Friday 9 December 2016

Moyes' treatment may seem harsh but in a high-stakes game the winners take it all

Published 23/04/2014 | 02:30

Chris Forrester celebrates after scoring for St Pats, but his incredible goal is unlikely to make him a rich man
Chris Forrester celebrates after scoring for St Pats, but his incredible goal is unlikely to make him a rich man

Sport is the ultimate winner- takes-all economy where the difference between first and second place is huge. No one remembers runners-up. It is all about glory – or glory and riches – and no one wants to be second best. This is why Moyes' exit was so abrupt; Man Utd have come to expect better and there can be no room for sentiment in the economics of sport.

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And in sport there are massive differences between players who are ostensibly as good as each other.

On Monday I saw one of the most opportunistic goals scored for years. It was scored by a St Patrick's Athletic player called Chris Forrester against Drogheda. The skill that it took to execute was sublime and far better than some of the dross served up in the English Premiership. Yet Forrester is paid much less in a year than Premiership footballers are paid for a week. Are the journeymen who turn out for the mid-table English sides one hundred times more talented than Forrester? No way. Yet they get paid as if they were. This is because they are playing in the Premiership and Forrester is playing in the League of Ireland. The more the Premiership dominates, the more this gap will widen and the more Sky dishes will be sold and the more money will flow into England and out of the Irish league.

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