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Kings of Anglia Issue 10 Magazine Offer

Bacon's Bites: Supping it up on the football gravy train, and isn't Brexit like VAR?

Manchester United goalkeeper David de Gea

Manchester United goalkeeper David de Gea

PA Archive/PA Images

In this week's column Mike Bacon takes a look at footballers' wages and gears up for a big golf clash!

Manchester United goalkeeper David de Gea Photo: PAManchester United goalkeeper David de Gea Photo: PA

I shouldn’t be so sensitive.

And anyhow, after being a journalist for more than 25 years you would think I ought to know that perhaps a little bit of ‘journalistic licence’ goes into some reporters’ stories.

But then again....

The news this week from a popular national newspaper that, (and I quote)... ‘David de Gea will leave Manchester United for PSG this summer unless the club match his £350,000-a-week wage demands’, got me all in lather.

Lionel Messi, can change a gameLionel Messi, can change a game

I mean, is it just me?

Why does a footballer... A footballer for goodness sake... Need £350k a week to survive in 2019? What’s wrong with say £190k?

I know, I know, it’s the way it is Michael, market forces and all that, but honestly, does it make any sense?

It’s just greed, pure greed.

Match referee Mike Dean shows a red card and sends off Manchester United's Ashley Young during the Premier League match at Molineux. Premier League referees are pretty well rewarded Photo: PAMatch referee Mike Dean shows a red card and sends off Manchester United's Ashley Young during the Premier League match at Molineux. Premier League referees are pretty well rewarded Photo: PA

What on earth does one do with £1.4m a month?

And don’t give me all the, ‘well if another newspaper offered you, blah, blah, blah.’

Because I can assure you if another newspaper did offer me more money to work for them, yes I may go.

But it wouldn’t be the sort of wage that means I can work for six months then retire a millionaire.

The famous football pitches on Hackney Marshes. What a bit of Premier League cash could do help spruce them up. Photo: CARL MARSTONThe famous football pitches on Hackney Marshes. What a bit of Premier League cash could do help spruce them up. Photo: CARL MARSTON

You see I get Andy Murray, I get Tiger Woods, I get individual sports stars who have to do it all on their own. Because they can rely on precisely no-one. Their success is solely because of them.

Team players are different.

Only the very best can change a team game. And from where I’m sitting, in football anyhow, that is currently Messi or Ronaldo.

Yet, so many footballers are multi-millionaires because they are just good.

Even worse is that even more are millionaires by being just average.

De Gea won’t even be in the top 10 best paid world players on £350k a week.

Probably not even top 20!

OK, I’ll take he’s a good ‘keeper. But worth £350k a week? Not in my world.

EADT golf captain, Tony GarnettEADT golf captain, Tony Garnett

Bring back Paul Cooper, I say! He’d show them.

I suppose I wouldn’t mind if I saw more money filtering down to the grassroots of football.

Sunday morning pitches looked after, new goalposts erected, better nets, decent changing rooms. More referees rewarded for the difficult job they do – not Premier League ones, I hasten to add, they are well rewarded.

With all the zillions sloshing round the Premier League, why doesn’t the PL give each council in England and Wales £100k a year to employ four or five full-time folks to just look after council football pitches? Watch them improve.

Ufford Park's Stuart Robertson, right, giving Mike Bacon some golf tips. Will it help? Unlikely!Ufford Park's Stuart Robertson, right, giving Mike Bacon some golf tips. Will it help? Unlikely!

De Gea and all his rich footballing pals have what they have because the average person in the street buys satellite dishes and/or pays hard-earned cash to go and watch them.

I know, it’s a gravy train.

Jump on, stuff your face, jump off asap – and head into the sunset.

I don’t know about you but I’m fed up with all this Brexit rubbish.

It’s proving a bit like VAR but with no end product.

Alot of sitting around, alot of humming and harring. Everyone has an opinion. Frustrating to the point you end up not caring what happens... JUST GET ON WITH IT.

I blame unleaded petrol.

Oh, ignore me. I haven’t slept well this week.

In happier news, this Monday I – and other fellow golfers here at the EADT – will embark on our annual golf match with St Andrys Golf Club, near Woodbridge.

It’s a fixture that has been going since the 1960s – yes, before I was even born.

My colleague Mr Tony Garnett, late of this sports department parish, is chief organiser. And although he can’t play these days due to a ‘dicky’ hip/eye and wrist, he flits round the course in his little golf buggy, like one of those captains in the Ryder Cup (although I don’t remember Thomas Bjorn sipping a bottle of Palataia Pinot Noir on the way round!)

Anyhow, my colleague Stuart ‘the slice’ Watson and former editor of this newspaper Terry ‘one putt’ Hunt will both be on board.

And recently the golfing gods have been in our favour.

I’ve been involved in the fixture since the mid-80s, yet it was 2007 before I was ever on the winning team!

But since, the EADT have won three or four times.

I think the score still reads something like St Audrys 48 EADT 7, with a few drawn.

But it’s always good fun.

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