The last week or so hasn’t been a great example for showing the existence of loyalty in modern day football. Money speaks louder than ever in the beautiful game, it’s hard for it not to when the Premier League signs a new TV deal for £5.1 billion. This summers transfer news has been dominated by Raheem Sterling’s drawn out transfer to Manchester City. Completed for an English record £49 million it had been brewing for a while with Sterling and his agent looking to engineer a move at the end of last season. Television interviews without the clubs permission, disciplinary issues, stories in the press, it was bound to happen sooner or later. Sterling says he regrets the nature of his transfer but that there are no issues with his relationship with anyone at Liverpool, you wouldn’t have though that listening to Brendan Rogers or Steven Gerrard over the last few weeks though.
Then we had another transfer involving Manchester City, after all they are the ones with the big pockets. Ex-Leeds youngster Fabian Delph’s on off transfer was eventually completed for a cheap as chips £8 million. When the transfer was first being talked about people questioned Delph’s loyalty but he surprised everyone my making a U turn and staying at Villa. He told the press; "I'm staying at the football club and I can't wait for the start of the Premier League season”. Just 6 days later though, and in a complete 360 he put pen to paper and signed a five year deal at Man City. So the money and the prospect of medals wins out again. Delph would have been a pivotal part of Villas team, especially being captain, now he may find it difficult to pin down a starting place next year and may spend more time sat on the bench playing the new slot from NetEnt.
Then, with all hope lost of a footballer or football club showing any signs of loyalty in the modern game Luke Murphy signs a new four year deal on reduced wages at Leeds United. Murphy had an ok first season at Leeds after his £1 million signing from Crewe but had faded into the background at the start of last season. Training with the reserves he only made an impact after assistant manager Steve Thompson put an arm round his shoulder and plucked him from obscurity. After than Murphy was an essential part of the team, playing some of his best football, scoring important goals. He is set to be a vital part of the squad again this season, curtailed slightly by missing the start of the season following knee surgery, but if he plays anything like he did at the end of last season he will make a valuable contribution.
His high singing fee and wage were possibly a burden round Murphy’s neck but the mid-point last season represented a fresh start and this new contract rewards his performances this calendar year. It is unusual for a player to accept a lower wage these days but I’m glad he is staying and perhaps he will feel more comfortable without the burden of his signing fee hanging over him. He is no longer £1 million Luke Murphy but Luke Murphy who accepted a wage cut to stay at the club. The club too have shown loyalty, they gave given Murphy a big vote of confidence by giving him a four year deal. I’m looking forward to seeing what he can do next season, he’s already gone up in the estimation of Leeds fans a lot this summer.
Marching on Together News
No loyalty in modern football?