Football farms

British football clubs should invest in small ones

By Philip Goodhart   47

On 11th october 1954, the day he turned 17, Bobby Charlton signed a contract with Manchester United. Exactly 45 years after Charlton signed the contract that would bring him almost ?350 a year, the agent of Roy Keane, the current captain of Manchester United, began negotiations which should bring Keane ?35,000 a week-possibly ?60,000 if he goes abroad instead. In the past 40 years, star-quality British football players have had a higher proportionate increase in pay than any other single group represented by a professional body or trade union.

There are three reasons for this. The first is the abolition…

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