The best things in life are free, but you can keep them for the birds and bees…
I want MONEY!! So sang John Lennon, and a host of other artists. Money is a popular subject for musicians. Money must be funny in a rich man’s world, but it Can’t Buy Me Love and so on.
Money is a popular subject in the world of football as well. Already this year, we’ve seen the vast sums of money that players attract in transfer fees. But it doesn’t just take a transfer window to generate huge financial revenue.
Every day, football fans part with their hard-earned cash to buy shirts with the latest hero’s name on the back, tickets for matches, even a pie and a pint at half-time. Perhaps the biggest sums, however, go on the weekly wages of players. But how does the Premier League compare to it’s continental counterparts?
Obviously, the Premier League has a reputation for being the richest league in the world, and player wages reflect that. As we discovered HERE.
Frank Lampard commands a hefty £213,127 a week. His Chelsea team-mate, Fernando Torres, isn’t far behind with £210,568 a week. John Terry also weighs in with a considerable £200,589. Other big earners at Chelsea include Didier Drogba (£221,641) and Micheal Essien (£71,019).
Other teams in the Premiership have similarly large wage bills. At Liverpool, Steven Gerrard is reportedly on £187,992. New signing Luis Suarez makes £71,585. One would expect Manchester City players to have the heaviest wallets, and they don’t disappoint! Tevez makes £125,322 smackers a week, whilst De Jong pulls in £145,742 clams before tax. The biggest hitter of all for the Sky Blues is possibly Yaya Toure, who enjoys £183,956 a week.
Manchester United pay Wayne Rooney £263,824, whilst perenial bench-warmer and ‘football icon’ Micheal Owen somehow ‘earns’ £53,784. Even West Ham United, who find themselves in a relegation dogfight, fork out £40,583 a week on Benni McCartney. But before we condemn the Premier League entirely, it’s important to note that football on the continent doesn’t come cheap either.
At Barcelona, Lionel Messi commands a weekly wage of £250,739. He’s not the only one being paid a fortune at the Catalonian giants either! Xavi makes a nice £187,559 whilst fellow World Cup winners Iniesta and Puyol earn £85,248 and £218,000 a week respectively. The real money in Spain however is at Madrid. Midfielder Kaka, is worth £313,371 Monday to Friday.
The biggest weekly wage, in Europe, goes to every-one’s favourite Christiano Ronaldo. The famous winker earns….get this….£451,215 a week. Couldn’t happen to a nicer bloke!
Europe’s most tight-fisted clubs seem to reside in Germany. Over at Bayern Munich, German star Sebastian Schweinsteiger only earns £97,420 whilst his French team-mate Franck Ribery makes a tasteful £63,935. And yes, that is only 10 grand more than Owen.
Now, I know that these players are all worth their weight in gold. I mean, Kaka, Messi and Ronaldo are all incredible players and there is an argument that they can justify their wage fees. But some players in our own Premiership seem to be vastly overpaid, when one looks at their actual contribution.
Joleon Lescott has played 802 minutes this season, starting in 8 games for Man City. He earns £90,000 a week. More than Micheal Essien at Chelsea, and almost as much as Schweinsteiger who was one of the stars of Germany’s World Cup campaign.
£90,000 a week. Let me put that into some sort of perspective for you. A newly qualified teacher, makes £18,750 a YEAR. A newly qualified nurse, if they’re lucky, will make £18,240 a YEAR. Your average Police Constable earns £23,259 a YEAR.
I’m not knocking Joleon Lescott here. Unfortunately, his wages just happen to make my point more effective! This isn’t an attack on Lescott as a person, or a player, but you have to admit that 8 starts does not equate to £90,000 a week.
So, what have we learned? Well, we know that the top Premier League stars are not neccessarily the highest paid footballers in the world. That honour would have to go to Spain. We also know, that some Premiership players simply do not justify the extravegant wage fees that they earn.
If clubs want to throw that kind of money at players, then let them. It would be nice to see a sense of perspective however. Sadly, that doesn’t look like happening any time soon. Recently, the Premier League privately canvassed clubs to with the idea of introducing wage caps, in a bid to combat the problems caused by obscene wage bills.
Unfortunately, only a few Premier League clubs went along with the idea, meaning it wasn’t even considered for the Annual General Meeting which will be held later this year.
Follow Peter Turner on Twitter @petermagpie.com