Michael Owen defends ‘disloyal’ footballers

Stoke City striker Michael OwenStoke City striker Michael Owen has defended players who have been labelled as disloyal by supporters after moving clubs.

Most clubs have allowed players to leave, whether they wanted to or not, and have had a reaction from their fans that the player was being disloyal as a result.

And Owen believes that moving clubs in football is not a matter of a lack of loyalty, but a desire to climb up the career ladder just like people do in normal working life situations.

Owen wrote on his personal blog: “I have always failed to see how football is different to any other business. If my brother worked for Tesco and there was an Asda closer to his house who offered him an extra £50 a week with better hours and better working conditions would you expect him to stay put? I certainly wouldn’t.

“My point is that footballers are human too. Their heads will get turned if a better job offer comes along and who can blame them? They all have different motivations, as do most people.

Owen went on to use Robin Van Persie’s summer transfer from Arsenal and Manchester United as an example and explained why Arsenal fans shouldn’t hold a grudge against the Dutchman.

“Can anyone deny him his move? He will be playing in a better team, in front of more fans at a club with a huge tradition, will have more chance of winning something and will be rewarded handsomely for it,” he added.

“I just don’t buy into the ‘We stuck by him while he was injured’ argument. Rubbish. Wenger knew he was a world class player and low and behold, he turned out to be, bagging Arsenal dozens of goals and netting them £25m in their back pocket in the process.

“It’s hard to be loyal if it’s not reciprocated, and in all walks of life that has proven to be the case time and time again. For those people who think footballers show no loyalty, just remember that there are always two sides to a story.”

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