Are Footballers Paid Too Much - Football Essay Example

Football, a sport played by many people across the world - Are Footballers Paid Too Much introduction. Many aspire to become a footballer, maybe because of the huge amount of money involved, or maybe because of the enjoyment. There are many leagues including The Premier League; arguably the best league (in terms of player prowess) in the world, where some players earn �130,000 a week. Other top leagues include the Spanish LA Liga, The French Ligue 1, The German Bundesliga and The Italian League. Europe is the place where footballing dreams are made of, within these leagues, but how can & does wages justify their career…

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Asking you what you think, will help best to answer this question. We will also look at website resources from the internet, gain statistics and other valuable information from newspaper articles, books, a questionnaire and interviews. I have chosen this contentious issue because it’s something that I believe is having an impact on more humble people at this moment in time. This is because of the credit crunch.

Understanding this topic in more detail will help others to realize if footballers really are paid too much (and so they can be more decisive on this topic). Also, football is a sport which I enjoy and I believe it’s something I can research more specifically than other issues. Because of the wide range of football leagues and players (in terms of ability), wages vary dramatically. The question, ‘are footballers paid too much?’ isn’t very specific, however, it allows me to study a wide range of aspects. But, in my conclusion, I will give a more specific answer.

Themes.

The question links best into the theme of ‘quality of life.’ My reasons for suggesting this are that most adult football played within a league involves money. Should football involve money? Should it be a voluntary decision because it’s a hobby and not a job? Are the extravagant pay packets that some footballers receive seen as unfair towards other hard working, lower-paid jobs? Maybe because you never see a footballer turning down an extravagant amount of money. Maybe it’s the manager’s fault. And could that money go to a better cause? Every Premier League first team player has more than enough money to cope and have a very good quality of life. But do other people suffer because of this?

Areas of Study.

My research question links into the political and economic area of study. This is because many aspects of football revolve around economics, especially the more professional leagues (such as The Premier League). Because of the credit crunch, some consumers are unable to afford to watch their team play. Or they cannot afford the increasingly higher ticket prices regardless of the credit crunch. Should there be any consumer rights because of this? Judging from my questionnaire, the answer is indecisive, although the majority do believe ticket prices will increase, a worry for anybody. Does higher league football revolve around money? Ashley Cole for example, was offered �65,000 a week by Arsenal.

However, this offer is deemed not enough in veteran football, maybe because of the huge revenues and foreign takeovers, which allow clubs to spend a lot. Cole refused because he felt it was ‘not enough.’ He then decided to move to Chelsea, who are renowned for very generous pay packets. Cole turned down Arsenal’s offer before he was offered a contract a Chelsea. This may show Cole play’s football for the money.

My research question also links into an area of study which is spiritual and cultural. This is because religion can influence a player to play better. For example, Kaka, who plays for A.C Milan (Serie A League – one of the best leagues in the world), celebrates to God when he scores. It’s as if he believes the way he plays is influenced by his faith – Christianity. Spiritual and cultural also relates to football because it does have an impact on the outside world. Many young people aspire to become a professional player partly because of the big pay packets and the quality of life waiting for them. Some players, before they come onto the pitch, touch the floor and pray to god doing the ‘cross action.’ Again, many are influenced by the role of their religion.

My areas of study are connected in many ways. For example, they both involve human rights, having the right to express your views and opinions. One website has a petition to try and decrease footballer’s wages, in which you can sign. They both involve rights, which have an impact on everyday life because of the frustration of apparent ridiculous wages and un-sportsmanlike conduct on the pitch. In religious terms, you should learn to respect fellow players and the opposition and the referee. This relates to money and what Impact this has.

Business.

Football is a big business. Large clubs gain most of their income from selling the rights to televise matches. Another source of income is merchandising. Since the 1990’s, many top clubs have opened huge stores, selling everything from replica shirts to mouse-mats. Manchester United even have stores in Japan and China.

