Jul 9, 2015
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Footballers are not overpaid

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With some of the global stars receiving wages of over £200,000 a week, many label footballers as ‘overpaid’. But in a world where money equals power with the majority of humanity adopting the capitalist view point, why is this label still so common?

Following the capitalist view, hard work should be rewarded. Musicians who have come from nothing to earn millions are respected. Alexis Sanchez has a poor sixty minutes for the Gunners and people question his worth. Bill Gates, the creator of Windows, can drop £5 and not bother to pick it up. His earnings are more than the outlay of time it takes to recollect his fallen fiver.

He is labelled as a ‘leader of innovation’ and has the respect of the world for his work and his commendable donations to charity. Footballers follow Gates’ actions, earning far less. Cristiano Ronaldo has been thanked by Save The Children for using his ‘global visibility’ when raising awareness about the devastating Nepal earthquake. In smaller circumstances, Damien Duff has recently signed a contract with Shamrock Rover agreeing to give all his wages to charity. Even with the generosity on show, the world of football chooses to ignore it and the ‘overpaid’ label remains.

Pictured here for Melbourne FC, Damien Duff will represent Shamrock Rovers for free with all of his wages going to charity.

Capitalist businesses act in a less charitable way, receiving negativity only from Human Rights Activist. A successful brand named Apple are worth $700bn yet workers producing the electrical goods receive less than 0.00001% of the earnings. No one seems to be bothered. Apple provide a good that satisfy a self-fulling need so why is it different for footballers.

Take one of the latest financial super powers, Manchester City. They earn large amounts of money from ticket sales, merchandise and sponsors and distribute it to the workers in a way that is much more fair than Apple. Sergio Aguero earns more than 0.0001% of City’s earnings but received in a different light to the pay of Apple’s workers.

Players like Aguero provide so much joy and satisfaction from memorable displays of their immense talent. The 2012/13 Premier League winning goal springs to mind when mentioning Aguero. The man is said to be ‘overpaid’ as his show of talent also benefits himself whereas an Apple workers craftsmanship benefits the paying customer more than the maker. It seems that when the personal benefit is less than someone else’s, there is a problem.

Another problem with the label is the vagueness. ‘Footballers’. Think about it. A nine year old from Liverpool, signed on to his local club, is technically a footballer. So are the many players plying their trade in the lower leagues managing another job while playing football. Top flight footballers are also ‘footballers’, obviously, and it’s these top pros that earn the label for every player across the globe. The talent and hard work, along with luck, of that individual is completely ignored. The financial value of the professional is the only factor taken into account. The term ‘footballers are overpaid’ lacks a specific angle therefore making it invalid.

The lack of career length also makes financial payments vital to players, many of which have missed out on valuable qualifications from the school system to pursue a career in football. The fact that Mike Calvin is slating Raheem Sterling is horrendous. A young lad that has grown up in a capitalist country working hard to achieve a professional career has the right to reject a contract. He doesn’t want to play for Liverpool, the connection between him and the club appears week as he is a Londoner, not a scouser.

Associates with football jump at the fact that Sterling wants more money. There is no concrete evidence that this is Sterling’s aim. He rejected a contract, never did he say he wants more money.

The young talent is acting in his best interest, like anyone else would in his circumstance. He realises that a football career can be short. To set himself up for a comfortable later life, he needs all he can get at his current age. In a way it’s greed. Looking deeper, it’s clever future planning from the man that seems to be heading for Anfield’s exit door.

To finish, the argument that public sector workers deserve the same wages as football is acceptable but the latter mentioned pay for some of the doctor, army and police occupants while also hiring their own staff in these areas of work. Capping footballer’s wages would lead to a rise in unemployment.

Irony: Raheem Sterling was bombarded with criticism by Liverpool fans against Stoke on the last day of the season. In reality, the tax he pays could help fund some of the fan’s wages.

Having paid £2.4bn in tax last season, the Premier League and its associates have done there part. The jobs created and infrastructure improved from the footballer’s tax payments could be considered key. People from the public sector should thank the ‘overpaid men that kick a ball around’ instead of criticise them.

The statement is wrong and so is the opinion of many football fans. This stereotype must be altered to allow the sport that is loved by millions to progress and become a better, more equally judge game.

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English Premier League · Ramblings

Journalism student at the University of Sheffield. Freelance for TheBootRoom.

Comments to Footballers are not overpaid

  • Don’t be ridiculous!!!

    David Seddon David Seddon July 10, 2015 6:33 am