Wednesday, 27 October 2010

He Goes By The Name of Wayne Rooney!

The ‘Wayne Rooney saga’ brought the issue of players wages to the fore again last week.

For a while now, it has been en vogue to chastise footballers for the perceived obscene amounts of money they earn for ‘kicking a ball about a field’ and the lavish lifestyle that this can provide them but, for me, the wages they earn are fair and just.

What a lot of people (generally outside the sport itself) fail to acknowledge is the value that a player like Rooney brings to a club. He’s not just kicking a ball around (though when he does, he does it better than most – more on that later) but he brings along massive sponsorship opportunities, keeps the turnstiles (or their modern equivalent) busy and helps to sell replica merchandise by the bucket-load.

So, when people criticise Manchester United for handing him a new contract, they have to realise that his extra-marital affairs don’t, nor should they, matter a jot – this is a business. An entertainment business and the simple fact is that Rooney is of Box Office proportions.

Unlike many modern day pseudo-heroes in the form of pop stars, models, TV presenters, influential columnists and, arguably, certain Hollywood film stars, Wayne Rooney has had to work extremely hard to get where he is today.
The notion that footballers have a natural borne talent is somewhat a fallacy – granted, many of them may well have a particular aptitude for the game but that aptitude alone is insufficient to play at the top level for any extended period of time.

In short, football is not something anyone can be good at but those who are, still work hard at it – the ones that don’t (and there has been a litany of them) simply do not survive.

Rarely does a footballer come out of re-hab for a drugs addiction and have a meaningful career a la pop stars or actors.
No; footballer’s indiscretions are always treated more severely than the indiscretions of others and I can’t help but feel that this is due to some deep-rooted bourgeoisie resentment against the working classes making something of their lives.

Consider this - because Hugh Grant speaks with his trademark ‘awfully, awfully’ eloquent clumsiness his affability is seen as endearing and his liaison with a hooker in a car is forgotten because, well, ‘he was quite funny in Love Actually’.

Rooney et al are tarred and feathered because they are not erudite and that, coupled with their wealth, is reason enough for the media and society to look down their noses at them.

It’s spurred on by the same people who would rather their precious son or daughter spent four years achieving a degree in some non-descript course which has all the hallmarks of an aspirational nothingness vocation – fashion studies maybe or event organising – than they left school and became a plumber.

These are two 'industries' that the world would comfortably survive without – in fact, it would probably improve the planet by about 10% if we obliterated both of them and the horrible, cosseted, convinced-their-job-actually-matters oiks that proliferate these two non-contributions to society!

I for one, would prefer to watch the raw genius of Wayne Rooney thumping the ball into the top corner of the Newcastle net with an unstoppable volley than endure the very best Ben Stiller has to offer – yet nobody complains that Ben is overpaid even though he earned a reputed $40million last year!
For me, while I don’t condone (though equally, remain pretty ambivalent to) the actions of many footballers, what really leaves a bitter taste in my mouth is the endless whining from the self-righteous columnists in newspapers and magazines who act as if these young men are the first to have committed these sins. These ‘journalists’ are the worst – they are nothing but parasites living from the drama, pain and controversy of celebrities and have the temerity to criticise every action yet fail to comprehend that their job is dependant on it.

No comments:

Post a Comment