These silly wages must be stopped

The Man In The Stands OUR £179,000-a-year chief executive was on the money this week when he said a salary cap was required in the Championship. In practical terms such a cap is unenforceable, but the recession might just push enough clubs to at least start moving wages in the right direction - down.

The Man In The Stands

OUR £179,000-a-year chief executive was on the money this week when he said a salary cap was required in the Championship.

In practical terms such a cap is unenforceable, but the recession might just push enough clubs to at least start moving wages in the right direction - down.

It is a total nonsense that players in the Football League are paid so much.


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This may sound completely out of step, but I really don't see why they should be paid much more than the national average salary.

There are more footballers than starting places in teams - it's a job millions of young men want to do - who the hell says they should be paid so much? If they do prove their worth and are able to get a move to the top flight then good luck to them, they can line their pockets with TV money. But until then they should be earning a normal-sized crust like the rest of us.

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The fact a run-of-the-mill Championship player can still expect to pick up thousands of pounds a week when his club is on the verge of going bust is absurd. Totally absurd.

Being a footballer is a great lifestyle for 15 years, but we should not be bankrupting ourselves to make sure it's the only job they ever have to do.

I hear the arguments about it being a short career; but footballers get pretty much every afternoon off so if they come out of football without having learned another skill, or developed their own business, they deserve to start from scratch.

The Man does not blame players for picking up the wages they do, it's not as if I would turn it down.

But something, somewhere, has got to give.

Glenn Roeder talked about clubs being at “busting point” this week. There is only so long supporters are going to accept watching their club be bled to death by high wages.

It's voodoo economics and it can't go on.

I know a lot of this is just wishful thinking, but this era of silly wages has got to come to an end sooner or later. It is unsustainable and largely unjustified.

t OFF THE BOIL CITY

NORWICH City's favourite comedian Stephen Fry launched a cyber-attack on our players this week, from his hotel room in New York.

Writing on social-networking site Twitter, Fry wrote that he was left to contemplate “Norwich City's arsines” after their defeat to Sheffield Wednesday.

He also said: “'On the ball, City!' is our cry. Unfortunately it's 'Off the boil, City' at the moment.”

But before Delia gets too upset at her pal's cruel use of a culinary metaphor, he did go on to explain why being a Norwich fan is a worthwhile existence.

He wrote: “The joy of supporting a lowly club like NCFC is that the joy and shock of winning is keener than the sorrow of losing. Chelsea expect to win.”

Read more of Fry's comments here: http://twitter.com/stephenfry

t FA CUP BATTLE OF HAVE-NOTS

THERE was a certain dark irony in the FA Cup third round draw pairing Norwich City against Charlton.

As Neil Doncaster doubtless sat with fingers crossed hoping for Man U, out popped the ball that gave us a trip to the Valley.

Oh to be a fly on the boardroom wall at Charlton when our club makes the trip to South London in January.

The Man imagines it will be like a wake; or a reunion party that no-one really wants to go to.

The conversation should go something along the lines of: “Well, so how financially screwed are you?”

“Really? That's nothing. You should see our bank balance.”

I suppose if we are acting strictly in Norwich's best interests we should boycott the game, on the basis that any money Charlton receives hinders their seemingly inevitable descent into administration - and a points deduction that would be very welcome in these parts.

The sad fact is that Norwich and Charlton did try and do things the “right” way. Build the club from the bottom up, engage the community, etc…

But as noble and as consistent as your intentions are, if you've got no money you eventually sink to the bottom of the pile. Especially if you have got the legacy of Premier League wages.

The Man is not making excuses for the club; I think they have made some significant errors of judgement along the way.

The post Premier League decline is not inevitable, Crystal Palace, for example, have suffered similar blows to ourselves but remain in much ruder health - with a third play-off campaign since relegation in 2005 now on the cards.

And all with 10,000 fewer fans at the turnstile.

But as angry as we may get about the club's failings, we can't ignore the fact that there is a general trend in football which is running against clubs like ourselves. It sucks.

And who did get Man U in the draw? Lucky old Southampton, also administration-dodgers.

Now the Saints will get the financial joy of a cheque from Sky and a sell-out. The fact they'll have to sit through watching their team get humiliated at St Mary's while 7,000 locally sourced Man U “fans” rub their noses in it is by the by…

t SOME may have expected The Man to have made a rallying cry ahead of the **** game.

But superstitious creature that I am, I have given it a miss this time. As whenever I have tried it in the past we haven't won.

And I want us to win, boy do I want us to win.

My only advise would be to take all your anger about our dear club's predicament, and for 90 minutes, channel it all into supporting the team. The day we can't give those muppets from The Land That Time Forgot a hard time is a very sad day indeed. OTBC.

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