Why do footballers earn such ludicrous sums of money for there talent, when other people's more important talent is nowhere near as highly paid? For example, David Beckham earns in one week, more than what a fireman earns in five years.
Football is more than a game to its fans, and to its players. For the players, of course it's more than a game, it's a job, it's a profession, it's their livelihood. However, the amount of money the world's top players earn is much more than what any average person can dream of making.
Take a look at the most recent rich list of footballers. Beckham now has an estimated worth of £87 million. That nearly three times the amount of the next player down the list.
That player is Michael Owen, his worth is estimated at £32 million. Owen hasn't been playing regularly since 2005. He transferred to Newcastle, and has been hit with two long-term injuries. Yes, he is still earning his money, every week, earning more in a week than most in a year. It's nothing short of a disgrace.
Have you ever heard of a fireman, out of work for nine months for whatever reason, be paid the same wage he received when he was working, throughout those whole nine months? No, the chances are, you haven't.
Even if Owen were to be playing consistently, his salary, and that of nearly everyone else associated with the playing or coaching side of a Premiership club, are earning enough in a year to keep them going for ten at least.
It isn't as if the footballers are really putting their bodies on the line. Take Rugby Union for instance. A young Leicester Tigers prop (the front row of the scrum) recently received an injury that means he is now paralyzed through no fault of his own. Now, Matt Hampson is in a wheelchair and needs 24 hours supervision and care. Are there any footballers who now need round the clock care because of an injury sustained in a game or in training? I doubt it, I seriously doubt it.
The highest wage in the English Guinness Premiership for a player next season will be Carl Hayman, whose salary will be around £325,000 a year. That's about £6,250 each week. For a top flight player, who may well be a World Cup winner by the end of 2007. He risks the life threatening injuries each time he pulls on his team's jersey.
Another example is England World Cup winner Steve Thompson, who recently retired after he was informed that "if my neck had taken one more knock, I could've been paralyzed, or even dead."
We know of footballers who that have been injured, and that the injury has been career-ending. That's just life, but it normally doesn't stop them from walking around, or mean they can't play in the garden with their grandchildren. The message should now be clear, footballers are being paid too much.
The footballers these days aren't players, they're an income generator. We've seen what can happen to clubs when they sign a high profile player. Shirt sales go through the roof, season ticket sales increase. A firm and recent example of this is that of Los Angeles Galaxy. They announced their signing of Beckham recently, even though he won't be able to join the club until August 15th.
Even though the clubs home jersey for next season hasn't been released, shirt sales have increased, and the Home Depot Center is now getting much higher attendances, and can be expected to be full when Beckham finally does arrive half-way through the season.
The players become idols for the young fans. Yet, we continually hear about our football heroes going out, blowing their money away, gambling and drinking before matches. Why do they do this? Because they can, They have the money to do it, and have more money to do it again. In England we rarely hear a Rugby Union going out, and causing havoc.
Is this because of the old saying, "Rugby is a game for hooligans, played by gentleman," and "Football is a game for gentleman, played by hooligans?" No, it's because the rugby players in England, even though they do earn more money than the average man and woman, can't afford to go out every night and drink to their heart's content.
Footballers will continue to get paid these ridiculous sums. Most players in the Premiership are now earning around £50,000 a week, with the better players earning over £100,000.
There is too much money in football, and it won't ever go away. Because of the sport's popularity, more money will come in and it won't be long until we see football's first £200,000 a week player.