What is the value of South African football?
Greeting to the many millions and millions of football mad patrons, today I would like to entertain the idea of money in our beautiful game. Although domestically not many football clubs are breaking even financially the question I pose to you is, what is the value of game that we so passionately adore?
Well the answer to that question is not that straight forward.
One may validly argue that not enough is been done to develop the game in terms of talent hence the dismal decline of not only the national team but also its feeder teams, Amaglug-glug and Amajita respectively. This trend has been highlighted by our beloved teams failure to qualify at continental competitions as well as the prestigious Olympic Games and the football youth championships.
So where is the money all going to?
In my attempt to address such issues one realizes that the matter at hand is also riddled by corporate giants who have joined in the 2010 band wagon. As South Africa will host the spectacle, companies have just miraculously developed a passion for the game knowing very well that they are guaranteed exposure to the world come 2010.
All this leaves a very bitter taste in ones mouth if you consider domestically we have a Top 8 competition affectionately know as the Wafa Wafa competition. Teams participating in this insanely lucrative competition can walk away with a whopping
R 8 000 000, if they can win not more than 5 games.
So let me try and paint you this picture, this notion of remunerating teams substantially is all fine and well, but consider this, the same amount of money a team may conquer Africa in a more prestigious competition known as the CAF champions league. This competition runs for almost 10 months in a year and only involves only the cream of African players and teams. So tell me what will motivate our local teams to raise their game and challenge for the more difficult and less paying CAF champions league.
One may view this as week argument but this infact has a ripple effect that has seen South African football decay further into dismay. Our local team’s failure to compete at a continental level leaves the selectors at national levels with a talent pool of players that lack talent when compared to their peers.
Therefore our national teams suck continentally and internationally. This is sad but true we have reached a level never thought imaginable if one considers our rich heritage in football.
So all this new found wealth in the beautiful game of ours has not lived up to the promises it has made, as the numbers attending local football matches have steadily declined over the years one may even go as far as to say that our football is dying a slow painful and pitiful death.
With no solutions coming forward to revive this beautiful creature I guess we can merely but dream of the days when special players mesmerized the masses with their trickery and flair, a age when SA football had characters larger than life itself.
Football Connoisseur 99