THE money in football is crazy. Over the summer West Ham captain Declan Rice moved to neighbours Arsenal for £105 million. This sum though was soon surpassed, when Chelsea paid Brighton £115 million for 21-year- old Ecuadorian Moises Caicedo. Brighton bought Caicedo for £4 million two years ago.

Harry Kane moved from Spurs to Bayern Munich for £100 million.

There seems no limit to what clubs can and will pay for players

These top bracket players will command wages upward of £200,000 a week. A salary beyond the wildest dreams of most of those who watch the game.

The game has really become something of a commodity market, with the players being traded. The one qualifier being that the players do now wield a lot of bargaining power themselves.

Caicedo was wanted by Liverpool and Chelsea, so he was able to choose which to join.

All the Premier clubs have huge financial resources, much of it due to the money pumped into the game by TV.

There are, though, the super rich clubs, like Manchester City, Manchester United, Chelsea, Liverpool and Newcastle, who have very wealthy foreign backers. These clubs have billions to dish out.

The rest have almost become feeder clubs. Not that long ago, a player like Rice would have led West Ham for his whole career - remember the late great Bobby Moore.

Now, a club like West Ham are lucky to get a few seasons from such a top player. Then they cash in.

At present, West Ham are trying to emulate the likes of Brighton, who have performed brilliantly over recent years, due to a very astute recruitment policy, that has included managers and players like Caicedo.

Such recruitment, enables a club to punch above its weight as it were. West Ham recently recruited Tim Steidten, as technical director, with this strategy in mind. Known as the pearl diver Steidten is renowned for discovering potential young talent. Unfortunately, in the West Ham case Steidten's choices don't seem to accord with what the manager David Moyes wants, so an impasse has been reached. Not good news for anyone.

It's all a long way from the days when most the players came from the local area, where the club was situated. The bond between the players and the community has weakened.

It is now all just big business. The game is popular and entertainment value great but it is difficult not to feel the male football has lost its soul.

Back in 1979, Trevor Francis became the first £1 million, when he moved from Birmingham City to Nottingham Forest. Sadly, Francis died recently but I wonder what he thought about player values today.

Francis played at the last time that this country endured high inflation - I doubt though, he ever envisaged the price inflation in football today, that sees players of his quality retailing for more than 100 times their value some 40 years plus ago.