Who do you think should earn one of the highest wages in the country? Most likely you will think of somebody essential to our country as a whole: the Prime Minister; or somebody who saves lives every day, a fireman maybe, or a doctor. However, there are people all over the world who earn more in a week than some of these people earn every year. Footballers. Is this really fair? Is it just me, or is it horrifically unjust that athletes like Messi get paid so much just for playing football for a few hours every week?
Let’s look at how much footballers get paid compared to other jobs. Top footballers like Wayne Rooney and David Beckham can be paid up to a whopping 1048 times more than an average fire-fighter (who is paid ?25,000 per year). Lionel Messi, the world’s highest paid footballer, is paid over 193 times more money every year than David Cameron, who manages the whole of the UK! I love a bit of football, but by doing this, we are saying that we value these sportspeople more than other people that we simply could not do without. Messi gets paid a mammoth ?27.5 million a year, and the UK’s top paid footballing star, Rooney, gets paid 70p every second! While you have been reading this editorial, he has probably been paid almost ?100! You must admit it , the value of footballers today is bordering on ridiculous.
Furthermore, footballers often lead extravagant lifestyles wasting their money which effectively pay. I’m sure that we all, at some point, have wished that things were not so tight, that we had a bit more cash, even that we were rich! Money is the centre of many peoples’ lives, but if you got ?30 million every year, what would you want to do with it? After a while, rooms filled of stuff can be depressing, so do footballers simply let the sums in their bank accounts stack up? Lionel Messi has a large car collection, featuring cars such as Ferraris and other supercar models. But how many of these cars will the star actually drive? And how many will he buy, just for the buzz of getting something new – like a 4-year-old every time he gets a new toy. I am sure that if these stars got paid a few million less every year, it would make very little impact on their lives, but for families in developing countries who survive on less than 10p a day, it could mean the difference between life and death.
Charities that support families like these are often desperately in need of funds – and I’m talking about thousands. But if top football clubs were to give charities just a million pounds a year, it could mean a life-changing transformation to so many peoples’ lives – while the footballers themselves would be relatively unaffected. The charity Water Aid could use ?1 million to help over 66,000 people have access to a clean water source, improved sanitation and better hygiene, while the RSPCA could buy 20,000 inspectors’ vans, complete with animal first aid kits. Surely hundreds of charities all over the world could find a better use for the massive amounts which footballers are paid. So, should footballers be getting paid these mammoth sums? To me, it seems obvious. While there are still people dying of starvation in this world, it’s a no-brainer.
Despite my strong views, I do acknowledge that there are other opinions on this topic. It is important to note that football gives its players only perhaps a 10-year career as opposed to the usual 40-year career in other jobs. Training may keep someone fit age is something that cannot be denied. However, this is simply not the case and compared to an average person they still earn much more. For example, often after their football careers end they pick up work doing advertisements which pay extremely well. David Beckham is evidence of this as he has done lots of ads for multinational companies such as coca cola and he also has his own aftershave line called David Beckham instinct which brings him in high income every year.