Friday 15 December 2017

Keane eyes up money and new lifestyle

Move to the States has nothing to do with football, says Richard Sadlier

He said last week he wouldn't go to the Championship and we all understood why. The deal hasn't gone through yet, but if it does, Robbie Keane's explanation for signing for LA Galaxy in the MLS would be well worth hearing.

I assume the initial response from most Irish fans would be to snigger at such a move and question Keane's priorities. Why would he turn down the opportunity of Premier League football to play in the MLS? The answer, despite any comment that comes from Keane or anyone connected to him, could have nothing at all to do with football. It couldn't possibly be, so I hope he doesn't have the audacity to suggest it does. It's an attractive change in lifestyle and it's a chance to earn a lot of money. That's all it is though.

Also, it may not necessarily be the case that he had a Premier League option to turn down in the first place.

Keane's current wages are at a level of which very few, if any, would deem him to be worthy. With one year left on his deal with Tottenham, his choices were fairly straightforward -- sit in the stand at White Hart Lane and continue to earn a fortune, or improve his chances to play by taking a wage cut anywhere else. It may be that nobody in England came anywhere near to Keane's valuation of himself. We'll know the figures involved in the proposed Galaxy deal in due course, but without knowing the details of the alternatives on offer, it's hard to be too damning at this point.

Those are the contractual and financial issues at play, but the sporting arguments are straightforward enough. He will be dropping to a level vastly inferior to the Premier League, and arguably well below the Championship too. And no amount of spin will convince anyone otherwise.

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