BBC Home

Explore the BBC


user rating: 4 star

Are footballers' wages fair or ridiculous?

Premiership Money in football
comment on the article

Leading football agent Sky Andrew today told the BBC that Premiership players deserve to earn astronomical wages - even if that means top stars raking in 200,000 a week.

Premiership wages increased by double the rate of inflation last year and the average player will earn about 1.1m next season.

Is it right when fans are being asked to pay so much at the turnstiles?

Football is part of the entertainment industry - where rock stars and actors, who are in the Premiership in their own fields, probably earn even more.

Clearly, market forces dictate what a player is worth and if the clubs are prepared to pay up then a player is hardly going to turn money down.

Only three Premiership clubs have increased ticket prices next season - recognition perhaps by the other 17 that for some fans enough is enough.

Tell us what you think. Should the increased revenue from television deals be given to players or be distributed back to the paying public in the form of lower admission prices?

Latest 10 comments

Read members' comments or add your own

posted Jun 3, 2007

I think that "Football is part of the entertainment industry - where rock stars and actors, who are in the Premiership in their own fields, probably earn even more." is spot on.

Per Movie -

Tom Hanks and Tom Cruise - $50 million
Harrison Ford - $20 million
Julia Roberts - 19.5 million
Mel Gibson - $16 million
Bruce Willis - $15 million
Brad Pitt - $13 million
John Travolta - $12 million
Jennifer Lopez(!) - $10 million

Rock Stars 2006 earnings

U2 $154.2 million
Rolling Stones $92.5 million
Eagles $63.2 million

Other Sports -

Tiger Woods - $87 million
Michael Schumacher - $60 million
Oscar De La Hoya - $38 million

Its all jealousy - if you don't like the prices then don't go to the games, give up your SKY subscription, don't buy replica shirts.

If you don't like the game - well, sorry mate - I'm afraid there'll always be someone earning more than you for doing what you perceive as less. That's life, it isn't always fair. Get over it.

add comment | complain about this comment

posted Jun 7, 2007

max wage should be no more than 30,000 grand a week for the top players!!! FA SHOULD INTRODUCE WAGE CAP LIKE THEY DO IN AMERICAN FOOTBALL, SOMMIN WE CAN LEARN FROM AMERICANS LOL

add comment | complain about this comment

posted Jun 8, 2007

No pb is worth GBP 30000/week.

add comment | complain about this comment

posted Jun 10, 2007

Football players... what do they do? they train most days a week then play at the most two games a week. They dont deserve that money there are people in this world trying to scrape a living where as a few people kick a ball aound for a while and get 150,000 a week it is ridiculus

add comment | complain about this comment

posted Jun 10, 2007

"Most premier league footballers would likely be in modest jobs if they were not good at football, their alternative earnings might reasonably be estimated at 30k per annum (probably too high) which over a 40 year working life would add up to 1.2m before tax roughly equivalent to the 'average' premiership players wage for one season. That means in a ten year top-flight career they will earn ten times as much as they might reasonably have expected to do otherwise and get at least 20 years holiday at the end of it - we are talking here about the average prem player, not the top stars.

Clearly they are not 'worth' that sort of money."

I thought we had dispelled all of these sort of comments. obviously what ive highlighted above is rubbish. Heres a similar analogy "if that guy hadnt been an investment banker he might only be on 30k, he isnt worht it". you could make these metaphors all day they dont mean anything and dont add anything to this debate. i dont think anyone can say preimership footballers are overpaid. the question is, should clubs (and can the clubs afford) to be paying them so much. money exteran lfrom football (eg chelski) coul;d artifically inflate wages and thus form a cyclone that made impossibble for clubs without an exteran l backer to compete (without substantial unsustainable debt).

some of the other stuff you say is reasonable about sjy money inflating wages, although the industry sky opeares work on what people can afford to pay. so if we the fans pay it then they can afford it and this justifies what players earn cause it is money that steams.

add comment | complain about this comment

posted Jun 10, 2007

The wage value of anyone is simply what an employer is prepared to pay them.

All employers will seek to pay the minimum that they think they can get away with - that's capitalism.

Any worker who understands this should therefore seek to do the minimum amount of work possible, to balance the above dynamic and minimise exploitation by his/her employer.

Football is often percieved as an aspect of the entratainment industry, with the inflated wages that are standard to that applying.

However, a footballer can fail to entertain, or even play for great chunks of the season and still collect his wages, whereas if an entertainer failed to show for a gig, or performed poorly, their career would soon grind to a halt.

Thierry Henry, for example, picked up 140,000 a week for sulking, moaning, missing an incredible number of chances and completely failing to convince as a captain.

He is performing the minimum amount of labour for the maximum reward. Thus undermining the profit margin of his paymasters and striking a blow against the bourgoise.

Not that he planned it that way ;)

add comment | complain about this comment

posted Jun 10, 2007

"A nice week for footballers in the top flights. 9-1 everyday to train. Game on Saturday, maybe midweek if they're in other competitions. That's it.

I wouldn't mind that! But then what about the people who deserve 100,000 a week? Doctors, nurses, the emergency services?"

This is communism you're proposing

add comment | complain about this comment

posted Jun 11, 2007

I think you'll find that, under their new contract, GPs earn more than many footballers.

add comment | complain about this comment

posted Jun 11, 2007

Kasbah - i wasn't being entirely serious - but i don't think you really undertand what i said. the high wages do reflect the relative lack of home grown talent. The wages are at least partly a result of clubs competing for the best players (English or foreign). if there were loads of good british players being produced the price for them would drop and we wouldn't have to rely on so many cheap foreign imports. The money the clubs have is a seperate issue, even with all the money washing around the premiership many clubs are still financially overextended as they are desperate to avoid falling off the gravytrain that the premiership has begun, so will spend anything to capture players that they hope will keep them up. which means clubs spending the majority of their turnover in player wages, causing this ridiculous player wage inflation. which brings us neatly back to my original point. ;-)

add comment | complain about this comment

posted Jun 28, 2010

Fair points have been made on both sides but I do not know which side to agree with.
But what I do know is this, there must be an absolute limit on how much to give these guys because how long will it be before footballers are demanding a million, ten million or a hundred million pounds a week

add comment | complain about this comment

Comment on this article

Sorry, you can only contribute to 606 during opening hours. These are 0900-2300 UK time, seven days a week, but may vary to accommodate sporting events and UK public holidays.


Rate Breakdown

  • 5 61.64%
    45 votes
  • 4 8.22%
    6 votes
  • 3 16.44%
    12 votes
  • 2 1.37%
    1 votes
  • 1 12.33%
    9 votes

average rating:
4.05 from 73 votes