Good evening ladies and gentlemen. Tonight I would like to take you back 9 months in time. On the 17th March 2012 Fabrice Muamba was playing for Bolton Wanderers against Tottenham Hotspur when he collapsed on the pitch. The paramedics who treated him realised he showed signs of a cardiac arrest. He was, in effect, dead, for 78 minutes. The cardiologists who saved him were likely to have earned £85,000 a year. Muamba, a 23 year old young footballer, earned 5 million pounds a year. Is it right that lifesavers are paid almost 60 times less than some of the lowest paid footballers in the Premier League? It was in 1885 when the professional footballer was born. The FA announced that it was “in the interests of Association Football, to legalise the employment of professional football players, but only under certain restrictions.”
So it was that Blackburn Rovers spent £615 pounds on wages in the 1885-86 season. 127 years on from that moment, in the modern day, footballers are paid over 100,000 times that amount. The most well paid player in the world at the current time, Samuel Eto`o earns a staggering £17,418,240 every year. That equates to 60p every second. But… This brings up the question why? Many would say that footballers deserve the money they receive: they entertain millions of people worldwide. However, others would argue that the money footballers are paid would be better justified in improving the lives of others by investing in schools, hospitals and giving to charities. Those who think that footballer’s wages are justified point out that football players work hard every day by training long hours every week.
The time and dedication they put into football is only worth it if they get paid well. Footballers are talented sportsmen and deserve to be rewarded for their skill. Furthermore, the majority of footballers are not at all overpaid. Only the elite footballers, the best in the world at what they do, are paid hundreds of thousands of pounds. Also, many footballers generate millions of pounds for their clubs, which pay for their wages. Fans worldwide, from the UK to India, buy football shirts cost and merchandise because of players. Thousands of people buy tickets to watch football games live every week to see players. Players deserve to be paid a large amount of the money on account of the huge sums of money that they generate for the club. After all, clubs which are able to pay huge transfer fees for footballers, have the money to spend on wages due to all the ticket sales from the millions of fans.
Many of the clubs would argue that the money they use to pay players is money that they generate themselves, and that they can spend it in any way they wish. The role of football in society has changed completely from 1886. Football is a worldwide business and therefore clubs must compete to sign players, which can involve very high wages. Players themselves are forced to eat only certain things and train hard every day. A footballer’s career is relatively short-lived, spanning, at the very most 20 years. However, many think that it is immoral that footballers are paid so much. Recently, Swedish footballer Zlatan Ibrahimovic moved from Italian club AC Milan to French club PSG, for a deal worth 11 million pounds wages a year. Frances budget minister condemned this, saying “these wages disgust me.”
He like many others, wonders how players can accept these high wages without giving it a portion of it to those who need it most. Many would consider it abhorrent that players such as Cristiano Ronaldo, who earns 7.58 million pounds a year, complain about having low wages, whilst people are still in poverty. Almost all critics come up with the same argument: all a footballer does is kick a ball around for 90 minutes. Most would agree that what a footballer does is much less important than other jobs such as being fire-fighters or doctors, yet footballers are paid much more than these people. Another strong argument is that football should not be commercialised. At its core, football is a game not a business and should be treated as such. Higher and higher profits made by clubs are resulting in richer clubs buying better players by tempting them with wages.
Courtney from Study Moose
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