Just how much is ‘too much’?

Reporter Hayley Paterson.  Picture: Liz Mockler D1581LM
Reporter Hayley Paterson. Picture: Liz Mockler D1581LM

TOP level footballers are often referred to as ‘overpaid prima donnas’ when it comes to discussing the amount they receive in wages.

Despite being an avid football fan, I can understand people’s frustrations.

How can players at the top of their game justify getting at least £50,000-a-week for kicking around a ‘bag of air’?

They don’t work 18-hour days, save lives in hospitals, rescue people from burning buildings or defend their country on the frontline. So, are footballers more deserving than these people?

It’s a constant drum being banged when referring to the Premier League and football worldwide. Players are labelled as ‘mercenaries’ because they play 90 minutes each week in return for a £2 million contract.

Uproar followed Tottenham’s Benoit Assou-Ekotto when he said publicly that football was his job, not his passion. Should his honesty be celebrated or questioned?

Then there are those playing in the other divisions. Their pay packets don’t even come close, but does that mean they are less deserving?

Funnily enough, Premier League player wages look like an office teaboy’s when compared to the likes of the NBA and NFL in America.

Top-flight footballers will argue that they bring in television coverage, help fill 60,000-seater-plus stadiums, allow themselves to be at the mercy of the cut-throat media and social networking ‘trolls’ whilst they put their bodies through extensive pain each day to be at the summit.

But it is, afterall, us the fans who ultimately pay their wages so we do have the right to an opinion.

Mine is that there are several players who do not deserve their multi-millions.

I say this because you only have to look at the Olympics and Paralympics to see athletes putting themselves through the same physical exhaustion and media exposure - yet many had to raise money to buy their own team tracksuits.

I’ve just penned a story of a biker who remortgaged his house to pay for his ultimate dream of competing in the deadly Dakar Rally. His life was at risk throughout the 15-day desert race in which three people died, and yet he had to go above and beyond to realise his goal because there is no real payout involved in his sport.

Then a few years ago, I recall the England women’s football team competing in the World Cup - the greatest competition any footballer could ever wish to play in.

Reportedly, each England player was paid £30 a match - that would probably get you a decent pair of jeans down the high street.

These are women who train and play every week, work or study part-time and they’re the ones representing our country. All for the measly sum of £30.

Their passion for the sport is never questioned for this very reason - a feat the men’s alternative can’t really boast unfortunately.

I realise this subject is forever in the limelight, but I just can’t help but question how top-flight wages are warranted.

I wonder if many footballers would still play with the same drive if they were paid like those in other sports? I’m not so sure.

What do you think? Email: sport@doncastertoday.co.uk, write to Sportsdesk, Sunny Bar, Doncaster, DN1 1NB or tweet @HayleyP_11