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Friday, 25 May, 2001, 10:04 GMT 11:04 UK
Should testimonials be scrapped?
Arsenal goalkeeper David Seaman attracted a bumper crowd to his testimonial match against Barcelona.
Are such games a deserving tribute to loyal servants or a fast buck for today's millionaire footballers?
With eleven years of service at Arsenal, 33,000 fans turned up at Highbury to give David Seaman a fitting tribute.
But they also ensured a whopping £600,000 tax-free bonus for the veteran 'keeper.
Ryan Giggs, the next big name to be given a testimonial, must be rubbing his hands with glee.
With players' wages reaching astronomical levels, should a final whistle be blown on testimonials?
Cricket players also benefit from the testimonial system.
But they would argue that their wages do not compare with those of Premiership footballers. Does that make it more understandable?
Should the money raised go to a more deserving cause, such as ex-players from less lucrative times?
Or should the tradition be left alone?
Testimonials for players began in the days before
high wages. The money that players earn now should give
them more than enough. Only players from the lower divisions
where the wages are much lower can now be justified.
Yes they should cause the money just goes into there pockets the money they don't need unless the money went to local charities such as all gate receipts.
Most profitable testimonials are for the elite who are already earning substantial money from sponsorship deals over and above their salary packages. Why can't they do it for charity rather than further alienate themselves from the general public.
Trevor Brooking said that more money needs to go to charity from Testimonials and I would have to agree with him. The days where a testimonial was given to help fund a retiring player until he could find another career are dead. None of the big players now are going to need to work again, and really I think it is time testimonials gave all the profits to charity and were just used to celebrate the careers of some of our best players.
Fans will always want to turn out to see and pay tribute to a player they've come to respect and admire. If 33,000 fans can turn out for David Seaman's testimonial then the question doesn't really need to be asked. Fans want testimonials so they'll continue and whether the player needs the money or not isn't really an issue when it gives fans the chance to see opposition players they might not have the chance to see otherwise. But surely the tax-free status of the player's earnings from the game is the real issue - I can see no justifiable reason for that to be allowed to continue and when even members of the royal family now pay tax, how is it that in these circumstances, football players are exempt?
But there's no way the players need the money. It should perhaps be given to the club or put into youth football or something more in need of it. However, to use Roy Keane's argument - most footballers are likely to be retired by the time they're 34 and have to live the next 40-50 years with no income (and not many have the education to allow them to go and get a proper job!)
There are so many players such as Tony Adams, Lee Dixon, Denis Irwin and the like, who have served their clubs with nothing short of distinction for many, many seasons without a compromise. If a testimonial is a way of saying thank-you to those players for what they have done over the years, then let the show go on!
The cash from the match was donated to charity, thus dispelling all notions of greed among professional footballers. The only sad thing is, hardly any players from before the 80's were given such matches. Football is such a physically demanding sport that many players' careers end quickly due to injury. Some even die after on-pitch accidents! David is still, however, very fit, reasonably agile, and is still good enough to remain England's number one goalkeeper until after the World Cup. That alone is perhaps one reason why the players are paid so much.
Fleecing, milking and ethically dubious are three things that come to mind. The premiership 'fat cats' on 30k a week need a testimonial solely to finance the next Ferrari. Fans must see this! At least they could do it on the basis that the funds go to the players' favourite charity?
They should be scrapped.
Players rewarded for service?
I already thought they were well rewarded
When teams do well players want a rise.
When those same players get the club relegated
is there ever a sniff of taking a pay cut.
They get paid enough. Why can't players,
like people in other walks of life
be content and not greedy.
David Seaman has played for Arsenal for 11 years. That's some dedication. Why shouldn't a player be paid tribute for their commitment to one club. It's an all too rare thing these days for a player to stick to one team for the period of their contract, let alone a decade. It's not like testimonials are handed out left right and centre. Remember that he is also donating a fair proportion of this money to charity, not simply lining his pockets.
23 May 01 | Arsenal
'Safe Hands' safe for now
22 May 01 | Arsenal
Seaman cleans up in tribute match
23 May 01 | Arsenal
Seaman staying at Highbury
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