Since the news broke that Jacob Murphy was a target for Newcastle United, there has been much brouhaha among the Canary nation in the bear pits of social media.
First off, there was the disbelief among some fans that the club would even consider selling “one of our own.”
Well, it turns out that Jacob (and Josh for that matter) was actually a Newcastle fan as a youngster, cue baby pictures in Newcastle baby grow, which the Magpies made a big deal of when he signed. To be fair, it seems that there are some fairly strong connections to the North East, so why not?
Before a deal had even been struck, there was all sorts of nonsense being bandied about on Twitter, predominantly involving the use of the in vogue term for unfaithfulness “snake.”
I even saw that some chump had photo shopped Jacob`s head onto a picture of the said reptile.
Really?! Come on.
The situation is a common one that many football players and indeed sports men and women in all disciplines find themselves in, in the age we live in.
Jacob has been at Norwich with his brother since he was 11 and he`s come all the way through the academy and into the first team. He`s caught the eye of a big Premier league team, a team that on and off the pitch are bigger than City and they have made us an offer that we can`t refuse.
There will have then been a discussion between Jacob`s representatives over the financial package and that will obviously have been a big increase on what he`s on now and then, the deal is done to the satisfaction of all parties.
Except some fans of course who struggle deeply with the idea of loyalty.
The idea of loyalty in modern sports is just not a viable concept anymore.
Football is a short career though and you can`t blame a player for making hay when the sun shines. It is also inescapable that in the world of the Premier League where billions of pounds wash around the place that even the most average of players is on a sum incomprehensible to the average chap or chapess.
I recently read in the Sunday Times that Lionel Messi, a player who is more than arguably the greatest of all time, has just signed a new contract at Barcelona that will see him earn £1m a week. Ronaldo is on around £275k a week at Real Madrid but actually earns more overall due to commercial deals. This sounds incredible and ridiculous until you learn, that of Barcelona`s £560m income in 2016/17, Messi on his own is directly responsible due to commercial activities (shirt sales etc) for 20% of that £560m income – suddenly it makes sense that an employee who brings in that much income should be rewarded handsomely.
Now, I`m not suggesting that Murphy is in the Messi bracket at all, he`s currently nowhere near it and won`t bring in 20% of the Magpies` annual income BUT he will bring a certain value to Newcastle, who first and foremost hope he will help them stay in the League this season. He may or may not do that because Newcastle are paying a lot of the fee for the lad`s potential. Only time will tell on that score. If he scores the goal that keeps them in the league next May then he will have been worth his £12m fee.
At the much lower level of salary that Jacob is at compared to Messi, fans need to realise what has happened. His salary will almost certainly have been at least doubled (possibly more) with this move to Newcastle and the club will offer all sorts of other incentives. There will probably be a signing on fee as well as other performance related incentives for things such as appearances, goals scored, international call ups etc etc.
Newcastle may well have also paid his moving costs. Not so huge for a single lad but an older player would have wife and family to also consider. Footballers live in a bubble and clubs employ people to look after everything for them, from hotels to car insurance to arranging mobile phones. Former City player Phil Lythgoe is the “Player Liaison Officer” at Norwich and that is the sort of thing he sorts out.
I think that in reality, those who have called Jacob a “snake” should consider the following question.
If you were approached, I believe the term is “head hunted”, by another company in a similar line of work to that which you currently do (in Newcastle) and were told that if you joined that company then they would pay your moving costs, sort you and your family out with a lovely hotel as long as it took to find somewhere to live permanently (all expenses paid), took care of every little detail such as arranging and setting up all your utility bills, paid you a signing on fee of £100k and then tripled your current salary, would you consider it?
I`d not have to think too hard to say “Yes” I`d reckon, especially as (using the football analogy) that you could move somewhere else a bit nicer in 2-3 years if you did okay in the role – or even if you didn`t.
Football is business and footballers are employees. They do not have the same emotional attachment to a club that fans do and the financial incentives are enormous throughout the sport.
So, if you called Jacob a “snake” don`t try and kid the rest of us that you wouldn`t have done exactly the same if in his position, especially when your current club have told you “we`ve accepted an offer for you.”
Have a word with yourselves?