Wednesday, November 16, 2011

A Child's Future: The Price of Football

Manchester United have snapped up a five-year-old superstar in the making - despite the fact that he's a fanatical Manchester City fan.

Charlie Jackson was first spotted by Old Trafford scouts two years ago, but the club had to wait until he turned five to invite him down to train at the Red Devils' development centre.

But such is Charlie's devotion to Manchester City that the lad from Denton, Greater Manchester, initially refused to play with United's up-and-coming stars.

"His idols are Joe Hart and Mario Balotelli and at first he was mortified at training with United," explains Charlie's Dad, Andy.

"He didn't want to go. Eventually I had to tell him, 'Look, we'll let United train you up. Then when you're really good, you can go to City'.

"Now he trains with United every Wednesday. He started school in September, but when he plays football it's like the ball is stuck to his foot."

Charlie's sublime skills have stunned those who have seen him in action, with his natural dribbling ability shining through despite the fact that at United he is invariably training with players who are a year or two older than him.

"He loves training with the club now. Everywhere we go people just stand and watch," said Andy. "They can't believe he's only five."

United will not be able to put Charlie on their books officially until he turns nine, however - and the family are still hoping that he may yet end up on the sky blue side of Manchester.

"There's no pressure, but it would be nice if he plays for City one day," added Andy.

Edited and adapted from Yahoo News here.


This is the shameless face of football today. No longer a sport but a fully functioning corporate business concerned only with profit, even if that means exploiting the future of five year old children. This isn't about talent and nurturing natural abilities, this isn't even about playing the game: this is pure greed and about making business based decisions that will hopefully end in profitability for the club at a later date. This poor child's future is being looked at, not with care and support , but as a financial investment - a shocking indictment of how low capitalism will go in the drive for profit.


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