Bankers XI vs. Footballers XI

Oh, the mercurial captain. He’s been a difficult one to pin down this season. This guy was unbelievable for three or four years. His performance had been breaking records left, right and centre. So he moved on to a bigger institution where he could really play in the big leagues. Maybe even Europe.

Obviously his salary had to take a massive hike – he’s a star in his field, and that means he needs to receive a star’s pay. So he’s offered a weekly salary of thousands and thousands, and waits for his new employers to pay the massive release fee in his contract to the old employers.

But in his new digs, in this season, he just hasn’t performed. Nothing’s going to plan and his new owners are struggling. The problem really is that no-one has yet conclusively preoven that paying these massive wages to people truly improves a team’s performance. Worse, talk of his talent is almost entirely anecdotal – what statistics there are aren’t conclusive because the game he plays is too complex to be easily represented in numbers. There will be no Moneyball revolution here for some time.

Obviously, he clearly a very talented man. But talented enough to single-handedly turn around a struggling institution? it seems not. But there are other factor’s the media will blame, long before they suggest that buying in top talent is a poor solution to institutional problems. “He doesn’t get on with his managerial staff,” they say. Or, “He’s working with an unfamiliar system.”. Perhaps they’ll blame it on “problems with European competition” or something similar. Either way, there’s no fixing this system.

His opposing captain is in a different situation. He’s been struggling for 4 or 5 years now, and he’s looking to move on. His salary is massive, inflated during that period in 06/07 when he was the best in the world. And when he moves he’ll expect another huge pay hike.

Why? Because he’s still a star. His poor performance isn’t his fault. The people around him don’t know how to use him properly, and whoever he ends up working for will believe that he’s the right man for their system. They’ll hope that by taking him on, even on unfathomable wages, he’ll be able to slot right in and improve their chances over the next couple of years.

Plus, maybe he’ll bring people in with him – young hopefuls might join the team hoping for a chance to work with the old hero. More talent can only be a good thing, right?

Meanwhile, the people at the bottom – the loyal football fans, the banking customers – are getting a raw deal they face ticket price hikes, a squeeze on incomes, a ruined economy. These problems are the same problem – the unrelenting focus on paying over the odds for “top talent” and the bloated avarice of both football and banking has ruined them. Things have to change, and the only way to do so is to look at the root causes – unregulated, unmonitored capitalist greed.

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Filed under Banks, Politics, Sport

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