Wednesday, 9 January 2019

Whatever happened to: Loyalty?

Transfer speculation - a fact of life in association football for many a year - is now becoming increasingly common in rugby.

In England for instance, from January in each year a player whose club contract is due to expire at the end of the season is allowed to speak to another club about moving to that club once his contract has expired.

And so the transfer rumours begin. Whether it is a Wasps prop agreeing a move to Sale, a Leicester backrower being spotted at Quins' training ground or a Bath centre being linked with Northampton, the transfer merry-go-round is, it seems, in full swing.

It's the way of the world now, I guess, but I do find it all a bit unedifying.

Whatever happened to, I wonder, a little bit of loyalty?

I'm not just talking about a player's loyalty to the club that may have helped develop his career, I'm also thinking of a club's loyalty to the player who has served the club so well over the years. It's a two-way street after all.

However, with the need to earn a living, inflated salary demands, the influence of agents, the pressure of the salary cap and the day-to-day commercial realties faced by clubs, it does seem that the one-club man - the likes of Lawrence Dallaglio or Richard Hill, for example - has become an increasingly rare commodity.

Which, if I'm honest, is a damned shame.

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