Sunderland manager Steve Bruce fears England’s elite players are becoming detached from the average fan.
Bruce insisted English footballers, especially those who flopped at the World Cup, owe a massive debt to those who pay good money to follow their heroes.
“If we’re not careful, we’re going to alienate ourselves from the public,” said Bruce. “It’s not just because people are fed up of reading about footballers on incredible wages. They will put up with that if they are getting value for the money they pay to watch a match. The one thing football has always had — and we’re going to lose it — is our common touch. The majority of players are lads from working-class backgrounds blessed with a God-given talent. But they’re in danger of becoming detached. We all have a responsibility, with what has been happening in the football world, to try to win the people back and make sure we don’t lose them through money and greed because that’s who the game belongs to, the man in the street.”