Like many of you I’m sure, I am a maaaasssssive fan of the great British game…FOOTBALL. And I’m not just talking international games. Oh no! Ask me anything; what’s the latest in the league table? Who’s in the top 4? Who’s playing who in the Champions League? Yep – go on…I know you want to….even ask me what the offside rule is? I stand tall next to my trophies as winner of…Fantasy football league of course!
And during that all important weekend, a fortnight after the season’s kicked off (mind the pun), you’ll find me glued to my sofa in front of Sky Sports News watching the countdown to transfer deadline day. This year was no different and for some reason, what happened there made me think about the world in general.
Did you know, that just over ½ billion pounds was the total spend (£630million to be precise) on premier league transfers this year and agents pocketed £286m of that. 2013 reported a record breaking spend and a 20% increase on the previous year. Plus, let’s not forget the one record-breaking transfer fee for Gareth Bale…a whopping £85m.
Now I don’t know about you, but whether you’re a Tottenham aka Real Madrid fan or not…my thoughts were one of bewilderment and somewhat dismay. As a world, we find ourselves constantly amidst reports reminding us of the rise in unemployment, uncalled for university fees, increases in tax, reductions in benefit (child benefit), an over-stretched health service. And Internationally; orphaned children, the homeless, poverty, lack of clean water and hygiene, malnutrition…the list is endless.
Yet we’re happy to accept £85m for a 24year old sportsman who, credit to him does play good football, but is hardly Mahatma Gandhi!
The Metro reported that with the £85 million transfer fee, Gareth Bale’s total package, excluding bonuses amounts to £180million which means a salary of £1.2million a week. Want me to break that down further? That’s £300,000 a week, £2,040 an hour! Ever thought…what else that money could buy? Here are some ideas:
- NHS Nurses earn £32,000 a YEAR! That’s how much Bale would get in less than 16 hours for kicking a ball – not saving lives.
- For the same amount as his annual incomd, you could employ 5,625 nurses for a year or 938 nurses for as long as his contract length (6 years).
- You could build a new hospital from scratch for £178million (wrap.org.uk) and with the amount the agents got, you could still employ the nurses on top. And still have money left over
- Our Government are looking to spend £14million less on each new school this year. We could build 13 of them with Bale’s amount
- And 14 new teachers could be employed for 40 years. If you give them a pay rise…maybe a few years less
- The Happy House (http://www.childrenofwatamu.net/sponsored-child-scheme) : A charity in Kenya, run by British Sue Hayward, changes the lives of children born into unimaginable circumstances of poverty, neglect or abuse. £20 a month or £240 a year to sponsor a child. Gareth’s wages could sponsor £750,000 of these children
- £85million could have bought the entire nation of Canada a Big Mac each
- Northamptonshire club Kettering Town folded a day after getting into £56,000 debt. Bale’s salary would not only have saved a small club, but also looked after the players and ensured they still had a job and club!
And considering the fact that Spain itself is in recession, here’s how £85million could have helped them
- Average Spanish wage: £27,000. The money could have paid for 3,703 employees to join the economy.
Staying closer to home, with such a huge financial strain on our economy effecting people’s quality of life, should football be allowed to spend these kind of sums! Should we not introduce a cap on the amount spent per player; perhaps with the value of football players increasing thanks to business endorsements, isn’t it time these professionals and so-called role-models gave back to the economy and helped to alleviate the pressure.
Tell us what you think in the comment box below…