Television has become the single most important factor in football due to the large sums of money involved. In 2002, Italian fans were angry when the start of the football season was delayed because of a breakdown in negotiations between TV companies. On the other hand, TV coverage means players are no longer to get away with violence in games: video evidence can reveal bad behaviour, even when the referee has missed the incident. Successful clubs can eran huge sums of money from TV rights. A place in the European Champions League can generate up to �20 million income. Although some fear the end result will be a ‘superleague’, with clubs that aren’t members having less money to attract top players or win new supporters.

Also, if a team is relegated from the Premier League to The Championship for example, it faces a potentially disastrous loss of income. Clubs can rely to heavily and TV income, which causes problems if the TV company collapses. Fans love to watch live games on TV. But many of them believe that TV companies are too powerful. They feel they are not consulted when the companies change match days and kick off times to gain the best pay per view TV audience. They also think that because of television, people are opting to watch the football match at home. On the other hand, TV coverage means that people who are unable to attend football matches for whatever reason, are able to watch it at home.

Due to these huge revenues of money, and the combination of less promoting talent, Chelsea FC, for the first time ever, fielded an all foreign team in 1999. Some fans argue that it discourages local young people from becoming footballers, but others regard it as another aspect of the modern global economy.

Points of View.

From one of the websites I’ve used (a forum regarding my contentious issue), there were 20 opinions from different people, and only 1 of those was FOR footballers being paid too much.

Many people would say ‘yes’ to my contentious issue and others would say ‘no.’ Here are some for and against viewpoints from different resources:

For footballers being paid too much – ‘Are footballers paid too much?’

* ‘No I don’t think footballers get paid too much because they have skill which is just as good as being a university graduate!’

(Opinion posted by a 12 year old girl)

* ‘No’ – Gordon Taylor, Chief Executive, PFA

‘It always strikes me as odd having to defend the fact that footballers earn wages for their labour. People of all professions – and, according to Mr Blatter, even HRH the Duke of York – sit in judgment on the income of footballers while being very sensitive when it comes to their own. Presumably it is down to envy or derives from the master-and-servant days when footballers were not accorded even the rights and recognition of other workmen. Why is it nobody complains about the income of pop stars, actors and other entertainers, or the charges of lawyers, the profits of banks and IT millionaires? Even our minister for sport, organising a European Sports Ministers’ Conference this week, has put players’ salary-capping at the top of the agenda. Yet this is supposed to be a free European market. Like all entertainers, footballers’ salaries are down to supply and demand. As Steve Coppell once said: “Like turtles’ eggs, thousands are laid, hundreds hatch but only a few make it down the beach to the sea – where even less survive.’

A very predictable answer from the Chief Executive of the PFA (Players Football Assosciation). If he were to have sayed ‘yes, they are paid too much’, then there would have been much debate. Being the head of the association, means usually he has to be bias towards footballer’s ability, wages and other football related topics. This means he may actually think they are paid too much.

* This is another viewpoint from a different forum:

‘No, think about it. They are at the very top of a massive global business. They are key workers that helps generate huge revenues (Manchester United has just recorded �210m revenues – a 27pc increase). TV rights and merchandising are the main revenue streams (rather than ticket sales) so if futures traders can pick up multi million pound bonuses, don’t these stars deserve their pay packets?’

This opinion is very one sided. He/She has not explained the negatives of the situation. I can see where this person is coming from though. If clubs are making huge profits in the business, then owners might as well be paying their paying their players big sums. Footballers did in the first place, create these revenues didn’t they?

* The following viewpoint is intriguing and understandable:

‘Footballers, other sports people, entertainers etc., are all paid what the market will sustain for their exceptional talents. During the fight between players and managers to abolish the minimum wage there was much soul searching among the footballers themselves about what was morally right. At a team meeting at Bolton Wanderers one concerned player stood up and said, “I don’t see what the problem is with a maximum wage of �20. My father works down the pit and earns a lot less than that.”

Tommy Banks who played for England in the 1958 World Cup replied, “Yes, I hear what you say. I admire your father’s profession. In fact I’ve been down the pit, I’ve done his job. But you try and tell your father to come up out of that pit and mark brother Stanley Matthews next Saturday.”

