Footballers’ wages cause much controversy in the modern game.
Many believe that footballers nowadays are paid too much. It was revealed last week that Manchester City have an annual wage bill of over £200 million a year, costing £550,000 each day.
Players including Ashley Cole and Cristiano Ronaldo have caused debate over rumoured wage demands. So, are modern footballers overly obsessed with how much money they get?
A few stories have come out recently with players apparently causing problems at their clubs by demanding higher wages.
One example is the contract dispute that is still continuing between Theo Walcott and Arsenal. It was rumoured that Theo Walcott turned down an offer to extend his contract with an offer of being paid £75,000 a week, because he apparently wants £100,000 a week. However, while it seems having a role as a leading striker is important to him, is it right to base contract talks on wage demands and is it greedy of him to think he should be paid so much, no matter how many Arsenal fans think he should be kept by the club?
Is this one of many incidents that show footballers have the wrong priorities these days? It seems that loyalty seems to not be as important as it should be in football anymore. It seems like many players leave as soon as a club offers them an expensive transfer or as soon as their club becomes less successful. How many players nowadays show true loyalty to their clubs like Tony Adams or Alan Shearer did? Yes, Steven Gerrard is one player who turns down offers from other big clubs to remain at Liverpool, and has stayed despite their lack of trophies recently. However, it does not seem that many players are willing to stay at clubs during the bad times as well as when things are going well. What about Ashley Cole, who infamously wrote in his autobiography how he “almost crashed (his) car” following Arsenal’s revelation that he would be paid £55,000 a week. Not exactly a measly sum. He managed to double his money by leaving for Chelsea back in 2006.
It seems many players are overly motivated by money. Controversy surrounded Cristiano Ronaldo earlier this year when he seemed to fall out with the Real Madrid owners, perhaps over his salary. He said how he felt “sad because of a professional issue and the club know why”, with some claiming it was a ruse to get a contract of a more lucrative value. It did not go down well with some Spaniards, with the country suffering from recession.
Should players even be earning so much money anyway? It is unlikely that many of the fans who come to watch them play earn as much as them. They are also paid much more than many of the Olympians that inspired so many people in the summer.
It seems that money and power have become too significant in football. Could it be said that fans would like to see footballers put more importance on achieving for the club they love than on what wages they receive? Is it time for footballers to appreciate how much more they have than some others?