GMB: Mike Parry says footballers live 'in a bubble'
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Good Morning Britain presenters Richard Madeley and Susanna Reid welcomed broadcaster Mike Parry onto the ITV show on Wednesday to discuss a new poll from viewers which suggested over 85 percent view footballers as better role models than politicians. The debate came following England’s historic Euro 2020 journey, reaching the final for the very first time and becoming inspirations to youngsters up and down the country for their work both on and off the pitch. However, when Mike suggested the players should stick to playing the game and avoiding politics, Susanna was quick to jump in.
The clash started as Susanna presented the results of the GMB to Mike, asking: “Why are they wrong?”
Mike began by expressing his admiration for Gareth Southgate’s team: “Well, I’m not saying they’re wrong to be honest. What you’ve just said about, I think footballers live in bubbles and all that kind of stuff is absolutely right.
“However, I am absolutely full of admiration for these young footballers and the work they do these days in their own communities and for the greater good.
“The modern young footballer is nothing like the modern young footballer from 96 when we last had a disappointing result in a national championship and I can’t praise enough the work those young footballers are doing all over the world.”
Continuing his praise, Mike added: “Some of them have charities in Africa and places like this.”
However, Mike soon changed his tune as he didn’t seem to have the same admiration for their interventions when it came to politics.
“But the only thing I will say, Marcus Rashford, of course, he stimulated the interest in school meals and got it going,” Mike continued. “But he got politicians to change their minds.
“Now, I want people who run the country to be elected by voters like me, I don’t want young footballers running the country.”
Clarifying further: “That’s not a criticism of them, I am hugely full of admiration for them. The modern young footballer has more of a woke attitude for life than any young footballers have ever had but they earn £200,000 a week!
“It doesn’t cost you [footballers] anything but it could cost the country if politicians who are elected cave in and decide to change the way the country’s run because a young footballer who’s very popular and has a stage, normally a football pitch and an interview afterwards, to say things.
“I don’t think that’s how the country should be run,” Mike added, but Susanna defended the footballers as she pointed out many players come from similar backgrounds to fans compared to politicians.
“The prime minister and the chancellor – I mean, the chancellor is extremely wealthy, the prime minister was part of the Bullingdon Club when he was at Oxbridge. Footballers are much more in touch with the issues of real people,” she hit back.
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“You can talk about the massive salaries they’re on now but they’re only on those salaries for a very short time of their lives, many of them are supporting extended families. They’re relatable, despite their weekly salary, they’re relatable.”
Mike interrupted: “They’re on those salaries for about 10 years, they earn enormous amounts of money, most players when they finish playing nowadays are worth about £65 million – and they deserve every penny because they’re special and they’ve got a great talent.
“But they are in a bubble from about the age of 14,” Mike added.
“In 2011, we revised the academy system in this country and that’s why we’ve got so many great young players who are not only great footballers but aware of social responsibility.”
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