Another point, rarely made, is that these people do nothing but give people pleasure. We happily pay for tickets, read about them in the papers and fork out for Sky subscriptions because they are such a big draw. Good luck to them, say I.’

* My opinion FOR footballers being paid too much:

1. It inspires many young people to become a footballer because of the big pay packets.

2. For the amount popularity they receive, they can afford to be paid lots of money.

3. Many supporters are willing to pay lots of many for season tickets. Footballers give enjoyment to supporters (the last viewpoint before also mentioned about footballers giving people pleasure for what they do). Big clubs make lots of money from merchandise, sponsorship and tickets. If they can afford to pay their players big pay packets, then they will (it’s obvious that they wouldn’t pay them as much if they didn’t have the money, would they?)

4. Footballers being paid ‘too much’ glamorizes the Premier League and other professional leagues. There has been more and more foreign takeovers in the Premier League. The people taking the clubs over generally have lots of money. This will only increase players wages, but like I said if they can afford to do it, why not?

Against footballers being paid too much – ‘Are footballers paid too much?’

* They do get paid too much. I think they should get paid about 32,000 a year including players like Beckham, Cole and Owen. But if I was a world class player like Rivaldo I would expect to be paid 60,000 for each match. People like Rivaldo are wicked, he scores loads of goals, he passes to other players and he doesn’t keep the ball to himself. That’s why he should get paid that much, but not the others, only him.

(Opinion posted by a 10 year old boy)

* In a recent table showing which teams paid their player the most, Chelsea came out tops. That’s wrong, Chelsea haven’t played as well as they should have this season. They should be paid by performance, because that’s what matters. If you win lots you should be paid more. Some get paid up to 50,000 a week for kicking the ball a couple of times during a game. It depends on your skills, and you shouldn’t get paid more just because you play for Man Utd or Arsenal.

(Opinion posted by a 13 year old girl)

I agree with this comment, basing a player’s weekly wage on their performance. I also agree with the stereotypical response; players shouldn’t get paid big pay packets just for the team they play for, and only for their skill at football. On the other hand, I do believe that big clubs who sign players are skillful and talented and therefore would be paid lots of money; it’s just the nature of the game in these circumstances.

* Compare the amount footballers get to nurses. There are a lot of more important jobs like teaching and being a fire fighter. If I were David Beckham, I’d expect to get paid a lot but I’d give most of it to charity because I wouldn’t know what to do with it. A lot of people just buy big mansions, fancy cars and designer clothes and I think that’s a big waste of money. If you get loads of money you shouldn’t be greedy, you should share it.

(Opinion posted by a 9 year old boy)

Again, I agree with this comment. Nurses, fire fighters, surgeons work very hard at their jobs. They save lives. Footballers do entertain others though. They bring joy and hope to others and they also work hard…

* Their wages are pathetic. We have people that are fire fighters, police, soldiers etc. They risk their lives while a footballer just runs onto the pitch, kicks the ball a few times and gets more than twice their pay. Some footballers don’t even do the job properly and fake injuries like diving and still get paid. If someone like an officer didn’t do their job properly then they would not be given a second chance. I think footballers pay should be lowered before they get too full of themselves and want more.

This comment is understandable. This comment was posted a few years ago, when top notch players were earning around �30,000 a week, whilst footballers these day’s are earning approximately quintuple that amount. A 300% increase in a few years is over the top. I agree with the comment that they might get ‘too full of themselves.’

* My opinions AGAINST footballers being paid too much:

1. Some football players earn up to �130,000 a week; whereas a general practitioner (GP) earns around �1400 a week. That’s a difference of �128,600 a week. That’s �6,760,000 (top-earning footballer) and �70,000 (GP) respectively; a difference of �6,690,000! Remember, this sum of money doesn’t include sponsorship contracts and other incentives. Does this sum of money differentiate their ability? Certainly not. In fact, I believe a GP’s job is more important than a footballer’s. GP’s save life’s, they contribute a more valuable factor to society: health.

2. Surely 6 million pounds is enough? Even �50,000 per annum would be acceptable. The money could go to a better cause; charity perhaps?

