Opinion – The moral cowardice, stupidity and greed of todays Premier League players

Have the Arsenal players broken the bond with ordinary fans? by Jon Fox

In common with very many fans I have been appalled at the indefensible greed, moral cowardice and stupidity of   the vast majority of today’s Premier League players across the clubs. Those who have already accepted a wage reduction, not a deferral but an actual permanent cut, I exclude from criticism, but it seems those are very few indeed. It should be abundantly clear to anyone who has a brain that our future lives, as well as our present ones, are going to be very different  when the  economic realities of this damaging virus become clear to all, rather than to just SOME of us as at present.

By their obstinate refusal to take the lead in actually offering their club the chance to be the first club to   willingly accept a substantial permanent wage cut, those players have missed a major opportunity to get fans  onside and  to be proud of their players. In fact by their greed and immoral refusal to take a lead but to hide behind others and wait to see what they may be forced to accept, rather than embrace the situation and set a  noble example, they have showed stupidity, moral cowardice and gross greed. All Premier League players live a life so far removed from the reality of ordinary decent people that there has been rightful resentment about this greed, long before this Coronavirus arrived.

Now that the landscape has totally changed, their fight to hold on to every penny in their contracts has become an indefensible declaration of “I’m alright Jack and who cares about you suckers” thrown in the faces of every fan everywhere. They have shown themselves to be little people unworthy of our support and worship. Unlike any other industry and more than any other team sport, football has thrived on the uniqueness of this vital fan to player relationship. Until now! Now, those very players have spat in our faces and insulted us, en bloc. They have, in effect, said, “I care only for myself and don’t give a damn about you lot of hard up mugs!” There can be no other rational interpretation of their greed. Not a single Premier League player would struggle if he was forced to have a permanent cut of half their gross wage. They would still live the life of Riley.

The average Premier league wage is a little over £60,000 pw. If these poor darlings cannot live in clover on a mere £30,000pw then they are in cloud cuckoo land, I suggest.

Let us fast forward to the day, still some good way off yet, when crowds are again allowed to attend matches. How many will be forced to, or even choose to, by disgust, give up their season tickets? How many fans will ever again feel the same bond with their players, even the star ones, let alone their lesser lights? How many will give up watching or even caring about football altogether? How many others will still wish to go, but not be able to afford to? Full grounds next season will be far from common in my view. How many families will NOT have been personally affected by this virus and will remember with bitterness what the players attitudes were, when the chips were down?

What should be clear to anyone with a working brain is that the bad old days of gross greed will no longer be tolerated or even possible. World economics impact on all of us. We who  cannot now work but still rely on a monthly or weekly wage will have debts mounting up fast and the need to feed, clothe and educate our kids, plus pay a mortgage or rent, will come a long way before the need to watch and pay for football matches. How many Sky and BT Sports subscriptions will not renew? It will be a great number, even though most would wish to continue, but just will no longer afford to.

As an older fan fast approaching my 70th year, I remember with affection the good old days before player wages were way out of line with ordinary folk. In the Armstrong and McLintock era I went to away games regularly, and the regular fan faces were often given free tickets known as comps (complimentarys) for away games by the players when waiting by their entrance. We truly had some proper players to hero worship, and we did and still do. My all-time Arsenal favourite player is Bob Wilson, though he would not be my pick in our top four keepers in my time. The last Arsenal player I felt any true regard for was Santi Cazorla, and I truly feel no real personal affinity at all with even one of our current players. I rate several highly as players but not as people. In fact after their reluctance to embrace easily affordable wage cuts, I feel nothing but distaste for them. I do, however, understand the problem that very young players have in a dressing room where senior players would normally set the tone. Consequently, I do not feel quite the same distaste to Saka and Martinelli etc as I do to such as Auba and Xhaka, etc.

Once this vital fan to player bond is damaged or broken, as it will be already to many of us in varying degrees, something precious and unique is lost, possibly for ever. The players have bought this about entirely by their chosen moral cowardice, greed and breath-taking stupidity. I have never been one for much liking fools in general. When those same fools are greedy and cowards too, my personal bond is pretty much damaged beyond repair already.

What do others feel?

