sports gazette

Is the future Bright in football?

Published: 24 May 2017

‘The only loyalty in football is between the supporter and his club. That will never die.’

These are the words of ex-Manchester United/England midfielder and Crystal Palace club legend Steve Coppell. We are in a time where loyalty in football is severely tested, with financial influences, cultural temptations and trophy hunting individuals daily testing the resolve of all those involved in the world of football.

However, with players such as Scouse legend Steven Gerrard, Chelsea captain John Terry, German master Philipp Lahm and Roma wonder Francesco Totti, perhaps people are too quick to judge the sentiments of players in the modern game.

These players are fine examples of football club youth academies producing skilled individuals. But, with the immediate importance of success in football nowadays, clubs are becoming ever more reliant on spending substantial amounts of money importing players from other clubs.

Does this mean the loyal players in football are rapidly fading? Former Crystal Palace striker now coach Mark Bright feels that times have changed and instant success has taken over the mentality of today’s game.

To be honest, I don't think it's important nowadays. What's important is to sign better players to improve the team year on year.

Speaking to the Sports Gazette, he said: “To be honest, I don't think it's important nowadays. What's important is to sign better players to improve the team year on year.”

Bright believes that money is the influencing factor in new signings.

He said: “Every now and again you get a John Terry, Steven Gerrard or Julian Speroni. Getting players through from the academy is more important, because you save money.”

The importance of youth however is never going to stop no matter on how ridiculous spending gets. Bright feels that although there is less chance of youth starting in high profile games, there are still opportunities in football for them if they work hard enough and maybe more importantly, are good enough.

Regarding youth players, he said: “Spurs have done it, Man Utd have played some today. They need to play competitive games, that's why the loan system gives them a chance.”

With a summer transfer window now upon us with the opportunity for football clubs to spend big, it’ll be interesting to see which clubs sign the ready-made superstars or stay loyal to their youth academies. 

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