Player power was something that simply didn’t exist in my days as a professional.
The pendulum was so far in favour of the clubs that players were sometimes like slaves.
Let’s not pretend clubs treated players fairly. They simply got them as cheaply as possible and used them as they wished.
The Bosman Ruling completely flipped that whole process the other way.
I am sure at some time some sensible middle ground will appear, but I very much doubt it now players and agents are in control.
I mention the Bosman Ruling simply because of the goings-on involving Dimitri Payet and Diego Costa over the last week.
It is sad that Payet doesn’t recognise what the club did for him, giving him the opportunity to shine on the biggest stage in the world.
The thanks he has given West Ham and their fans is that he doesn’t want to play for them.
Apparently his wife has gone back to Marseille and he is desperate for a move there. But it doesn’t sound like West Ham will be playing ball.
Payet has been a late developer. At 29 he has only now started to blossom, which suggests there has been an attitude problem with him all the way through his career.
I was hoping Big Sam Allardyce would get the points with Crystal Palace at West Ham last week but, to be honest, I was ultimately pleased for the Hammers fans that their players reacted how they did and came up with the positive result.
So to the Costa situation.
One report says an £80m transfer to China is in the offing and he’ll be paid over £500,000 a week.
That is just bonkers.
But let’s be honest as we all go about our normal daily working life, if a bookmaker in China offered to pay me 10, 20 or 30 times what I earn here, it would be difficult to turn down.
We are all in the same boat, no matter what job you do for a living.
Great offers come around rarely and you have to take them.
My issue is simply that a player should never down tools.
He is paid to turn up, give the fans entertainment and be part of a squad who depend on each other.
Withdrawing his labour, as Payet appears to have done, I find completely wrong.
Antonio Conte looks like he may be able to solve the Costa problem at Chelsea, probably by telling him that if he wins the title for them, they will consider a request from him in the summer.
That may get him back on board, but the modern-day manager really has to be a psychologist, a friend, a tactician, a statistician and a shop steward.
It’s not an easy job pulling everyone together.