I unexpectedly came across this article and couldn’t help but post it.
In 1951 the best Richmond player in the game against Footscray was to receive a tonne of firewood from Mr. R. Ahrens of Toolern Vale. Richmond fans seemed happy to reward their players for good performances, in earlier weeks other fans had gifted things like potatoes and butter.
Those were the days weren’t they? When footy players lived on the same planet as the rest of us and actually had jobs. Can you imagine a top-level footballer being happy to receive that as his reward for a good game these days?
In Australia our professional football players are paid a great deal of money. Not as much as other football codes around the world, very few of ours get the millions, but still, at the top-level they don’t have to worry about where their next meal is coming from, that’s for sure!
Even if they don’t get paid the big dollars there is still the media and endorsement path to supplement their income. Not only that, it appears they rarely have to pay for entry or drinks on a night out….
Here is a short clip of Australian footy in case you have never seen it played before. (The team with the black guernsey and yellow sash is Richmond)
typical bloody Richmond, lost again! Although theya re doing wuite well this year. Hubby loves richmond btw. That reward system should be the way to go, (the same with pollies, a basic wage for them and then we can supplement it if they’re good) how good would that be – imagine the outcry though. “i can’t build my manaion with a sack of spuds!”
Material reward instead of financial would be a good way to make sure they played well, if they didn’t their families would be unfed and cold 🙂 They would probably be less inclined to get in after-hours trouble if the fans were the ones directly suppling the rewards!
Make an effort to ignore the greenish tinge about my face when I say it’s pretty obscene to see football players anywhere paid in telephone number salaries-weekly- giving the excuse that they have a short playing life. Their salaries taken over that short span are still more than most people earn in a lifetime and they can invest in businesses for the future. Heaven forend they should have to retrain for something.
We have players over here on a weekly salary that was greater than my annual salary at work, and I wasn’t badly paid. Where a player’s share of a transfer fee is enough to buy a house outright and where they earn more for personal appearances and for advertising makes a bit of a mockery as to what us normal folk can achieve who can’t kick a ball about.
These men are entertainers and deserve to be well paid ( they’re certainly actors on the pitch) but in the realms of reality would be nice. Sounds like 1951 ( Great Year BTW) kept their feet on the ground so to speak.
I completely agree! I understand that any football career can be a short one and can be cut off at any time due to injury but if they do a bit of media training they can manage to drag out their sporting life for many years after their playing time has ended.
They get to do something they love too, not many of us can say that. I reckon that any person would choose a great job with big bucks for a short time over the underpaid lifetime slog that the rest of the world has to put up with!
The amounts they get paid really are obscene aren’t they? Over here they get nothing like the amounts the European football players get, but still, I wouldn’t be complaining!
I guess they were ‘amateurs’ in the original, good sense of the word – playing because they loved their team and the game. These days? Who knows. So many footballers change teams multiple times so who are they loyal to?
Those old footy players that played for love never really changed teams like they do these days. I was thinking of doing a post on the recently departed Charlie Sutton. They were different days back then.
I’ve never been a footy fan but you can’t live in Melbourne and not soak the culture in by osmosis if nothing else. I remember my first boyfriend and his family were rabid Essendon fans and allegiances just did not change for fans or players.
I haven’t been a footy fan since I was in primary school but I love the way we have our own code and that it has such history. If only they slowed down on the big business side of it, I think that is what bothers me the most. It isn’t about love of the team anymore, it is all about money.
Yeah, I’m the same. Hasn’t ‘felt’ the same since it went national. I can understand that a sport has to grow or go backwards but I’m glad I was never a fan. I think I’d be disappointed.
night night 🙂
Great article. It’s good to know information like this. Who would have thought that a footballer is worth that of potatoes. Today, there’s an extreme opposite. They are now millionaires.
I bet they complain a lot more about conditions these days than they did back then! Maybe a couple of months playing only for provisions would make them a little more appreciative 😉