When Footballers Were Skint: A Journey in Search of the Soul of Football: 2018

Jon Henderson
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Tales from before the maximum wage for footballers was abolished in 1961. Describes how footballers and fans lived in the same world.
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Book description
Long before television rights ushered in the age of the multi-millionaire footballer, the wages of professional players were capped so that they earned not much more than the national average wage. This was a time when the men who played for the great football clubs of Britain shared a bond of borderline penury with the fans they entertained. It was almost routine for players to travel to matches on the same public transport as the fans and, after the game, to return to homes that were as modest as those in which their supporters lived. Quite possibly, player and fan were next-door neighbours in a street of working families' terraced houses.

Despite the riches that decades later would come into the game, the struggle to end the maximum wage in football seems as worthy as any of the centuries-old skirmishes undertaken by working people against mean-spirited employers. For instance, England regular Tom Finney reflected caustically that of the GBP50,000-plus gate money the FA received from Wembley international matches, the eleven England players would share GBP550, with the remaining GBP49,450 going to the FA.

This book takes the first-hand accounts of a disappearing generation of footballers before their stories are lost for ever. Some of those stories are scarcely believable. All of us who call ourselves football fans owe this book's multifarious cast our thanks for giving the national game such a rich and deeply human heritage.

Product details
More Information
ISBN 9781785903847
Publisher Biteback Publishing
Format Hardback
Pages 356
Publication date 24 May 2018

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