You heard it all day yesterday. If you didn’t hear it yesterday you’ll probably hear it today but there can be no doubt that the talk of the sporting world last night revolved around a certain Gareth Bale. The 24-year-old has shot into the limelight becoming the highest paid footballer on the planet. He is reportedly going to earn £300,000 a week. Which is roughly €350,000 a week.
If we break that down, or even vamp it up, that is €18,200,000 million in a year, €50,000 a day, €2,083 an hour and €34.72 a minute. How ridiculous is that? There is no doubt that football has a gigantic international pull and that Real Madrid are undoubtedly one of the most recognisable football teams on the planet but surely they’ll need to draw a line somewhere before this gets beyond ridiculous?
Let’s look at Rugby Union and to look at the higher end of the scale we need to select France, where rugby players earn most. The 2010-2011 season saw the LNR(the company who run the French Top 14) introduce a salary cap of €8,000,000 which to put in perspective is double what the English Aviva Premiership cap was. Since its introduction it has increase by €2 million and now sits at €10 million. (that’s 8.2 less than Real Madrid’s new No.11). Should this be introduced in football to stop it going too far?
In a report released early last month about the top earners in French rugby it emerged that former English fly half Johnny Wilkinson was the highest paid, raking in a respectable €685,000 a year, closely followed by Ireland international Johnny Sexton who pulls in €640,000 a year.
So, there it is, Gareth Bale earns more in three weeks than a World class fly half earns in a year. Not that we’re surprised with the gap in earnings due to the international appeal of the sports but it’s worrying for the future of Football that nobody seems to be capping these ludicrous wages.
What’s that I hear you ask, who’s bracket might these two rugby stars fit into in the Football world? Well Sexton’s handsome wage of €640,000 a year (12,300 a week) is nearly half of what the average Premier League player earned last season according to MSN Money, so Johnny could probably apply to some relegation strugglers for a trial or potentially a championship hopeful to earn a few more bucks. A bit of an eye opener for the vast difference between the two sports. What do you think, should footballers come back down to earth or are Rugby stars underpaid? Personally I think the first option.