Jon Fox


  1. S.J says:

    Well it’s really bad for the players to oppose taking pay cuts to their hefty wages, they should be humanitarians cause they are looked up to by the large public, but they are humans too and have flaws. Every human wants to climb up no matter what circumstance. They will say the virus is not their making so their earned income should not be affected by it.
    What are the billionaires of the world doing? I hear Jeff Bezos the richest man in the world by Forbes list, he just got richer cause people are shopping more online from home. Why didn’t he make all online orders free during this period. Please we should not be too hard on the players
    I will always love the game of football more than I love the players cause players come and go but football will always be forever except stopped by a very greater force

  2. Phil says:

    Jon- you sermon is ridiculous. You personally have no knowledge of exactly what is going on inside the club involving discussions and negotiations between the players and officials, yet deliver this statement as the judge, jury and executioner.
    WHEN, and only when, I read a statement from an Official source at Arsenal Football Club, will I know for certain what has been agreed. Then I will decided, in my own mind, if I feel the players have been fair, generous, and responsible. YOU will not decided what I feel.
    Just because you once lived next door to a granny whose second cousin’s postman once was married to a sister of the bloke living next door to Herbert Chapmans Auntie Ethel does not qualify you as a leading figure of anything to do with Arsenal Football Club, despite what you might believe.
    And for what it’s worth PAL , I personally know a number of past players, who of you knew what they did, and continue to do for Charitable Causes would show this article you have written as the embarrassment to you that it is.

    1. De-ra says:

      I guess Jon’s post hit a nerve. Lol

      1. Phil says:

        Not really @De-ra. It’s Jon’s view which is totally different from mine that’s all. It’s just that I prefer to wait until all the facts are known as opposed to spouting off as though I know it all.Which I don’t. And nor does Jon.

  3. GB says:

    I’ve just been reading that Arsenal players have accepted a 12.5% wage cut and are the first Premier League team to agree it.
    It states thatChelsea players are being asked to take a 10% cut but not agreed yet.
    Could be fake news, who knows, but I read Arsenals agreements happened yesterday?

  4. Mike j says:

    I totally agree with your sentiment . Whilst I accept the club and players do a lot of charity work which is not always reported a wage cut is the only appropriate message they should be giving. They still have an opportunity to rectify this and make us feel proud as a supporter.

  5. SueP says:

    The Beautiful Game that I grew up with has changed out of all recognition. Described as a working class sport it has become something I hardly recognise any more. Was it Keane who talked about the prawn sandwich brigade in the corporate boxes?

    In my mind, the creation of the PL and the changes to European club football has radically, and in that process ethically changed the sport I love.

    I wrote on a post recently that I knew the writing was on the wall when I had to become a red member at an annual cost just to get on a LIST with hordes more people just to get a sniff of a ticket.

    It went from being supportive of any British club in the European Cup because they were the one representative to loathing any other British club in the CL because we were up against each other.

    The tone changed and clubs were bought by the mega rich from a walks of life as the tv revenue and the globalisation of the game brought increased riches for all involved within it.

    Pushy parents at junior level were pressurising their kids and were vile to junior level referees as they had £signs in their eyes. Money for life before their kids were 25.

    Now that Covid is changing the face of the world for years to come football needs to take a closer look at itself. Government needs to take a closer look at how we value people in society. No one will be able to say that kicking a football around in the name of entertainment should be valued to the levels it has been. Sue posted that does anybody ‘really need’ £500,00pw ? No they don’t. What we do know is that the medical and social care sector need to be better rewarded for their humanity, sacrifice and years of study. A footballer isn’t going to save my life

    Ken made important points about a lot of posts on here wanting the club to pay the Aubameyangs of this world whatever they want just to keep them at the club which is madness.

    There is insatiable avarice in football now. It’s crazy and I don’t know if there is a way out. Jon talks of those going through the turnstiles might now think twice either through lack of money or an unwillingness to put more money into the players, agents, and FIFA pockets.

    All I know that if I want to watch football on TV it costs me £30 pm. With Amazon getting in on the act it will cost even more.

    I will so disappointed if transfer fees and the like continue as before. I hope that football has seen the light

    1. GB says:

      Very well written SueP and I whole heartedly agree with you 👏👏👏

    2. Sue says:

      I’m a red member.. and pay £36 a season. This suits me down to the ground as I work every other weekend, so pick and choose when I go. At least my money is going directly to AFC and I’m not being fleeced by some site! I use the ticket exchange too, which costs more but at least it’s an option. My son and I went to the last game against West Ham – £37 for both tickets, not exactly breaking the bank. I’m on the s/t waiting list, albeit it’ll be a while before I’m offered one, which again suits me, with 2 years left on the mortgage, that offer can come anytime after that 🙂
      So, it’s not all bad being a member…

      1. SueP says:

        Fair enough Sue
        It suits you and your son very well and family time is so very important
        I remember when it was first introduced there was virtually never a ticket available so I became an armchair supporter. Over the years I’ve been able to go from time to time -usually courtesy of someone I know offering me a ticket when they can’t go. £37 is a reasonable price and I may reconsider in the future. I just didn’t feel I should be paying this fee, regardless of whether or not it went back to the club. I’m probably just mean

        1. Sue says:

          It’s up to the individual I guess! I used to use membership cards from a guy I know.. only trouble was I’d have to go and meet him at block 1 at half time and then I’d end up missing a couple of minutes of the 2nd half, hence why I became a member!!
          Once the mortgage is done, I may even venture into club level and see how the other half live 😂

    3. Tony says:

      Sue I concur! Very well said!
      And I trust you and your family are safe and well

  6. Grandad says:

    Whether you agree with JF or not, nobody can doubt his sincerity nor his genuine desire to see a realignment of the gap between rich and poor , or players and fans.Like GB , I echo the sentiments expressed by SueP who makes such sensible contributions to this site.

