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There’s no loyalty in football and the Dimitri Payet saga proves it once again

  • Loyalty in football does not exist. It never has and it never will.
Liam Canning
Modified 31 Jan 2017, 16:55 IST
Dimitri Payet
Dimitri Payet’s bubble at West Ham has burst

Much has been made of the recent Dimitri Payet commotion currently happening at West Ham. If you are unfamiliar with what has happened, here’s a brief overview of the events. 

#1 Payet signs a long-term five-year contract with West Ham in January 2016

#2 The Frenchman signs a £1m loyalty bonus in September for staying post-Euros

#3 Payet asks to leave West Ham to return home to Marseille with his family, who haven’t settled to life in London

#4 His wish is not granted and Payet refuses to play for West Ham

That’s right, Payet hasn’t asked to move to China after signing that loyalty bonus nor to a top, top club. There are things more important in life than just playing football - and family is one of them. If Payet’s family are not happy, nor settled, the right thing to do would be to move to a more comfortable environment. Everyone in their right mind would do the same. 

In fact, Payet hasn’t asked for more money by moving away from West Ham. He is, reportedly, willing to take a 20% cut on his wages currently paid by the East London team in order to leave and return home to Marseille. 

That doesn’t sound to me as a man who is ‘money-greedy’ or a man that is taking the mickey out of the club. Yes, he signed a long-term contract over a year ago, but things change in 12 months and especially in football. 


Fans are quick to forget that players don’t support the club they are at like they do. Harry Kane grew up in the Arsenal academy and is now playing for Spurs. Wayne Rooney laid down his roots with Everton before joining Manchester United. Carlos Tevez ran down joined neighbouring rivals Manchester City. There is no such thing as loyalty in football and there doesn’t need to be. 

Payet does not support West Ham. Before he had even joined the club, there would have been a slim chance of him even knowing who they were. Apart from his contractual obligations to the club, he does not have to stay at West Ham just because the fans sing his name every weekend and decide to idolise him. 

What’s up with Diego Costa?

Diego Costa
Costa's season has again been a roller-coaster

A similar situation with Diego Costa happened. The big Chinese clubs came in with a mega offer that would turn anyone’s head. The Brazilian-born striker was distracted by the offer being discussed to take him away from Stamford Bridge and so missed three days of training. He was also said to have a ‘back injury’ which is why he was resting. Whether or not that is true remains to be seen.

However, Costa is now 28-years-old, and although that is not coming to the end of his career, he obviously has one eye on what the future holds for him. A footballer’s lifestyle doesn’t last forever and they have to prepare for such eventualities. 

It appears that Costa will now stay at Chelsea given his celebration (signalling people to be quiet regarding the rumours) last weekend on his emphatic return, but even if he had left for China, no one can try and argue against him for doing so. 

South American players who come to the Premier League have had a different upbringing to the ones who have lived in England for all of their lives. Mostly playing football in a favela in a poverty-stricken wasteland, when money is offered to you, you are more than likely to snap the person’s hand off for it. That’s rightly so and not one person can fault them for doing so. 

Yes, these players earn more than you, but if it was you in your current job, and you were offered five times your current salary, why would you not take that? 

These players don’t support the club they’re at like you do. They never will. There’s no such thing as loyalty in football and people need to start getting over it. 

Published 28 Jan 2017, 14:09 IST
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