After Wayne Rooney signed his new £300k-a-week contract, the question arose does he deserve that sort of money?
I think he does deserve it and is worthy of it.
I certainly don’t have a problem with his new pay cheque.
The majority of players come from humble beginnings like most of us, and not a silver spoon in sight.
It’s their ability and talent that separated them from their peers as kids.
But it was their hard work and determination that got them to play at a level which most could only dream of.
Along the way there are a lot of sacrifices made that go unseen and unspoken.
It’s a tough road to get there and it’s not easy.
As my old youth team coach and former Oxford United manager Graham Rix used to say: “If it was easy, then everyone would do it.”
That’s why I would never begrudge any player the money they are paid.
I can hear the voices of disagreement, saying that there is no way a player deserves £300k a week.
But this is the modern game. It’s the way football is, it has big prizes with big financial rewards that come with it.
To win anything you need talented players, and the sort of talent required doesn’t come cheap.
Yes, compared to most jobs, the pounds-per-minute that some players earn may seem ridiculous, but that’s just the way it is.
Does Will Smith deserve to make around £30m a movie or Kobe Bryant £20m a season with the LA Lakers?
Sports, like television and movies, come under the entertainment bracket. That’s why there is such money involved – not sports entertainment like the WWE wrestling, despite the alleged diving and play-acting involved.
People may feel that as a society we have got our priorities wrong when we pay a footballer so much more than other jobs of importance like nurses and teachers.
However, that’s a topic for another time, not that I am ducking the issue.
When it comes to the subject of wages and salaries, I empathise with the players, as I have been there.
There is a constant negative opinion from media and some general public, which I don’t feel is fair.
I can sympathise with those who work really hard in life and don’t earn what they read some of the footballers do.
That’s because I wasn’t born with a silver spoon in my mouth and my mum was one of those hard workers.
A pet hate of mine is that every time a player is mentioned, his salary is also reported.
I think it creates a divide straight away, a ‘them and us’ mentality.
But more importantly it mostly creates envy from the reader towards the player.
Wayne Rooney, 28, Manchester United, £300k a week, is nearly always how it is written when he is mentioned.
How about reporting it as Wayne Rooney, 28 years old, 88 caps and 38 goals for England.
Not just Wayne Rooney, but any player should have his accomplishments or accolades next to his name and not his wages.
It will reduce envy or anger towards players from those reading and also show the player in a better light.
They say money is the root of all evil. But let’s hope the game we love doesn’t fall victim to money’s evil ways.