The Magnificent Seven

Like so many affairs in the modern world, football has morphed into lunacy. The once modest and healthy sport has evolved into a multi-billion dollar business, with clubs paying hugely inflated amounts of money to sign "highly rated" players and getting rid of managers at the drop of a hat (or a point) by paying obscene money for the golden handshake and then for replacing them. These huge expenses have pushed up the costs of watching the matches, so that ticket prices today are sky high and fans have to subscribe to paid-channels to be able to watch the matches where once upon a time they were broadcast for free on the ground channels. The wool, as the saying goes, comes from the sheep.

Another bizzarre aspect of the game in recent years is that clubs, especially those with financial clout, scramble for young talents at all costs. Scouts of the major clubs ransack Europe and South America in the hope of landing the next Diego Maradona or Lionel Messi. Silly money is paid for the signatures of "exciting prospects", even though not many of these "teenage sensations" have been able to make the breakthrough.

"Teenage sensations", did I say? I have to correct myself after reading a recent report about Real Madrid completing the deal for their youngest ever signing - a seven-year-old Argentine called Leonel Angel Coira. It was reported that they even have to beat their city rivals Athletico Madrid for the signature.

One has to question the ethics of allowing kids to be bought and sold like that. It is high time the regulating bodies drew a line and banned such deals.

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