…by accident, I discovered the following chart on comparative salaries (called wages, back when) for professional soccer players… have a wee look:
FOOTBALLERS’ WAGES HISTORY
1. Jimmy Hill (Fulham,1953) – £20 per week.
2. Johnny Haynes (Fulham,1961) – £100 per week.
3. George Best (Manchester United,1968) – £1000 per week.
4. Falcao (Roma,1980) – £10,000 per week.
5. Roberto Baggio (Juventus, 1990) – £50,000 per week.
6. Sol Campbell (Arsenal, 2001) – £100,000 per week.
7. Carlos Tevez (Manchester City, 2009) – £200,000 per week.
8. Wayne Rooney (Manchester United, 2010) – £250,000 per week.
9. Cristiano Ronaldo (Real Madrid, 2013) – £288,000 per week (after tax).
…it won’t escape yer notice that these are weekly pay packets, a reflection of the imbedded truth that football at its base was always a working man’s game, and yer normal working man was always paid weekly… granted that inflation has grown through the years since Jimmy Hill’s battle against the 20-pounds-per-week maximum wage changed that whole payment landscape for big-boys-who-belted-balls… and additionally that television sponsorship for the game worldwide has infused Croesus-style monies into the sport… but have a look at number 3 on the list above… the incomparable (in my not so ‘umble view) Georgie Best… a snake-hipped magician of a footballer, a genius who’s flaws were off-field, rarely if ever on-field… and I ponder often—pound for pound (Sterling money, that is) what would Georgie Best in his prime be worth today on a football field?… a neat excuse for me to throw at yeez again, with no apologies, an article I did a while ago on the man, … real football people won’t mind reading it again… others won’t have read this far anyway… enjoy…
…a trip down memory lane and a look at one of the greatest footballers of all-time, George Best…
…it’s not just because I’m a Manchester United nut…(I was born six years later in the same street in Govan, Glasgow as Sir Alex Ferguson)… fifty years ago, as lads in the school play-grounds, and on the dirt pitches around Glasgow, we played a different sort of football from the modern stuff currently served up on the television screens every weekend… no fancy coaching… up to twenty-a-side street teams versus neighbouring street teams… a tennis ball or rubber ball no bigger than a cricket ball (whatever that was) served the purpose, until the cheaper Mouldmaster real-football sized versions became accessible… I often wonder if the pedigree athletes swanning around on the deck every TV match I watch are capable of using the ball for more than a one-touch pass… dribbling we called it back then… and tackling wasn’t a dirty word… no less so ‘shoulder-charging’, including the goalies, most of whom, by the way, could look after themselves very well physically, thank you very much… little wonder, when I worked in London (as a Scot, I told them I was there as a missionary) that I look back on the few occasions I had the chance to watch live, the great Georgie Best, and realize just how good the man was…at one match at Crystal Palace (yes, they did populate the top flight at one time)… the pitch was doing a passable imitation of a mud bath obstacle course… remember the balls back then were heavier beasties than the featherweight ping-pong balls they seem to smack 1,000 yards nowadays… it didn’t matter that there were ten other United players on the field that day… Georgie swiveled and turned the whole ninety minutes …the old cliché is that with one body swerve he could send the entire crowd the wrong way… be that as it may, what I saw him do all day that day will live in my mind forever… he may have played in grander matches and scored umpteen goals, captured in reels elsewhere… amid the mud and desperate lunging tackles, he danced away every time, as if the ball was part of his toes… and we… we of a certain age, ballet-danced through the mire with him… back on the play-grounds, scoring through the piled jackets of goal posts in countless open-scrub yards in cities up and down the country… I’m a grown man, supposedly a hard product of the docklands in Govan, but the day Georgie Best died, I sobbed my guts out… the world had lost an icon… one of the finest, if not the finest, exponents of the beautiful game… his back story and struggles are well recorded and I’ll let others dwell on that… but for me, the most magical player I’ve ever seen play live… simply the Best…
…see yeez later… LUV YEEZ!…
ALL MY BLOG POSTS ARE FREE TO SHARE/RE-BLOG SHOULD YOU SO WISH—BE MY GUEST!