The past few week have illustrated the dangers of greed. Bankers currently enjoy the same level of popularity as Sir Alex Ferguson has on Merseyside.
The deadly sin can have a negative effect on the beautiful game. Cast your mind back a decade. Charlton Athletic were a well established Premier League club. The shrewd management of Alan Curbishley had propelled the South Londoners from Championship also rans to a side challenging for Europe. Those hefty aspirations were scuppered from several late seasons collapses. The Addicks seemed content to reach 40 points and assure another season amongst the elite.
This reoccurring dip in form caused unrest among The Valley faithful. Charlton fans voiced their displeasure during phone-ins. A number called for the head of Curbishley. Eventually Curbs did leave and Charlton did indeed move on . . . to playing their football in League One.
It is of course easy to adopt the moral high ground, be happy with your lot and know your place in the pecking order. But football fans are born dreamers, the hope of future glory days maintains our interest.
Ten years on and Stoke City have adopted the Charlton role. A young tracksuit manager has breathed new life into the Potteries club. Tony Pulis took over at the Britannia Stadium in 2002. In his first season in charge Pulis rescued City from relegation to League Two. After a period of consolidation the Welshman was surprisingly sacked in 2005. A year later he returned to mastermind the Potters' return to the big time. It was mission accomplished in 2008 when Stoke ended a 23-year absence from the top flight.
Since that momentous day Stoke have more then held their own. Initially regarded as relegation fodder, the North Staffordshire side have rarely flirted with a return to the Championship. Mid table finishes have been illuminated by home victories over Manchester City, Arsenal, Liverpool and Tottenham.
The potent cocktail of passionate fans and high voltage football have brought the high and mighty to their knees.
The revolution reached a new high in 2011 when Stoke City reached their first FA Cup Final. Pulis had trumped the achievements of Matthews, Banks and Hudson. Although beaten by Manchester City, the club had the consolation prize of qualifying for the Europa League. The additional revenue of European football bolstered the Britannia coffers. Big names like Peter Crouch and Wilson Palacios were brought in. Throughout their tenure in the Premier League Pulis has emphasised the importance of gradual improvement, but has the Stoke manager made a rod for his own back?
Having met the Pulis criteria of prolonged survival the red half of Stoke-On-Trent will expect City to push on. The bar has been highered with top half finishes a minimum requirement. Last season Stoke fell short of meeting this target, 14th was their lowest finish since promotion. The once impregnable home fortress was breached by several visiting sides. The Potters lost just four home games during 2011-12. This loss of home comforts will alarm Pulis as he attempts to build on his success.
The City chief has attempted to upgrade his squad during recent years. The initial hustle and bustle has been watered down as Stoke attempt to change track. Cultured wingers Matthew Etherington and Jermaine provide craft and invention. Other departures from convention proved less successful, ball playing forwards Eidur Gudjohnsen and Tuncay couldn't be integrated into the regimented system.
Pulis will need to show more flexibility during the forthcoming season. Loyal servant Ricardo Fuller has already departed The Brit while the whirling arms of Rory Delap have a limited shelf life. This is a massive campaign for Stoke City, the novelty of Premier League football in The Potteries may begin to wear thin. Will the Britannia fans be content with another mid table finish or will Pulis become the new Curbishley?
Calling all Stoke City fans: What are your expectations for the club this season? Can the Potters move on and achieve a top eight finish or are you content with just staying in the Premier League? Do you think the novelty of the Premier League has started to wear off? Is Tony Pulis this decade's Alan Curbishley? Whatever your views, we'd love to hear from you.
Would you like to write for Squarefootball? We are expanding our squad of writers ahead of the new season and would love a Stoke City fan to join our team. If you know your Arsenes from your Rodgers then we want to hear from you. Please leave your details on the feedback form below and we will be in touch.