Too many awards in football make them worthless

Simon Rice
playeroftheyear 300x250 Too many awards in football make them worthless

And the player of the year is... All of them

The football prize-giving season draws to a close tonight with the League Managers Association awards ceremony. The event at the London Hilton on Park Lane is expected to see Sir Alex Ferguson crowned the Managers’ Manager of the Year.

But should the Manchester United boss walk off with the prize, won last year by Roy Hodgson, will it really mean anything? In fact, whoever wins it, will it have any more worth than the gold plated trinket they are handed in recognition of their victory? Of course it is what happens across the season, whether it be winning the title, avoiding relegation or a memorable cup run, that actually matters, but awards should still serve as a mark of a person’s achievements, something that can be universally recognised and confirms the winner as the best and most worthy amongst their peers.

Yet the meaning of these awards is losing significance as quickly as they are being handed out. And not only is it the plethora of awards that is ruining the point of them, but also their inability to draw similar conclusions. Take this year’s footballer of the year. Depending on which award you place more stock in, this season’s winner could be either Gareth Bale, Scott Parker or Nemanja Vidic. Bale was the best according to his fellow professionals, Parker most impressed the football writers and Vidic was voted for by whoever does the voting at Barclays.

The situation is not helped by the timing of the awards either – all of which (barring tonight’s LMA ceremony) have come before the conclusion of the season. Had Blackpool managed to win at Old Trafford yesterday and retain their Premier League status, surely Ian Holloway would have won the Barclays Manager of the Year award – won instead by Sir Alex. The Seasiders midfielder Charlie Adam would also have had a strong case for the player of the year awards had they beaten the drop.

Well done to Sir Alex should his 12th league title at Manchester United be celebrated by getting the nod of recognition from his fellow managers tonight. But with what must be an already cluttered mantel piece, perhaps a place in the downstairs toilet of the Ferguson household would be a more befitting place for the trophy.

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