    1. ozziegunner says:

      👍 👍

  7. Russell Morgan says:

    This is the first time I’ve commented on this site, I’ve been a arsenal supporter since 1971 and have seen great players come and go but the greed of today’s player’s has made my blood boil. I’ll be stopping my sky sports and I hope others do the same.

    1. jon fox says:

      Russell, Thank you but with huge sadness for helping to show such as Phil what my posts are saying. Some doubt that this pandemic will much financially affect football. I do not see HOW there can be any doubt that it will and is aready doing so.
      If only MORE fans could see the wonderful and positive opportunity this pandemic and its social, moral and spiritual effect gives us all, to rectify, at least to some significant extent, the increasing financial immorality that has been gradually ruining our top level sport for decades and esp since the Prem started.

      1. Reggie says:

        Agree Jon the players are holding the club to ransom and the damage will be done further down the line and when all or most of these mercenaries are gone. The truth is also these players are not worth the money they are being paid because they aren’t, in general that great, which shows by our league position and failures in the last few years to get CL and win the Europa. They should accept a lot lower than the 12.5% being offered because most are stealing a living anyway.

        1. jon fox says:

          RSH, and not a penny for himself. What a difference!

  8. RSH says:

    A 99 year old just raised more money than 200+ pro footballer millionaires. If that sits fine with you then I’m truly worried.

  9. Sue says:

    So I’ve read that Justgiving are set to make 2m from Captain Tom… surely they should waive the fees & give it all to the NHS.. if they’re decent human beings they will… watch this space!
    I hope this is recognised, what this fine man has done is remarkable.. arise Sir Tom – has a nice ring to it!
    His Birthday is at the end of the month and there’s talk of a Spitfire flypast for him 👍 He’s put a smile on a lot of faces and warmed a lot of hearts during this horrible time and deserves to be honoured 👏

    1. Sue says:

      I’ve just seen Tom has teamed up with Michael Ball to record “You’ll never walk alone” which is set to top the charts!! Bravo!!! This man is incredible!!

  10. Russell Morgan says:

    Let’s hope this WW2 veteran gets a knighthood.

  11. Quantic Dream says:

    Hello guys! Just passing by to greet fellow gunners… 🙂

    1. Sue says:

      Well about bloody time 😄 Hope you’re keeping well, QD…

      1. Quantic Dream says:

        Thanks, @Sue! Am doing okay. Hope you and your family are fine as well? Am just waiting for things to go back to normal..

  12. Sue says:

    Glad to hear it! We’re all good, thank you.
    Aren’t we all?! Wouldn’t even hazard a guess as to when that’ll be. How are things where you are?

    1. Quantic Dream says:

      Everything’s been shut down! 😭

      1. Sue says:

        Just have to sit back and ride it out, QD and rely on Sky, BT, Amazon and Netflix to keep us entertained!!
        And look forward to the day we actually play again!!
        You take care, QD 🙂

  13. Alan B'stard M P says:

    most aren’t British and have no emotional ties with locals. They don’t care. Best way to stop it is remove billionaire owners from game

    1. jon fox says:

      Alan, If I could wave a majic wand I would ensure all clubs are owned 100% by their fans with a vastly reduced salary cap on wages and far lower ticket prices. The ticket prices WILL now reduce , though over a gradual period, as the world economy becoms poorer and salaries will also reduce but sadly without a cap. The billionaires though are here stay and THEY are the real cancer from whose clutches we need to rid our sport.
      Newcastle are about to shed one appalling owner but land up with a consortium led by a Saudi who makes Ashley look like Mary Poppins by comparison.

  14. Chris says:

    Maybe you spoke too soon, Admin?
    Arsenal senior players and coaching staff have agreed a 12.5% wage cut.

    1. Reggie says:

      It funny but most have had a 20% knock and worse but our little cherubs have to try and survive on the pittance left after their reduction. Except Ozil, it is reported he is 1 of 3 to refuse the pay cut, we will see how that one pans out, he obviously is feeling the pinch, poor soul. They all make me ashamed of footballers at this time.

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