Today there was yet another story of a footballer being transferred for over £70 million. An 18 year old in the premiership was given a pay rise to £20k a week. These are of course for players at the peak of their careers, with the top teams, and those players in lower leagues don’t earn as much.
I know that these guys have a relatively short career, 15 years or so at the most, and that the argument is that they have to earn enough to live on after their careers are over, but it strikes me that these are incredibly obscene sums of money. They don’t spend all day training, and there is a fair amount of free time. Many players take their coaching badges, some do degrees or other kinds of study, but do you know what I’d like to see?
Here’s a radical idea for those being paid obscene amounts: why don’t you donate the majority of your wages to charity or some other good cause, just for a year? Keep £2k after tax every month and give the rest away.
And football clubs? Rather than pocket that £75 million for one player, plough that all back into your community, into food banks, services for the homeless, services for victims of domestic violence: do something tangible for those who live around you.
I know it’s not that straightforward, and that some players start their own charities, foundations, whatever, but what would the world look like if all players in the top leagues in every country did as I’ve suggested for a year? What would the local communities look like? And what would happen if the clubs did the same with the fees from one player this summer?