Premier League is moving farther away from reality

Fernando Torres
Fernando Torres

COMMENT: Sell alcohol to kids and you will face consequences

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A grotesque £200m was spent on transfer fees during the January transfer window, moving Premier League football farther away from reality.

In times of austerity, mass job losses and major cuts, it seems that football is now the domain of the mega-rich playboys.

Football was always the sport of the working class. When things were bad, we had football to turn to. During wars and depressions, our fathers and grandfathers always had the game to lift spirits. They might even have met a player down the pub for a beer.

Not today. Arab princes, Russian oil billionaires and American tycoons rule the roost. Players are like pampered Hollywood superstars.

You can’t tell me football hasn’t gone crazy when 22-year-old Andy Carroll, with a bad boy reputation and just half a season of top-flight experience, is worth a staggering £35m.

And what about Chelsea paying £50m for Fernando Torres? What a great message for our children. When you don’t get your way, just sulk and don’t put the effort in.

Torres’ nickname in Spain is El Nino, which translates as The Kid. You know what, he’s behaved like one.

It seems a millennium ago that I was watching the transfer deadline day reports on Sky Sports News with excitement as Pompey signed the likes of Jermain Defoe, Peter Crouch and Lassana Diarra.

But with all this Premier League madness, I actually feel more in touch with Pompey in the Championship these days.

They too are going through hard times, having to sell to survive. It feels like Pompey are now a more ‘honest’ team, living within their means.

We’ll always be a selling club, nurturing young talent who will hopefully move us back to the promised land.

The likes of Joel Ward would never have got a chance before. What a revelation he’s been.

I like to identify with the players in my team. Now I can again at Pompey. But if returning to that promised land means having a team like Wigan or Blackburn, I’ll keep Championship football thanks.