Fifa last week put out a report saying that small and grassroots clubs have lost some $300m in transfer money.
It’s a shocking amount of cash that is not making its way to its intended targets and it’s ruining the game at the most fundamental level.
And football’s global governing body is finally going to do something about it.
Can you imagine that reality?
All those local clubs, mainly in Africa and South America, which have produced the thousands of players making their way to the bigger clubs at home and then to Europe’s big time, are not getting their money.
Usually these little clubs are pillars of their communities.
They help keep kids off the street, teach them a new skill and the benefit of working in a team.
As a youth-team coach at Florida Albion in the early 2000s, I saw first hand how these kids love what they do.
And the sacrifices we as coaches made to get the kids to and from practice and matches.
Ask the coaches at your local football association clubs. It’s real work that goes into every single child who wants to play.
All of that costs money. And when it’s not in the club’s budget, it comes out of your own pocket.
Think of all those people who put in the hard work behind the scenes to get that kid a break. All the hours of training, counselling and proxy parenting.
And if some day, one kid makes it big you will feel proud.
But what happens when one day, that money runs dry and the club can’t serve that community any longer?
What about the dreams of those kids who miss out?
It shouldn’t be that way.
And according to Fifa, clubs are entitled to a percentage of any future transfers of players they have trained.
The problem is that they have not done a good job of it.
But the great thing is that they have acknowledged that system is all wrong.
We all know that there is loads of money changing hands in the transfer market. Every transfer window, SkySports is talking about how much is being spent.
However, very little of this is finding its way to grassroots again.
The report also claimed that last year $548m was paid in agents’ fees, while only $90m got into the hands of the smaller clubs.
And what do agents do other than try to market the player?
Why should they get a bigger cut than the organisations that trained the player?
It’s obviously not a great advert for football and how little it cares for its very foundation when agents are getting a huge slice of the cash.
It’s great that Fifa have admitted this with all the cash boewe in their ranks.
Let’s just hope they do the honourable thing, instead of finding another resource to exploit.
If they want to truly remedy the situation, Fifa should change their current policy and make sure that grassroots clubs get a bigger percentage of the transfers.
It will make a bigger difference to the smaller clubs than the bank accounts of the likes of Jorge Mendes and Mino Raiola.