3. Some say money ruins the beautiful game of football; sponsorship, advertising and high ticket prices are viewed negatively in some people’s eyes.

4. More and more foreign players are joining English clubs, especially The Premier League. This is because the Premier League is renowned to be the best football league in the world. Maybe soon, the Premier league will just consist of foreign players.

5. Sam Allardyce (manager of Blackburn) said that not enough players are coming through the youth systems; clubs are looking abroad instead (this maybe because of the increase in money due to sponsorship and advertising). Again, this will have an affect on the amount of foreign players coming into the English Leagues and also the amount of home grown talent. This in turn will contribute to less developed national team, therefore a demotion of sports encouragement may lead to an increase in obesity figures.

A Closer Point of View.

To gain a more accurate answer, I asked 30 people, 15 male & 15 female, their views on this issue. I asked them 14 questions.

* Most people asked were 14-16 years of age. (Asked in school, limitations, however it would have been better if I had asked a more varied age range).

* Mostly everyone enjoyed most aspects of football. (Not surprising – even if most people I asked aren’t involved in football. It shows that football is likened by everyone regardless of their commitment.)

* Most people had never watched a football match at a stadium. (Again, this shows that even though most people don’t watch football, they still enjoy most aspects of football).

* Most people did not have season ticket.

* Most people thought ticket prices were average.

* Most people thought ticket prices are going to increase

* Most people watch football on TV sometimes.

* Most people do not play for a football team

* Most people weren’t sure whether non Premier League footballers were overpaid.

* Most people thought that supporter attendance is uncertain whether it will increase or not.

* Most people thought that football will stay popular in the future.

* And football as a business will always be strong.

* Premier League players are most definitely paid too much.

The most important question, ‘Are Premier League footballers paid too much’, is illustrated here with the results:

Another key finding was that the people that were FOR footballers being paid too much (around 13.33%), were people that played football regularly and were involved in it more than

people who did not play football. A reason for this is probably because they are in agreement with them getting big pay packets just in case they make it to a professional footballer. Another reason could be that they go to watch matches and it gives them enjoyment and they think footballers actually deserve the money that they’re getting. Whereas people who don’t play football, but are still interested in it, think that PL footballers are paid too much maybe because they’ll never make it as a professional.

The results weren’t surprising in my opinion. Most of the people I asked were aged between 14 and 16 years of age. Most of them enjoyed most aspects of football (playing, watching, learning etc.) although most had never watched a football game at a stadium. They believed ticket prices were fairly priced although they felt they would increase due to the high demand in wages. They sometimes watched football on the T.V and most don’t play for a football team. They weren’t sure whether footballers in leagues below the premier league were paid too much, but they thought that premier league footballers were paid ridiculous amounts of money ‘just for kicking a ball around.’ They also thought football will stay popular, and the business aspect of football will increase.

However, some thought differently. One person said, ‘I think it’s worth it because they are always playing and wasting their energy. Sometimes they even get hurt.’ Another person said, ‘because they are good at what they do so should be paid a lot for doing it. Although, I think all footballers should be paid the same.’

Other comments which disagree to the amount a veteran footballer earns. ‘If players are paid to kick a ball around why shouldn’t players who play community football get paid. I think �250,000 a week is over the top for someone who just kicks a ball around.’ ‘For what they do and the example they set (generally poor), they are overly paid. They act like spoilt brats.’ ‘Ridiculous. What some footballers earn in a week takes a few years for a hardworking person. It’s an insult and just plain ridiculous. ‘They get paid more than people who actually do something like save lives.’

To conclude from my questionnaire, we can see that most people I asked presumed Premier League footballers are paid too much, regardless whether they don’t watch matches, or aren’t involved in aspects of football. It goes to show how much word of mouth influences a person’s decision. My guess is that certain factors sway a person’s decision such as, word of mouth, general presumption and most importantly setting an example and news. Some people that thought PL footballers are paid too much because they read it in the news. Some probably thought it because of how players act and what they buy. It’s mostly down to presumption and have football is seen by people, especially in this case because most aren’t involved in any aspects of it.

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