Are footballers overpaid?

Posted on: 04/11/2009

By David Adams

Very few would argue against the view that footballers are paid far too much. In many cases ‘far too much’ is a bit of an understatement. But how did we get into this ludicrous situation?

While stars such as Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi are two players among the best in the world, if not the best, is there any justification in their salaries? Yes they are very talented and are great at what they do. But we are in a global economic recession and it seems mad that these men are being paid so much money for kicking a ball around, which is very cynical. There are wage caps in other sports but it is hard to believe that the Professional Footballers’ Association would accept a cap.

There are millions of people in the world who work so hard but still receive so little for their efforts. Could players have their wages heavily taxed? Of course, there is always the option of not paying them if they don’t win; after all it is a results business, and managers are the first ones to be sacked when things are not going too well. The wages that have been paid have made footballers into celebrities, so being constantly in the public eye has its problems. There have been well documented events with Newcastle’s midfielder, Joey Barton, and more recently, Wigan’s Marlon King. With the ever growing wage demands, ticket prices will increase which could have a negative effect on match attendances. 

However, football is entertainment and the players are paid to entertain the fans. Actors make lots of money for reading lines, but they do it effectively, they have talent just like footballers. They may have an easy life compared to others, yet most players’ careers end before their 40th birthday. Although this does not justify their wages that much, players retire long before the majority of the country’s population, even though they go into presenting and other jobs on TV. Footballers are professionals and athletes, so due to football clubs being businesses that make substantial profits, they can demand bigger wages.

On the whole it is disappointing that footballers are paid millions of pounds a year, even though there is a financial crisis. Yes, the money that they get paid could be spent elsewhere, but if that started to happen we would lose a big part of the entertainment industry. A wage cap does seem sensible though: it has been enforced in rugby and it could be effective in football. After all, we don’t want the whole situation to get more out of hand than it already is. 

Do you agree with David? Add your comments below.


2 Responses to "Are footballers overpaid?"

Thank you! You often write very interesting articles. You improved my mood.

Bit boring really. Footballers arnt paid too much – if they were, clubs wouldnt be able to run themselves financially (like Portsmouth, who DO pay players more than they can afford).

Incidentally, the players on the largest wages, like Ronaldo or Messi, normally justify their huge wages much more than smaller players, through increased merchandise, endorsements, advertising sales and prize money, if they make the difference to a teams chance of success.

Businesses only pay wages that they can afford to to make money. Look at clubs like Everton, who are forced to cap wages and reduce spending because they dont have financial clout.

Also, the fact that every Premier League club makes £30m a year from the PLs TV package makes spending £30m a year on wages realisitc, as a club will profit off the millions it makes in gate recepits and adveritising. Spending £10m on a players fee and wages to keep that £30m isnt vastly overpayed, its great business.

Dissapointed at the one sided nature of this article, and the lack of real business acumen. Shame.

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