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Anorak | Greedy Bastards

Greedy Bastards

by | 22nd, January 2004

‘LIKE turkeys voting for Christmas (or, in this case, refusing to vote for the cancellation of Christmas unless all other avenues have been exhausted), Leeds United players’ refusal to consider a deferral of wages has pushed the cash-strapped club to the very brink of bankruptcy.

Leeds are no longer marching on together

And, for once, we can have sympathy with Leeds fans, who are watching their club teeter on the edge of going out of existence, partly as a result of the players’ intransigence.

The Times says the urgency of the situation seems to be lost on the players, who asked the club to try everything including selling players before docking their already inflated wages.

And it is not just the club board that is frustrated at the players’ attitude.

John Boocock, chairman of Leeds Independent Supporters’ Association, said the proposed sale of Alan Smith would cause unrest on the terraces.

“The players have shown themselves to be selfish individuals,” he said. “They are either stupid, badly advised or both.

“It’s an incredible attitude and if it means waving goodbye to Alan Smith to raise the money, they will feel the backlash. These footballers have been shown for what they are.

“When this happens in industry, the workers take a pay cut and work longer hours to keep the factory open. The problem with footballers is that they’ve never had to work in a factory.

“They are paid more in a season than a lot of fans earn in a lifetime.”

Needless to say, PFA boss Gordon Taylor is firmly on the players’ side – just as he was when England players threatened to strike after Rio Ferdinand was left out of the Turkey game.

The squad felt it was not their fault the club was in such a mess, he said.

Of course, had they managed to win more than four out of the 22 games they have played this season, Leeds might be a more attractive proposition to potential investors.

The Guardian is not exactly full of sympathy for the players, whose wages it publishes on today’s back page.

Mark Viduka, for instance, earns £50,000 a week. If he took the requested deferral of between 15% and 30%, he would have to muddle through on between £35,000 and £42,500 a week until the summer.

That’s the equivalent of between £1.8m and £2.2m a year.

The heart bleeds.’



Posted: 22nd, January 2004 | In: Back pages Comment | Follow the Comments on our RSS feed: RSS 2.0 | TrackBack | Permalink