[Marxism] Blatter Rails Against Football's 'Pornographic' Riches

Mehmet Cagatay mehmetcagatayaydin at yahoo.com
Wed Oct 12 23:53:12 MDT 2005

Blatter rails against football's 'pornographic' riches 
October 12, 2005
LONDON (AFP) - FIFA president Sepp Blatter launched a scathing attack on
hugely wealthy players and club owners, saying the "pornographic" amounts
of money available at the top tiers of football risked wrecking the sport.

Blatter, head of football's global governing body, also lambasted the
greed of "semi-educated" players, promising a FIFA taskforce to curb the
sport's excesses.

In an outspoken article for the Financial Times newspaper, Blatter noted
that football was now a hugely lucrative global business.

"Unfortunately, the haphazard way in which money has flowed into the game
-- reminiscent of a misguided, wild west style of capitalism -- is having
some seriously harmful effects," he said.

While many teams were poor, "a few fortunate clubs" were richer than ever
thanks to benevolent owners, Blatter noted, seemingly taking a swipe at
the likes of Roman Abramovich, the Russian oil billionaire who owns
English Premiership champions Chelsea.

"What makes this a matter for concern is that, all too often, the source
of this wealth is individuals with little or no history of interest in the
game, who have happened upon football as a means of serving some hidden
agenda," Blatter wrote.

"Having set foot in the sport seemingly out of nowhere they proceed to
throw pornographic amounts of money at it.

"What they do not understand is that football is more about grass roots
than idols."

Blatter condemned the huge wages commanded by top players, bitterly
attacking "the spectacle of semi-educated, sometimes foul-mouthed players"
already earning huge sums but "holding clubs to ransom" for more.

It was "simply insane" for a player to earn 6-8 million pounds (8.75-11.6
million euros, 10.5-14 million dollars) a year, as the very top earners
now do.

"What logic, right or economic necessity would qualify a man in his
mid-20s to demand to earn in a month a sum that his own father -- and the
majority of fans -- could not hope to earn in a decade?" Blatter asked.

A new FIFA taskforce was being formed to deal with "the kinds of excesses
I have outlined", Blatter wrote, adding: "And I am confident that this
initiative will bear fruit quickly and decisively."

Mehmet Çagatay

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