News that former top-level footballers are being snapped up at auction for a new IPL-style Premier League Soccer competition in India is in fact all very sad.

There is no doubt that the game in India has never recovered from the decision to head home from the 1958 World Cup for which they had qualified without playing a game, because they had to wear boots – this had not been a requirement at the 1956 Olympics! – But is signing players well past heir use by date on exorbitant sums of money really the answer?
The word is that Robbie Fowler has been picked up at auction by Kolkota for around $A500, 000. Argentinean Hernan Crespo attracted the highest bid costing Barasat $A800, 000.

What is crazy is that Italian World Cup-winning captain Fabio Cannavaro, whose knee injury was deemed so bad that he could not see out his contract with Al Ahli and had to take on an ambassadorial role for the club, will be fine to play for six weeks in India.

These players all earned substantial amounts in their careers and their name is undoubtedly an attraction, but is this real y the way to grow the game in India? Would there not be more benefit to sign up and coming talent on attractive packages than guys whose careers are well and truly over?

This does not help the game as a whole and in fact tarnishes the reputation of those who play it at the top level.

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