Do Football players justify their wages?

Categories Football, Society, Sport

There is a general furore over the amount of money that footballers are paid in the modern era. While there is a great range of wages, from about £10k to £200k for a first team player in the premier league these are still far higher than most other jobs outside of the financial industry. Many argue that health professionals and members of the armed forces should be given a higher wage than footballers as they contribute more to society and in some cases risk their lives daily to protect other people.

However the fact remains that people in these roles belong to the public sector, funded by our own taxed income and therefore, to pay them up to £200k a week would be logistically impossible. How is it fair that someone earning an average wage of around £29k a year should fund such an exorbitant wage for members of the public service. In the case of medical professionals there is a part of their wage lost to the utility gained from them helping people as in the case of teachers. Their job is so mentally and socially rewarding that this is reflected by a slightly lower wage rate. Jobs in the armed forces are quite low skilled at the point of entry and only really require degree level knowledge in the higher positions. Hence there is a high demand for these jobs in the labour market from early school leavers and unskilled workers which drives down the wage rate.

There is a lot of money in the football industry coming from it’s large commercial relationship with companies such as Bskyb, Nike and Adidas. These companies pour millions (in some cases billions) into football for the revenue that football tv licenses and sponsorship return. In terms of revenue per number of employees football is one of the leading industries in the world. Take the case of Manchester united’s commercial arm which employs 70 people and yet brings in hundreds of millions of pounds from commercial deals and sponsorship. This enables players like Wayne Rooney to earn £200k a week.

It all comes down to the realisation that society values entertainment and sport higher than it’s own health and safety. People participate in activities such as bungee jumping and base jumping in their masses and thus risk their own health in the process. The high value of entertainment in society thereby justifies, in a convoluted way, a footballer’s wage packet.

Currently studying Philosophy, Politics and Economics at St Annes College, Oxford University. I have a keen interest in applied economics, food and most types of sport.

One thought on “Do Football players justify their wages?

  1. I’d prompt you to provide a less bias viewpoint in this article as you’ve been very quick to mention the total revenue produced by these firms, which is what they are, yet you’ve failed to include figures on their expenditure. Wages make up a hefty proportion of this and you’ll find that if you look at these outgoings, most, if not all of the top-rate clubs in the premiership are in huge debt.

    When these clubs can no longer tolerate this debt (Portsmouth being one to consider) they are still allowed to operate and continue to make a loss! This loss might I add puts other firms in to administration as it seems that Portsmouth are above the law when it comes to debt repayments leaving firms which had lent it money (their fault I know) out of business.

    I understand that if money is loaned there is the risk of loss, but surely it is only fair that the firm who took on the money (Portsmouth) should also lose out, when so far, it has not.

    At the end of the day, as Sir Alan Sugar commented, football clubs are not above the law, they are businesses and therefore they should behave like them.

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