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stiv bagnall talks about morgan gibbs-white and a vast amount of money

I imagine all Wolves fans saw the news today that Morgan Gibbs-White has been sold to Nottingham Forest for a deal worth 42.5M if all add-on requirements are met. That’s quite a lot of money that!

Football fans in general now have conversations about 30M on this chap or 40M on that guy and this is all normal, but these fees are more money than most of us will ever see in our lifetime. Unless it was in a different currency, like Venezuelan Bolivar for example, where 42.5M works out to about 60 quid. I mean to earn that kind of dough, I’d have to write, like, 7 articles or something. 

Maybe it’s a perspective thing? 42.5M just looks like a few numbers and a letter, it doesn’t have the levity it should. Written out properly its £42,500,000 which is slightly more impressive, but still doesn’t really get across the magnitude of the sum.

I did some maths and it’s the equivalent of 5 million tikka masalas, or as I call it, lunch.

Its 400 times what Richard Branson paid for his private island, short man shouting “The plane, Boss” not included.

It’s a tank and half of petrol, that brings it home doesn’t it?

As Money swirls around our game, like wasps around that can of coke you just opened at the park and you really just want to watch your kid on the swing, but instead you’re swatting aimlessly in the air like your dancing the YMCA with one arm tied behind your back, we seem to lose all sense of the value of money.

I’m not even sure we can comprehend it anymore.  It’s just figures on a screen to most fans nowadays. The cost of living has increased dramatically this year and for most of us, a few hundred quid on top of our electricity bill can be the difference between eating or buying the kids some shoes. Most football fans are still, to this day, working class. It was, and still is, a working class game. Parents working all week in a factory and then taking their kids to the game on a Saturday, buying a programme and a pie. But as the cost of players goes up, so does everything else in comparison in order for the balance sheet to look good for the shareholders. Pretty soon we may need a mortgage for the privilege of screaming “who are ya?” and pointing at the away end for 90 minutes. I remember vividly being 9 and wondering why we were chanting that. I know who they are, its written in this program my dad just got me, maybe they didn’t buy one off that smelly chap outside wearing a cap with hundreds of badges on it?

But, buying and selling players is something most fans look forward to when the transfer window opens, I know I do. It’s the excitement, the anticipation of bringing in that missing piece of the jigsaw. The one player that can really make a difference to the whole season. But it also highlights that players are commodities, rather than people.

I mean, we’ve just sold a 22 year old black lad, haven’t wars been fought to stop that kind of thing? That’s a can of worms I will delicately put back onto the shelf…

Can you imagine if this happened in any other vocation? Asda paying Tesco the rich sum of £23.50 and a bag of onions for Mrs. Green, the fastest pricing gun in the west. 

Footballers aren’t just athletes anymore either, they are brands. They are celebrities and a business (because ultimately that’s what football clubs are) looks at more than their current worth to them. They look at how many fans they can bring through the turnstiles, how many shirts adorning that players name and number will fly out of the club shop. It’s always funny to see a 60 year old bloke wearing a replica PSG shirt with Messi on the back of it. Yes mate, that beer gut hanging over your trousers is the only give away that you’re not him.

Truth is I really like Morgan Gibbs-White, he seems like a lovely lad and he came through our youth system, which always adds a bit of credence to a player for me. But business is business and if Forest are willing to pay that much for him, we have to take it. If every add on condition is met, it’s pays for Nunes’ fee in its entirety, so it’s a no brainer really.

Anyway you’ll have to excuse me, the butler is ready to put my pants on and brush my teeth, so got to run.

Stiv Bagnall, Always Wolves Fan TV

article by Stiv Bagnall

Born and raised in Wolverhampton, Stiv is a lifelong wolves fan, watching his game in 1990 on the old red seats of the family enclosure. He is a published author and an award winning stand up comic and he can normally be found in the back office of his shop, MouseBench, in the Mander Centre.


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