A Footballer’s Story – It’s A Hard Life.
“Hey, kid! No job prospects now you’ve left school?”
“But you like playing football, don’t you?”
“Okay, here’s the deal. Come and play for us. Forget about working 12 hour shifts in some crummy factory, scrabbling around for any overtime you can get, just so you can maybe pay a bill or two every month. With us you can play the game you love, every day! You’ll play on a perfect pitch, in a magnificent stadium. Away games, you’ll play in some of the best stadiums in the land, after arriving there by first class travel. Paid for by us, of course.
Play well, help the club to succeed, and you’ll get to play all over Europe in some of the worlds premier footballing competitions. You’ll also enjoy travelling the globe, representing your club in the off-season, as we broaden our worldwide market. Again, all travel and accommodation will be first class. Everything will be paid for by us, you won’t have to spend a penny of your own money.
You will be provided, free of charge, with access to the worlds leading physical trainers and world renowned nutritionalists. You’ll have the use of top of the range gym and sports equipment – equipment ordinary people can only fantasise about using as they lift rusty weights in some B.O. riddled back alley gym for £10 a month. We will ensure that you reach peak physical perfection, you’ll be in the best shape anybody could ever hope to be. We’ll also provide outstanding physiotherapists and masseuses, so that you’ll have no problem relaxing. Oh, and don’t you worry yourself about illness, injuries and NHS waiting times – we will, of course, provide you with the worlds best doctors and medical facilities.
Play well, and you’ll be selected to play for your country. You’ll play in the finest and most historic football stadiums around the world. You’ll play against the cream of the worlds very best footballers. You’ll play the game you love in front of audiences numbering in the billions.
School kids will worship you as a god. Women will throw themselves at you. Men will want to BE you! Global corporations will beg you to endorse their products, and will offer you the world to do so. You’ll be invited, as a VIP guest, to film premiers, to celebrity parties, to all the best sporting occasions. You’ll be paid millions by advertisers.
And as if all that wasn’t enough, we’ll actually PAY you to do all this. Yes, that’s right! You’ll be living a dream, a lifestyle envied by the masses, and we’ll PAY you, oh, let’s say £250,000. A year? Oh no, don’t be silly. We’ll pay you that vast sum each and every WEEK!
So, what do you say to that, my boy?”
“Sounds like a dream come true! But… it’ll be so much hard work. I mean, I’ll have to run around a lot and get all sweaty. That’ll mess my hair up. Sometimes I’ll even have to play two matches in one week! Two! Can you imagine!? I might get a bruise, some of those players can be rough, they brush against you and everything. We all know how much that hurts, and how long you have to spend rolling around on the floor in the worlds worst agony.
But, saying that, I’ll give it a go. It’ll be a hard life, great sacrifices will have to be made. But somehow I’ll find a way to cope with the massive stress of it all. A part time job, on minimum wage, topped up by benefits – not being able to pay all the bills every month, having to choose between food for your kids or replacing their worn out shoes – wearing four layers in winter just so you can save money by not putting the heating on – all that would be easy in comparison to the great hardship you’ve offered me.
But I’ll do it. I’ll be a man, and face these demons.
Oh, do I get a free car too?”