Betfred Sport

Younger talent and bigger crowds thwarted by money in the game

The time has come for transfer and wage capping in the Premier League.

What is the point of opening a brand new multi-million Academy for Young Talent, if those young players are never going to be allowed to blossom in our own country.

The England national team are bad enough now but what will they be like in a few years time, if the current trend goes on and more and more foreign players fill our teams?

There won't be any English players to choose from, except maybe playing for the likes of nearby Burton Albion just down the road from where the new FA Centre of Excellence has opened.

Planning didn't come to fruition 

Apparently it was all planned ten years ago but it was remarkably slow on the uptake, so it's no real surprise it has only come to fruition now. Ten years too late some might say.

Lilleshall in Shropshire has been around for years and granted, while that has mainly been used for already established professional and England players to use it is a centre, this could easily have been utilised to develop younger talent.

Realistically, the foreign influence is down to one thing and one thing only - money.

Agents, managers and directors are already raking in huge sums on every major deal done for a player - whether they are foreign or not. 

It works like this. The agent, the player, two managers and the chairman all sit round a table and the agent says, now what did we say was the agreed price for this player?

£3m comes the reply from the buying chairman. Alright says the agent, let's make that £5m then there's £250,000 for me, £250,000 for you, £250,000 for him. Everyone is a winner.

The greed culture 

Trouble is the greed culture has seeped into our own players now to the extent that 16-year-old prospects have agents and contracts, stipulating exactly what they want to sign when a big club comes in.

Hence the reason why some of our more impoverished clubs have turned to foreign fields to find good, young players who don't come with as many add-ons.

This is a lesson to us all because the number of people I have heard recently, saying that they have given up on the beautiful game because of all the money involved in it, is now a worrying trend.

Looking round the grounds on TV and seeing all the empty seats seems to back that up.

Southampton, back in the big league after several years in the doldrums, had huge gaps at St Mary's for their first game back in the Premier League.

Manchester United did not fill Old Trafford for their home match with Fulham. It goes on.

My local non-league club Chorley FC charge £9 for a game. That's less than half the admission price for most of the local professional clubs but Chorley are getting just over 500 people watching them.

Its not all about the recession. The money is still out there. Just look at the laptops, mobiles, 4x4s and 3D/HD TV's out in the retail market today.

No, it's also about the product and what they are charging for it. Bring it down a touch and let's see if the crowds will come back. If they don't, then we know it's a lost cause.

By Steve Bott

Follow Total Football on Twitter: @TotalFootball12

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