There are many controversial topics such as gun law, prostitution and religion but one that I have an interest in is sport. Sport can involve many controversial issues such as racism and violence but the issue that I am concerned with is “are professional sportsmen overpaid” in particular professional soccer players.
Last summer London played host to the 2012 Olympic and Paralympic games, the whole nation watched in awe as these athletes, many of whom most people wouldn`t have heard of unless you had a particular interest in their sport, took part in the games and achieved their ultimate goal of numerous gold and silver medals. One thing that I remember is how many times these athletes were compared to soccer players and not in a positive way. The achievements of Team GB at the Olympics led to a wave of criticism of soccer players they have been accused of “being overpaid, arrogant underachievers.” During the London Olympics James Lawton of the Independent newspaper said “Let's hope our offensive, overpaid footballers have been watching the Games."
Much of the criticism is the feeling that soccer players don`t deserve the massive wages they receive a week . That is backed up by the repeated incidents on the pitch where standards of behaviour have declined. In a recent survey in the Virgin Money Football “ only 13% of the 4,150 football fans surveyed thought it right that players' wages should be dictated to by the market.” As an example FA statistics show a Premier League footballer earns on average £780,000 while a nurse takes home £23,500 and a teacher £30,000. Among the highest earners are Manchester United striker Wayne Rooney, who receives £250,000 a week, and Manchester City’s Carols Tevez, who gets £220,000. How can players earn so much money in comparison to say a soldier who puts his or her life on the line every day or a police or fireman who again puts his life before others as part of his or her daily duties, what does a soccer player have to do to earn his money play 90mins of a game and turn up for training a few days a week.
It does seem amazing when you compare the above; it seems completely unacceptable and unbelievable but is it just the fault of the players? Clubs in this day and age attract players with brilliant packages including massive weekly wages in order to get them to play for them otherwise another club will offer more and they could lose out to a rival team. Most of the stars of today are relatively young and will be impressed by the offers but it will be the agents that are pushing for higher rates. If the FA were to impose a wage cap as introduced by the MFL players would leave the premiership and go overseas.
Before soccer players became professionals most amateur players had a full time job and played soccer in their free time but that was a long time ago and once television rights were brought in the money came with it clubs were now able to offer higher wages and it went from there. Modern day players only know how the system is now. Most people see players as spoilt brats who don`t play to the rules of the game and try any way to avoid getting a card for dirty play for example diving, these kind of actions would be unheard of in other sports so why should overpaid cheats get away with it and more often than not don`t get punished.
One recent example of a high profile player who earns vast amounts of money and seemingly abused his position is Luis Suarez a player with Liverpool FC he recently bit an opponent during a televised game in front of an audience of millions the controversy this one incident caused was massive. Nobody could condone the behavior of the player as BBC Sports pundit Jamie Redknapp said “He has this madness gene in him. What he did was indefensible”. If this had been an ordinary man in the street surely he would have been charged with assault by the police but no charges were brought against the player and he was…