Greorge Green: Paid too much, too young

17/12/2015  23 Comments  [Jump to last]
The Guardian carries an interview with George Green, who blew a 45k signing-on fee at 16 and felt he didn't need to train as the 4,000-a-week Everton were paying him went to his head.

» Read the full article at The Guardian

Reader Comments (23)

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Ian Jones
1 Posted 17/12/2015 at 14:17:23
Very interesting read.

Would be good if he could make a career of it. He's still young enough

Michael Kenrick
2 Posted 17/12/2015 at 14:32:36
Sad story of how badly it can go wrong. You can have the best talent in the world but, if your head ain't right...

But the amounts of money being paid to kids like this is just ridiculous. I wonder if the top clubs simply look upon it as a gamble? You can do everything possible to make sure the support is there, but some are inevitably going to go off the rails...

Yet you could argue that the loss of talent at this level is exactly what is damaging England at the highest level.

Ian McDowell
3 Posted 17/12/2015 at 14:38:56
Really sad news and to be honest I don't think my career would of lifted off if at 16 I received a £45k signing-on fee and £4k a week.
Jay Harris
4 Posted 17/12/2015 at 14:48:50
Totally agree Michael but I have always wondered why with all the millions paid to footballers why clubs do not invest in a "minder".
Frank Wade
5 Posted 17/12/2015 at 15:33:26
Article quotes £4k a month so just £1k a week. No mention of family in article. Kids of 15 often have a parent move with them to act as a "minder" and George certainly needed a minder.

"They did everything they could but unfortunately I threw it back in their faces," he says. "Everton knew I had ability but they wanted to see that I could be more professional and unfortunately I didn't show that.

"I was sent to see a psychologist to get my head right but he didn't really help. He gave me some tablets which I didn't take because I didn't want to be known as someone who needed that to feel right. It all hit me at once. I pushed away all my friends and family because you don't realise they are there to help."

Sounds like the club did everything they could. He also didn't like a manager to shout at him, so a lot of growing up required.

Ray Roche
6 Posted 17/12/2015 at 15:43:46
I've always been of the opinion that ALL footballers should have a large percentage of their salary paid into a trust fund of some sort or have it safely invested on their behalf.

Apart from the fact that it would give them financial security, possibly for life, it might also dissuade some of them from poncing around in camouflage Bentleys and further alienating them from the fans. I recall reading that Gascoigne had a large some invested for him so that he'd have an income as he got older, presumably because he wasn't thought of as being sensible enough to manage his own affairs. Just a thought.

And yes, I KNOW it's their money and they can make as big a tool of themselves as they want.

Eugene Ruane
7 Posted 17/12/2015 at 15:49:51
"Hey you there... yes you, the working class 15-year-old. Forget your education, here's a load of cash. From now on, your future will be wonderful."

Wonder what percentage of those stories work out really well, compared to those that end up with the kid getting fuck all, or being (one way or another) fucked up?

My guess is the former would be tiny fractions of 1%.

'Yeah but Green behaved like a nob-head'?

So did I at his age (nb: that's what being that age is all about – any 16-year-old lad who behaves like Martin Bryce is fucking odd).

From the age of 12 to 16, my mate's son was at Man City, Blackburn and Liverpool and then he just knocked it on the head – hasn't really played since.

When I spoke to him (the lad) about it, it was clear he could see it for what it is – just a big machine that takes in thousands of kids but only produces a few players.

Thousands of kids 'looked after' by self-serving, grasping, cynical adults who will say and do anything to get the best for themselves.

My mate's lad will finish school in the summer and go to college and seems more than happy about it (and about not being bellowed at by narky red-faced shit-house coaches, hoping someone pays a few mill for a kid he 'coached' so he gets his cut).

James Stewart
8 Posted 17/12/2015 at 16:05:31
Didn't strike me as the sharpest tool in the box from the interviews I've seen him in. I always remember Wenger answering 'intelligence' when asked what was the first thing he looked for in a young player and I think he is spot on. Even more so now with the increasingly ludicrous amounts of money being given to young kids not even out of high school.
Paul Andrews
9 Posted 17/12/2015 at 16:20:10

Perfect analogy. I give the same answer when talking about Rooney.

For those of us brought up on working class streets, I would ask one question:

How many of your 16-year old mates would have kept a level head given the same media attention and the money thrown at them?

Dave Williams
10 Posted 17/12/2015 at 17:07:19
Having read The Guardian article it doesn't sound like he has learned his lesson yet!

Very few manage to claw their way back and as old Pro say,it is a case of acquiring good habits early No matter how good the support is the player has to be willing and reading Greens attitude to coaches he doesn't sound like someone who would follow good advice.

Shame – I had high hopes for him.

