if he gets a move to Europe at all, he’ll be going to a mid-tier side, his best years wasted, approaching his 30’s and all chance of real improvement gone. That’s his future, he has virtually guaranteed it. And for what?
Who needs £190,000 per week? After you’ve bought the first big house, and the first good car, once you’ve made sure your kids have their tuition fees sorted out and that they’ll never need to work in McDonalds over the summer … how much can you spend? Great job on joining the global 1%, those killing the planet.
Which is no big deal considering those doing the most damage, those who will bear the generational responsibility for what our kids have to live in, are the ones paying your salary in the first place.
It’s beyond disgusting.
Seriously, players are going to leave in this window and that’s inevitable.
I have adopted a very stoic approach to it.
As long as we replace them with the correct calibre of footballer we have nothing to worry about … and so normally I’d say to anyone leaving our club that I wish them all the best, and in this case I can’t. And I won’t. It is a triumph of selfishness and greed and he will earn his wages helping to legitimise a regime that a civilised world would turn its back on.
He might trot out that old, tired bullshit about doing it for his kids.
When, 50 years from now, when he’s retired and his grandchildren are being forced to deal with the destruction this generation has already wrought and is moving us mile by mile towards, and they ask him the big question; “What did you do, grandpa, to stop the planet from burning?” A question which we’re all going to have to face, by the way.
What’s he going to tell them? Except the truth.
“I worked for the people who burned it.”
Yeah, and then “I did it all for you.” All for their “future.”
Good luck explaining it to them. I suspect it’s going to be a hard sell.