Could you 'forget' that you owned a Porsche...?
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Do footballers earn too much money?
'Done too much when he's much too young' comes to mind when considering the remarkable story of the footballer Jermaine Pennant. After playing a spell abroad and returning to English football, Mr Pennant received a substantial parking fine for a Porsche car that had been parked up for some while in Spain. On receipt, he denied any knowledge of it until Spanish authorities sent him confirmation that the vehicle was registered in his name and had his personal number plate on it. I think it might be a case of 'earned too much when he's much to young'.
Let's face it, most footballers are young men. In fact, the majority start out as kids and can be on the verge of the first team by the the time they are teenagers. The salaries they can command at such tender ages are phenomenal, a lifetime's earnings for the average person. Just picture your son, brother, cousin, friend or even yourself at a similar age earning the conservative sum of lets say £3000 per week - that is £12,000 a month. What would you do? Set up a saving fund? consider a long term investment? I think not. Most teenagers and men below the age of 25 would have other ideas that do not involve planning for the future.
My question is how much does a footballer need to earn. I understand completely that they are a vital commodity for a football club and arguably they put bums on seats. I appreciate that they should be entitled to a fair share of a clubs earnings. I know that they need to make a degree of sacrifice in their lifestyle and have to perform in front of thousands of fans and are subject to the prying eyes of the media. However, do they need to earn so much money? I often hear the argument that they have potentially short careers and need to earn a lifetime's earnings while they can. We all can have potentially short careers. Are they incapable of training towards another career path or take up a menial job to make ends meet like millions of others.
Have you attended a Premiership football game recently? Well, if you have ambitions to do so and intend bringing your son or daughter with you, set aside £100 for the privilege i.e. tickets, programme and food. How much of that cost is for the purpose of funding the players salaries particularly when you consider the £Ms already made from merchandising and TV. Surely, we the supporters are the important ones who through our attendance and adulation of the players, make their football careers worthwhile. I certainly would accept a fraction of most player's salaries to kick a ball around in front of masses of admiring fans.
There are many negatives and few positives in my mind for footballers to earn so much money. Firstly, many clubs are struggling to stay in the black due to the salaries and fees demanded for a decent player that simply represent a gamble in whether they will improve the team. To fund this, they need to pass the costs onto the fans or operate over and above their financial means. Secondly, these financial pressures emanate down from the board to the managers and coaches who then become intent on meeting the short term goal of winning the next match at all cost. As a result, the style of football is effected with many teams resorting to dogged and methodical tactics. Football, like music and theatre is just a form of entertainment and nothing else. If you take the joy and skill out of the game then what is the purpose? The situation has certainly been exacerbated by the number of rich investors gaining ownership of clubs and paying unrealistic transfer fees and salaries. Yet again, they often add nothing to entertainment. Finally, young indigenous players are the ultimate victims as clubs scour the planet for specimens that offer a greater potential to be successful.
Where are the great characters of the past that used to grace our football pitches like George Best, Liam Brady, Paul Gascoigne, Glen Hoddle, Kenny Daglish, John Barnes, Peter Beardsley etc... They existed at a time when salaries were sufficient to lead a good life, where they played football to entertain and fans could afford to go and watch them without applying for a bank loan to do so.
Do footballers get paid too much? What do you think...