Money Matter$

Gary Neville believes Premiership players deserve their ridiculous wages

Manchester Utd star justifies professional footballers’ inflated remuneration packages

Gary Neville

Those who watched last week’s episode of Mock The Week may have noticed David Mitchell’s angry diatribe on the concept of a society that gives footballers hugely disproportionate salaries for doing a job that essentially “doesn’t matter”. It’s a puzzling sentiment from someone who has carved out a career in professional comedy, but The Spoiler can see the validity of his point: in a logical world, nurses, teachers and scientists would all bring home more bacon than those who endlessly strive to become the best at kicking a spherical piece of leather around a field.

When posed with the question of whether £100,000+-a-week salaries are justified, Gary Neville has defended men of his ilk:

“Others earn billions selling rights and 75,000 come to watch us every week.

“There’s a product there that people love. Fans are crucial but without the player you have nothing.”

Even though he has shown dogged loyalty to his club, Neville continued by suggesting the likes of Ashley Cole and Emmanuel Adebayor are perfectly entitled to leave their employer if another employer offers even bigger piles of money:

 ”Architects leave their business, caterers move restaurants – this is life. People want a better wage. Is there too much money in other businesses, like banking?”

Neville makes a fair point by asserting that most of us would change jobs for a significant increase in wages, but a caterer changing restaurants hardly holds the same emotional and financial implications of a superstar footballer turning his back on a multi-million pound enterprise with thousands of adoring fans.

Is Neville correct to say footballers’ salaries correctly reflect their importance to the institiutions who employ them? Would the beautiful game be a little bit more beautiful if salaries were capped at a reasonable amount? Let us know your opinions below…


10 responses so far
  • Delboy Dublin // September 24, 2009 at 10:44 am

    Just when you think that he couldn’t be more of an odious little twat, he pulls this out of the bag

  • Eugene Kan // September 24, 2009 at 11:02 am

    I think their wages are some what justified. In reality the earning window for professional athletes is ultimately quite short. 15-years if you’re lucky I’d say from 18-33 years of age. Your money accrued over that time period has to essentially last you the rest of your life.

    At the end of the day, many many people turn out to watch football and as long as the demand is there, footballers wages will continue to remain steady or increase.

    If you turn your back on your boy-hood club for more money, you’re a greedy person but one that’s looking out for himself in my opinion, not something to really pass judgement I guess.

  • Tessa // September 24, 2009 at 12:14 pm

    Ha ha Eugene! Lets all pitty the poor footballers for just being able to work for about 15 years! Every nurse should be thankfull she has time to earn money and work in night shifts etc. until she is about what age? 63? 65?!
    Why do you think a footballer can’t work anymore once their turned 33? Are they so high above the rest of us that you can’t expect them to get another job like everyone else would have to if they lost theirs?

  • Evans // September 24, 2009 at 2:10 pm

    Firstly, I dislike Gary, but secondly I agree with him.

    People always bang on about £100k a week but how many footballers realistically get that? About 50 in the whole world. If you are in the top 50 of anything in the world you get paid a lot be it a surgeon, banker, whatever. They are supremely talented and work hard to get where they are with no guarantees of success making many sacrafices along the way.

    If you want more money work harder, but people don’t and they just want to earn more feeling like they are owed a living. Don’t go out during your teens, practice every day and the chances are you’ll earn more but on the whole people are lazy.

    People should concentrate on faceless bankers and hedgefund managers who get literally millions and have very little genuine talent.

  • DAN // September 24, 2009 at 4:37 pm

    why do people always bring up nurses/ soldiers when talking about footballers’ pay? yes they earn a hell of lot for being lucky g!ts who can essentially kick a ball around a field and into a net (sometimes).
    But the fact that the ‘job’ they do ‘doesn’t matter’ in the greater scheme of thingsis irrelevant. The fact that the demand is there- through ticket sales/shirt sales/tv money etc,- means they are getting a portion of something they are entitled to and this should be compared to movie stars, rock stars, tv stars (and comedians) and not nurses.
    if we are that moralistic a society and hate seeing footballers earning more than more noble professions then we (or you) should stop paying into altogether.

  • Titus // September 24, 2009 at 4:56 pm

    If the footballers weren’t making the money, then the club owners would simply keep it all for themselves… A lot of money is generated in football and its got to go to someone

  • Jose // September 24, 2009 at 5:10 pm

    Just add a salary cap, problem solved! Come on some players in MLS barely make 30k a year…

  • Louie Louie Louie // September 24, 2009 at 8:51 pm

    Well, for starters, I believe we are all discussing about a problem created by ourselves.

    I agree with Dan in the sense that, were we not willing to pay 20,30 lbs for an entertainment show (in the end, that’s what footy is), footballers wouldn’t make that much money in the beginning.

    Is the profession of a doctor more worthy than that of an athlete?, I believe so. Are we going to continue to feed their greed? Most likely.

    But most importantly: Is Gary Neville a square-looking-headed guy who might have an IQ proportional to his age?. For damn sure.

  • Louie Louie Louie // September 24, 2009 at 8:58 pm

    I meant…proportional in an inverse way…

  • Tone // September 27, 2009 at 11:06 pm

    Gary ‘Minge’ Neville is the biggest piece of sh*t on the planet, he doesn’t deserve to breathe, let alone draw a wage for being a shite, irritating c**t on the football pitch.

    Even players with real talent don’t deserve £150K a week, it’s just scandalous.

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