Pro athletes may have the reputation of chasing money and fame but they can be motivated to perform at their job with simple, non-monetary rewards just like us. After leaking in goals, manager Claudio Ranieri treated his Leicester players during their magical Premier League run by getting them pizza for a shutout.

This year, Accrington Stanley owner Andy Holt has been getting his players McDonald’s after each game with the caveat that if the team wins, he pays for their meals and if they lose, the players pay for their own food.  The incentive seems to have paid off as Accrington Stanley is top of the League Two table, the fourth league of British soccer, by three points. The team is just a couple wins away from clinching automatic promotion to League One and with the added revenue that comes with a higher league, Holt is all too willing to pay the £200 ($281/game) bill for each win especially for players who aren’t exactly making big bucks in a lower league.

The McDonald’s incentive though has caught the eye of Football League administrators who are telling Holt to stop treating his players with McDonald’s because it can be interpreted as a non-contractual bonus that isn’t written in player contracts.

Holt is adamant that he is well within his right to treat his players to McDonald’s. The chairman claims that it’s no different than  paying for a prematch meal for the team so he feels he shouldn’t be under scrutiny for using his own money to get his players some food.

Obviously, the rule is in there because the more money that is in place, the more incentive one would have to put in non-contractual bonuses for a variety of reasons. But at the same time, we’re talking about a $10 meal for fast food and not giving players tens of thousands of dollars in cash. Besides, the Football League has been accepting of incentives like this as long as they are given notice. Hopefully cooler heads and common sense prevails and Accrington Stanley players keep getting their McDonald’s.

Or, McDonald’s could solve everything by sponsoring the team and picking up the tab themselves after wins. With all this free publicity, in addition to the thought of a fast food restaurant being the fuel that causes a professional soccer team to win a championship, that is some great PR.

[The Telegraph]

About Phillip Bupp

News editor for The Comeback and Awful Announcing, highlight consultant for Major League Soccer as well as a freelance writer for hire. Opinions are my own but feel free to agree with them.

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