Tuesday 17 October 2017

Former Chelsea and Man City star confesses he was 'embarrassed' by the huge money spent on him

Kevin Palmer

Kevin Palmer

Wayne Bridge has admitted he was embarrassed by the huge transfer fees Chelsea and Manchester City paid to sign him during his career, in an open and honest interview with Independent.ie.

Bridge won the Premier League and FA Cup with Chelsea as he was one of the first batch of big money signings following Roman Abramovich’s takeover of the club in 2003, yet he says the huge transfer fees paid for him during his career were hard for him to comprehend.

“It was just embarrassing,” said Bridge, speaking to Independent.ie at the PokerStars event in Dublin. “When people see what a club had paid for you or find out how much you are earning, it’s just silly.

“Chelsea paid £7m to sign from Southampton and I thought that was amazing. People then say you are not worth it and that’s why I say it’s embarrassing. I’m just that kind of person I suppose. Maybe some people love being in that position, but I felt it was embarrassing to be earning that much.

“I don’t know if footballers are worth the money they get paid, but you feel like you have a lot to prove every week when you are the guy who has cost that much.

“When you start as a young kid and this kind of money starts coming your way, it is hard to get your head around it and it has gone on a couple of levels since I was playing, which is hard to get your head around.

“Where will the transfer market go? I just don’t know. The whole thing has gone crazy, but you cannot see it stopping any time soon. It depends how many more billionaires come in and buy football clubs I suppose. If they keep turning up and the TV money keeps rolling in, the crazy transfer fees and wages will continue.”

Bridge also told us that he struggled to come to terms with his retirement from the game, with his move to start playing PokerStars tournaments across Europe one way he is filling the gap in his life.

“When I stopped playing, I stepped away from it entirely,” he added. “I spent time with my family and after a while, I felt like I was not doing enough with my life.

“Don't get me wrong, I loved the time I spent with my family and you cannot do that when you are a professional footballer as you spend a lot of time away from home, but I needed a purpose and realized that doing nothing was not what I wanted to do for the rest of my life.

“That’s why I started getting back into it. My misses used to love the fact that I never looked at any games on TV at home, but now I’m recording games all the time and watching them when I get home and it’s probably doing her head in.

“When you are a player, you do get out of the habit of watching football. It’s a job and you kind of step away from being a fan of the sport and use your spare time away from the training ground to do something else. Now I’m enjoying being back into it as a fan.”

Wayne Bridge spoke to Independent.ie in association with PokerStars.

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