Gerry Morrison
11 Posted 17/12/2015 at 17:25:36
The signs were there:
Dave Pritchard
12 Posted 17/12/2015 at 17:28:08
If The Guarniad's reporting is accurate, then his arrogance at thinking he will come back shows that lessons are still not being learned. Good luck if he does resurrect his career but chances must be very slim.
Phil Smith
13 Posted 18/12/2015 at 04:42:01
See he played 70 minutes and then didn't even feature in their next match. Oh dear....
Harold Matthews
14 Posted 18/12/2015 at 05:42:12
Yes Phil (#13). He had been sent off for a slightly mis-timed challenge in the previous match. Report said it was a very poor decision.

Trying to reach peak fitness and recover from the odd knock, he has been on and off the bench. On the pitch he has looked different class, which he is. In this Evo-Stick League, a tackle is usually an assault.

Since his first game against Mossley where he ran the show, his team, Osset Albion, have played 6 and won 5.

If he was arrogant, he wouldn't be playing in this lowly league. I hope he gets back on his feet. He is also a mad Evertonian.

Harold Matthews
15 Posted 18/12/2015 at 05:49:29
Interesting note re one of his league opponents, Clitheroe.

After the match the Clitheroe striker made love to a woman in the manager's dugout. It was filmed from the away dugout and put on social media. Sadly the striker was sacked to save the good name of the club and his girlfriend was not too pleased. He has since begged her forgiveness.

Ray Roche
16 Posted 18/12/2015 at 07:43:37
"He has since begged her forgiveness."

Good luck with that one, son!

Jakob Herd
17 Posted 18/12/2015 at 10:31:40
George must have come a long way to admit that it was his own fault and let's hope he can claw his way back... Jamie Vardy anyone.

For some with that special aptitude to succeed at Premier League clubs the system works, it's a Darwinian, survival of the fittest system, working to produce an elite player. If you don't have all the attributes: skill, work ethic, determination to succeed, dedication to learning and a stable personality you won't make it.

Unfortunately you have to have these at a very young age and few have anything but skill when they start out.

Stephen Brown
18 Posted 18/12/2015 at 19:25:20
Any 8-year-old + who can kick a ball straight is now in an 'academy' and getting their head filled with bloody nonsense by over-zealous coaches!

Their dads then live their dream through their son:

"My boy's in the excellence squad now, they have great hopes for him."

"I thought he was only 6!"

"Yeah but he's a real player!!"

These academies need to be more accountable! As some posters have pointed out, they use a scatter gun approach – sign thousands up and hope one makes it and sod the consequences!

I hope the young man can sort his situation out; maybe education is key?!

Thomas Lennon
19 Posted 19/12/2015 at 06:33:13
Even back in the '70s there were a few lads in Everton's & Liverpool's youth teams in my class at school. Most seemed to work very little, it was all about the footy. I remember hoping that they had a very different attitude on the pitch but they didn't work hard enough there either, weren't bright enough to ignore their mates and make the most if what they had and do the hard yards every day. They lived their lives as a game, most do.

When someone on here comments on a player who is performing a utilitarian role in the Premier League saying 'I could do that' or 'What is he doing in the team every week? He's crap...' then think again. He is probably first in, last out every day. Attitude.

Matt Traynor
20 Posted 20/12/2015 at 07:38:32
This isn't unexpected. I've long had the belief that these kids are paid too much – pretty much everyone in the "industry" is.

Agents should be barred as they seldom bring anything to the table. Of course they won't be forced out of the game, the authorities are just as bent. If they wanted to make a start, they would force the agents to be paid by the players, not the clubs. It might make the players question exactly what these agents deliver for them.

Apparently, these agents have now also got into the female game – with clubs apparently concerned that costs are starting to rocket – and of course BBC don't pay much for the TV rights.

Some of the young players are millionaires before they've even kicked a ball for the first team. It's not exactly motivating them when all they're interested in is fast cars and banging models.

John Raftery
21 Posted 20/12/2015 at 17:18:02
There were one or two on this site who thought the decision to release him last summer would come back to bite us. Little chance of that happening.
Ray Roche
22 Posted 20/12/2015 at 17:50:24
"fast cars and banging models"

Terrible, isn't it?

Dave Abrahams
23 Posted 20/12/2015 at 17:59:51
In a lot of cases with young lads starting off at a professional club, no matter how much talent you have, no matter how hard you work and how dedicated you are, you still need another ingredient, and that's luck.

I know of one case at Everton young lad was being released by David Moyes and Duncan Ferguson asked Moyes to give him another year and he (Ferguson) would pay the lads wages, Moyes refused the request.

The lad went on to make a living at the game (in lower leagues, one and two) and he might still be playing. If Moyes had given him another year, who knows how he would have fared? Unlikely probably but you never know.

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