Why the Rickie Lambert story is so rare

16/08/2013 | By | Reply More

I remember being a small boy watching my local team, smoke wafting in my face, pie in hand until a crowd surge would dump it unceremoniously on the terrace! But hey, I’m showing my age.

I couldn’t help but let out a cheer when Lambert scored on his England debut as it’s a great story and it’s also something that gives people hope. When I stood on the terraces all those years ago I felt that if I tried hard enough I too could be out there playing. I still have dreams where I score an important goal or make a debut in an unexpected manner, but that will never happen now. But when I was young, it felt like it really could. In fact one the players in my school team did actually make it.

Wind forward to the modern era and you really don’t have a snowballs chance in hell of making it that high or playing regularly in a top tier team. So much money has been poured into the game it’s sold its soul in search of success and in the scramble to get success local talent in English football has been passed over. Instead players are pulled in from all over the world in a win at all costs mentality. I don’t know what the youngsters, sitting in those sterile stadia, now think about their chances; but it’s exceptionally remote now I would think.

If you want to see graphic proof of this, simply look at the wages paid to players. The following illustration plots wages paid to the top four tiers in English football. The exponential blue line sky rocketing off the top of the chart is the top tier, the premiership. The purple line bumping along the bottom, division three, as it is now called.

You can see on the graph the vast difference between divisions. Over the period I measured, the top tiers average wage grew 46 fold, the other divisions grew 13.6, 6.5 and 4.6 times. You can see that the second tier has benefited somewhat from the uplift in the premier league. This is most likely a combination of parachute payments and also top tier clubs wanting to get promoted again after relegation or second tier clubs overspending to reach those hallowed heights.

But in all, the escalation of average wages is a reflection on bringing in overseas players and paying handsomely for that. Meanwhile the Rickie Lambert’s of the world have to hope to be in the right place at the right time to break out of the increasing gaps down to the lower leagues. Good luck to them!

wages tier 1-4

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Category: Football trading strategies

About the Author ()

I left a good job in the consumer technology industry to go a trade on Betfair for a living way back in June 2000. I've been here ever since pushing very boundaries of what's possible on betting exchanges and loved every minute of it.

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