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The Bargain

1 Leave a comment on verse 1 0 The young man auditions
For forward positions
Wearing his one shirt and tie.
He thrusts out his hand
To engage the old man
And looks at him straight in the eye.

2 Leave a comment on verse 2 0 “If you, Sir, have money, I’ll play.
If you, Sir, have money, I’ll play.
Takes more than emotion
To secure promotion.
If you have the money, I’ll play.

3 Leave a comment on verse 3 0 I trained every day in my youth.
My levels, all frittered away.
Now all of my skill’s
In my feet, it’s the truth,
While it’s sunny I have to make hay.

4 Leave a comment on verse 4 0 If the artist can charge for a painting;
If the priest earns a living to pray,
Why not compensation for dribbling and feinting?
For things of less value we pay.

5 Leave a comment on verse 5 0 I’m a talent who’s one for the ages;
Such as you’ve never seen in your day.
All I want is the Kompany wages
Your colours to never betray.”

6 Leave a comment on verse 6 0 The Manager speaks:
“You’re the fifth one this week!
I’d be rich if for each I’d a dime!
The umpteenth division
Is well beyond vision.
I’m busy. Please don’t waste my time.
The only ones come
Are the goalkeeper’s mum
And the groundskeeper.
They don’t buy sweaters.
We do this for love
And things I can’t think of
I’ll be shocked if we don’t all die debtors.”

7 Leave a comment on verse 7 0 The young man considers
These other young bidders
But won’t be deterred from his mission.
Real pay would be nice,
But there’s always a price
To be paid by young men with ambition.

8 Leave a comment on verse 8 0 “Maybe a try-out or train fare?” he pleads.
“Maybe a few meals a day?
If you’d buy me some shoes I could hardly refuse.
If I’d somewhere to sleep I would stay.”

9 Leave a comment on verse 9 0 “You see, Son, you don’t understand.
Who, pray, is to pay for all this?
The training, the grounds,
Tens of thousand of pounds.
How could a footballer miss?
We just ask for a small contribution
To help find your football solution.
We’ve a small factory:
Your day’s wages for me,
And I’d guarantee no substitution.”

10 Leave a comment on verse 10 0 Now that footballer pays for his playing
(Though that’s not what he started out saying),
And a labouring striker was hired.
He’ll shovel some coal,
Then he’ll score you a goal.
That is; if he isn’t too tired.

4

Notes

Inspired, respectfully, by my relatively recent awareness (as a Canadian supporter) of the achievements of Mr. James William Thomas Hill, OBE, and others instrumental in having the Football League’s 20 pound per week maximum wage abolished in January, 1961, some years before I was born.

Source: http://footballpoets.org/poems/the-bargain/