When it comes to enjoying the game of football, some new fans may find it hard to get too invested in the professional game. At least at the highest level. Why? Because the money is so out of sync with reality.
It’s become a major burden on the reputation of the game, in truth. The world of football is now brought down to looking at it purely on a monetary role – it’s one of the biggest problems facing the top level of football.
Competitive, historic clubs are being pushed aside in favour of clubs that had attracted wealth due to their location or league. It’s a shame, as it slowly but surely will kill what makes football so special: the competitive and unpredictable nature of the sport. However, when you find out that football governing body FIFA has over $2.5bn in the bank, it does become a bit easier to feel frustration at the disparity.
With so much money being fed into a small cabal of clubs in Europe, how can all of that money in the FIFA coffers not go towards balancing out the disparity that exists?
For example, take Lionel Messi. The Argentina international and FC Barcelona star is, for many, the best player in the world. However, he earns around $110m in a year – that is more than the turnover of many historic football clubs. Clubs who play in top leagues such as Portugal, even France. Messi might be the best around – but how can he be worth more, just himself, than institutions that employ hundreds of people, and are followed by tens of thousands?As is pointed out by the ‘Real Time Soccer Earnings’ infographic by Betting Sites UK, though, the disparity in football is insane. It breaks down the top 20 footballers earning power.
The uneven nature of the top 20
Even if you look through that list, you see a massive disparity. From Messi to Gareth Bale, for example, the difference is close to 30x what Bale earns. At around $34m/year, Bale is on just around one third of what Messi b rings in. look further down that list, and you see that the likes of Oscar, of Chelsea fame and who now plays in China with Shanghai SIPG, earn a whopping $27m/year.
The money in football, and the disparity even among the top 20 players in the world, is incredible. The last person on the list, Edinson Cavani, earns around $19.5m/year. Is Lionel Messi really five-times the player that Cavani is? It would be hard to say with any definitive answer. However, for many clubs, the earning power of their star players means that the wages alone are just part of the investment: if that player can bring you even one trophy, the glory and fame is probably worth the cost.
How Everton Players Compare
According to Spotrac, Bernard Anicio Caldeira Duarte makes £6.24m ($8m) per year, which works out at $913.24 per hour vs number on one the list Lionel Messi who earns $12’636 per hour – both staggering figures. Other players of interest are Yerry Mina who also earns £6.24m ($8m) and Jordan Pickford, Morgan Schneiderlin and Gylfi Sigurdsson who are all on £5.2m ($6.61m). If you took the top 20 players at Everton and compared their earnings, the total figure of $97.73m, wouldn’t even match the top 2 football earners in the world – Messi and Ronaldo.
Football, though, has to watch carefully. If the top 20 are making so much money, how can the rest of the game even hope to keep pace?
Most clubs struggle to pay their players close to $1m/year; a time will come when the top have so much compared to the bottom, that the global beauty of football – the competitive nature – might die out, with a European Super League structure an even greater threat to making that a reality.
Infographic source; https://www.betting-sites.uk.com/soccer-earnings/
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