classes of our society watching the rich one play football. We have to admit though, that most of these players deserve a higher salary because of the rare football talent they posses. But there are a lot of average players that make more money than a common worker makes in Great Britain. I am not going to tell any names, but every club has at least 5 players that should not have that much money on their bank account.
The situation was very different in the early days. People played out of respect for the club and the glory was the one thing that attracted the player. Now, no matter how much great the club’s history is, if you don’t offer big money, agent or a certain player won’t even talk to you. It all started in the sixties, when there was a big strike in English football and the player demanded bigger wages. At the time this happened, average weekly pay for a football player in England was 20£ and an average pay for a worker in Great Britain was 17£. Just to compare the situation to today’s time, an average pay in Great Britain is 656£ a week and for the football players a remarkable 33,868!! So it’s clear that the situation is out of control. Anyway, the players union in the sixties won the case and ever since then the pay rise up. Legends like George Best, Ian Callaghan, John Barnes, Johnny Haynes all earned symbolic fees for playing for their respective clubs. Johnny Haynes was the first 100£ earner in 1961 and he was one of the best players of his time. Now, just to compare Cristiano Ronaldo makes 67,594 $ A DAY. But you would not believe it, he is still not the highest paid footballer in the world.
Highest paid footballer of the game is the Barcelona striker Lionel Messi, who makes the astonishing 33€ million a year. This of course includes sponsorship deals as well as money paid by his club. After several years being the highest paid player in the world, David Beckham has dropped to second place with, still very high, 31€ million. Third placed is Cristiano Ronaldo, who makes 29.2€ millions per year. Much of these players make serious money due to their sponsorship deals that are worth multiple millions. It is important to notice, that these players deserve a big salary but for today’s standards I think that is a bit to much. This issues has been successfully resolved in NBA, where the salary cap has been introduced to the league. Now the money respective teams spend on salary is limited and is much easier for “smaller” teams to compete with the “big ones”. I am sure that after UEFA’s financial fair player starts next season, that we will see football again as a sport and not as a business, which it is today.
Now, I am really not judging the club owners for giving their stars biggest possible salaries. I understand that they are trying to lure the best players in the world to their club. There is an old saying that says: ”Don’t hate the player, hate the game”. But if this trend continues, we will soon have about 10 clubs in the world that are worth something. The rest of them will be something like a feeder clubs, which will only distribute players for the big ones. And that is really bad for the game itself.