Football Friends Online – When 90 Mins Is Not EnoughDarlington's Plight Highlights Everything that is Wrong with Football - Football Friends Online - When 90 Mins Is Not Enough Darlington's Plight Highlights Everything that is Wrong with Football - Football Friends Online - When 90 Mins Is Not Enough

Darlington’s Plight Highlights Everything that is Wrong with Football

Only at the eleventh hour did a £50,000 influx of cash from Darlington supporters save the club from extinction, whilst on the same day, Nedum Onuoha demanded wages of almost double that.

The motion that football is being ruined by the money-driven top tiers is something often discarded as an illusion, but those fans from Darlington will be able to tell you the stark reality. Whilst Blackburn Rovers try and hold on to Chris Samba, Quakers fans are trying to hold on to their entire club.

Almost comically Twitter produced a motion called “BalotelliToSaveDarlington”, trying to influence the eccentric Italian into financially aiding the club, something which underneath its comical value holds a haunting and tragic truth.

The disparities between those players and teams in the Premiership and the lower tiers of English football are only becoming greater, moving apart like tectonic plates, only creating the space for a volcanic and explosive outcome.

For now, football is without a big name casualty to be liquidated. Portsmouth have come closest, with the South Coast side being close to closing down on numerous occasions, and their plight is still on going. Whilst these financial sob stories do make the headlines it receives little more than a ‘there,there’ and passing thought, something which is not going to fill in the glaring gap between the two football’s spheres.

At the same time Darlington Football Club Rescue Group were scraping together fifty thousand to prolong their club’s existence for a further two weeks, the likes of Nedum Onuoha and Danny Welbeck were badgering their agents and associated parties for significant wages, with the former asking for £80,000-a-week from prospective buyers QPR, whilst Welbeck – a rookie to United’s first team – refuses to sign a new contract until he is offered £50,000-a-week. Blissfully unaware that his weekly wage demands could salvage an entire club from the death.

Of course, the blame doesn’t lay with Welbeck or Onuoha or in fact any player, as they are just taking advantage of the ridiculous financial state of top flight football. The problem lies with the lack of financial restrictions across the board, without wage caps or limiting of transfer fees, the rich oligarch’s and Middle Eastern business men are free to provide seemingly limitless supplies of money to players and clubs, with no regard to the wider picture.

Promoted clubs such as Norwich and Swansea find it hard enough to compete with the money affluent clubs of the Premiership, and the ripple caused by inflated money in football only worsens as it goes down the leagues, with the epicentre focusing around the likes of Darlington.

If Darlington had been liquidated yesterday, how many people would have batted an eyelid come the time Gary Cahill finally completes his move to Chelsea, or Carlos Tevez finally moves away from Manchester City? Not many.

Tragically, until a club rich in heritage falls, the drastic state of football will continue to plough on regardless, and if the footballing world doesn’t realise the wider picture soon there won’t be a grass roots to English football left, with a money driven gout eradicating all that fail to produce the pennies and pounds needed to be successful.

Alex O’Loughlin @AlexOLoughlin18

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