Roger Cowdrey - International Business Consultant. Writer & Motivational Speaker
My Blog

No entrepreneurship in sport!

When looking for a subject for this blog I felt obliged to look towards the football world cup for inspiration. As a soccer referee for more years than I care to remember and a lifelong football fan I hoped for inspiration.
However, much of what I researched and saw was more depressing than inspirational. Apart from one player being so hungry for success that he chose to try and eat his opponent, I was also struck by the failure of so many of the so-called top footballers.
We have already seen Rooney, Gerrard and Ronaldo go home along with 365 other players, not to mention managers and backroom staff. All of these have failed at the first hurdle and yet most have salaries well in excess of every leader in the free world.
Much has been made of the fact that the USA team earns less than Rooney and Gerrard together, but this ignores the fact that the USA’s star player earns about 20 times that of his President!
However, these payments seem insignificant when compared to other sportsmen in sports such as motor racing, basketball, golf and American football. When they are considered then only Ronaldo gets into the list of the top ten sports earners.
Before people accuse me of being jealous of them, I have never coveted their earnings. However, if people are being paid large sums of money to do something they presumably love and for which they want others to support, then they have a responsibility to deliver.
This payment for simply turning up and clocking on whether in sport or in big business is unacceptable. We wish to encourage an entrepreneurial spirit in our young people, but this conflicts with the image shown them by sport and big business.
The entrepreneur has to do so much more than simply turn up and clock on. He or she has to work really hard and has to earn their success every day. Failing to win a match in the World Cup does not affect their salary; it even wins them an Xbox from the sponsors. No such rewards await the entrepreneur if they fail to deliver.
Giving a player a stiff ban for biting when they are earning such large sums is like giving them an extended holiday at the end of the season. We need to see the sports people and big business being hit hard, not just for misbehavior, but also for failing to deliver. Perhaps Results Based Management should be introduced to sport and let us see if they too have an entrepreneurial spirit.
Certainly, in sport and big business, following one’s passion seems to have been replaced by following the dollar and the endorsements!
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