Some of the reported wages paid out to Premiership players is truly staggering, especially when some of the players taking home in excess of £40-50,000 a week, are at best average. Even the best players in the Premiership earn far too much money, Wayne Rooney and Yaya Toure are collecting wages of over £200,000 a week! Although it’s the players who are happy sitting on the substitute’s bench or the treatment table week after week out watching their bank account tick over that grates on me. These players are living a luxury lifestyle and are being paid obscene amounts of money for doing next to nothing. I can’t entirely blame the players for this though as it’s the clubs who pay the wages, or bow down to the demands of the players, whichever it may be!
There are plenty of players across the Premier League who are distinctly average and considering the economic climate at the moment, it beggars belief what they are paid. Wayne Bridge is the example I can’t quite fathom. Bridge signed for Chelsea in the early Roman Abramovich years and would have picked up a large signing on fee and a hefty pay packet. When Ashley Cole signed for Chelsea, Bridge became the second choice left back and his football became limited, however, he was still raking in considerable amounts of money as a back up. Bridge was then signed by the mega rich billionaires of Manchester City in 2009, I bet he couldn’t believe his luck. He signed a contract for £95,000 a week, that’s right Wayne Bridge a mediocre left back on £95,000 a week! Well after 42 games for the Citizens, manager Roberto Mancini decided he didn’t want Bridge either, so shipped him out on loan to West Ham.
Portuguese marketing agency Futebol Finance published a top 50 footballers rich list in 2010 and Wayne Bridge was sitting in 44th place on £4.3 million a year. To put this into perspective, Bridge was earning the same amount as, Andres Iniesta, Charles Puyol and Frank Ribery, work that one out! Bridge has taken the brunt of my rant here but he was the one who has left me in disbelief. Shaun Wright Phillips has had a similar ride to that of Bridge, but without earning quite as much as my favourite left back!!!
Kireon Dyer has spent the majority of his career on the treatment table, although regardless, it hasn’t stopped the former Newcastle man picking up his share of astonishing pay packets. Dyer is on a reported £83,000 a week at West Ham, and get this, he has only played 30 times for the Hammers since 2007 and he hasn’t even scored a goal. How he is taking home that sort of money is gobsmacking! Under former owner Eggert Magnusson it wasn’t just Dyer getting a huge payday at the club, Freddie Ljungberg and Craig Bellamy were also said to be on wages in excess of £80,000! Then there is Benni McCarthy, Karren Brady’s favourite fat boy, she branded him in her column in the Sun as “a big fat mistake”. McCarthy has cost the club around £5 million pounds in total, the majority of which being his wages, not bad considering he played 14 games and didn’t score a goal! It’s fair to say West Ham were the victims of their own foolish mistakes in the transfer market and with their pay structure. However it still presents a selection of highly paid underperformers who in some cases have spent more time in their high street bank than on the football pitch.
The only way I can see around the problem of astronomical wages in football, is for the much talked about salary cap to come into effect. It would need to be a FIFA sanctioned rule applying to all football leagues across the world. The worrying thing is I can’t see the current system ever changing. While people such as nurses and emergency service men and women work tirelessly for their wage, Wayne Bridge continues to earn his mega bucks and we just have to accept that’s just the way it is.
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