The thin Line Between Money And Sports Enjoyment?

August 26, 2013 6:02 pm0 comments by:
money and sports


I enjoy playing certain sports as a participant and love watching all sports. I assume that majority of people also enjoy watching different sports and participate in a few of them. The reason for participating in a sport includes having the technical skill, physical fitness, confidence and equipment. However,  lack of money  is a crucial factor that will prevent participation and thus enjoyment.

We have personal experiences of situations, where lack of money has prevented us enjoying our favourite sports. It could be the entry fee, transport fee, bonus allowances, and sports equipment. Professional players experience this dilemma on a regular basis. They have to decide whether to forfeit a better bank balance for regular feeling of sports enjoyment.

You may have read, listen or experience numerous stand offs between players and national sports associations or transfer sagas between clubs and players. The sagas revolve on a transfer fee package that is acceptable for seller, buyer and the player.

For instance, the Uganda National Team (Cranes) faces Senegal on September 7th 2013 in a crucial 2014 World Cup qualifier on a neutral ground in Marrakech Morocco. The preparation is hampered by issue with funds earmarked for the team ahead of the crucial game.Uganda head coach Milutin Sredojevic has requested the government to act quickly and release the funds.

Currently, a few African players are engulfed in transfer negotiations between their current and prospective employers. For example, the Nigerian under 20 Captain Ayagun is waiting to sign for Greek football club Panathinaikos FC from Nigeria Football Club Dophins. The delay in the transfer is because the Greek Team are investing a lot of money and want to see all the medical records.

There is a rumour Nigerian Victor Moses is looking to sign for Liverpool FC on loan but agreeing a wage package might stop the move. Victor Moses is struggling to start for Chelsea and this surely will affect his enjoyment of the game.
The situation with 24 year old Gabon player Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, who recently got transferred to Borussia Dortmund, is about money.
Carlos Arino claims the club owe him money for his efforts in the early negotiations with the player, although BVB have branded the complaint as “irrelevant”
The agent involved in Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang’s move to Borussia Dormunnd is preparing to sue the Bundesliga club over alleged non-payments for his services. This might affect Pierre mental state and his ability to perform on the pitch.
Agents can command a substantial fee to ease a transfer of an African player to an overseas club. Sometimes, the player involved has to accept a lower wage package to prevent a collapse of the transfer negotiations. This is important to complete the transfer and play for a European team.

There is another  scenario of a player having to navigate the dilemma between money and sports enjoyment. This happens if a player is valued highly by the current employers, who are  not keen to sell the player. The player has to force the transfer  and it usually ends in disharmony for all stakeholders. For instance, Asamoah Gyan in 2011 decided to leave England and move to United Arab Emirates.

Initially, the Ghana International moved on loan and then made it permanent. Sunderland FC and fans were not happy with Gyan and football critics were surprised with the move. The media suggesting money was key reason for quitting the competitive English Premier League for a less competitive league.

Recently, Asamoah Gyan told the media that he does not regret leaving the English Premier League. He is still  happy with the move to UAE, and his move has not affected place in the National Team. The decision to leave Sunderland Football Club revolved on what was good for his family and for him.
It helped to ply his trade knowing that the family are happy and this helps him enjoy football. You might be wondering is it possible to differentiate between home comfort and money. Personally, I think it is difficult for a professional player to have family comfort without being comfortable with the wage package.

Currently, professional players  in the African football leagues look to impress agents and scouts. They objective are to ply their trade outside of the continent with better financial packages. Super Eagles International Sunday Mba is an example and is set to sign for French Club Bastia for 2013/2014 Ligue season

Regardless, of your view about Asamoah Gyan’s motive to play for Al Ain,
You cannot be certain one way or another about Asamoah Gyan’s motivation for the transfer . My  assessment is that having a good financial package helps with family comfort. It also helps if you are winning matches and titles.

I am aware that a few players have forgone better financial package for sports enjoyment. For instance, a player that leaves a top club for a smaller club to get regular starts.
Nevertheless, they still want to get paid for playing their favourite sports. No professional wants to work for free.

Money will continue to dominate in a professional sports person’s decision to chase for sports enjoyment. The key question is to get the right balance between money and sports enjoyment.

Obioma Aguocha
Self Publisher:The Guide to being the Best (Paperback) 2007 & Sporting Success Simplified (E-book) 2012


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