Can Newcastle United Compete and Would We Want To?
When it comes to wages in football there appears to be three levels at the top; the ‘average’ top flight professional player who earns really silly money in the eyes of the normal working man (or woman), then there are the top players who earn top money, then at the very top the kind of elite players who make up the following top twenty earning players in the world.
These twenty players are the Sunday Times Rich List top twenty, taking into account both wages and commercial income over the course of 2011.
£27.4m Messi Barcelona
£26.1m Beckham LA Galaxy
£24.2m Ronaldo Real Madrid
£19.3m Eto’o Anzhi Makhachkala
£17.1m Rooney Manchester Utd.
£15.6m Aguero Manchester City
£14.6m Toure Manchester City
£13.9m Torres Chelsea
£12.9m Kaka Real Madrid
£11.9m Lahm Bayern Munich
£11.6m Ibrahimovic AC Milan
£11.5m Neymar Santos
£11.5m Schweinsteiger Bayern Munich
£10.8m Lampard Chelsea
£10.6m Silva Manchester City
£10.5m Drogba Chelsea
£10.4m Conca Guangzhou Evergrande
£9.7m Buffon Juventus
£9.6m Ribery Bayern Munich
You can draw all kinds of conclusions from the list and of course the most striking one is that the whole thing is just mad, once a player is earning more than a couple of million a year surely it can make little difference to him if he then earns two/five/ten times that amount.
What often gets lost is that whichever way you look at it, the likes of me and you eventually pay for their earnings; whether through ticket money, TV money or buying products they advertise – where a massive proportion of the price tag comes thanks to the money spent on marketing (paying the star to promote it).
Of course the Premier League is well represented and if you took the list down a bit further then English Premier League sides would dominate even more as you’d start getting to all these slightly ‘lesser’ paid players at clubs like Manchester City, Chelsea, Man U and Liverpool – where earning £4m or £5m or more is common place.
Taking England as the example, for clubs like Liverpool and Chelsea to move forward assuming they will be in the Champions League each season would be crazy….if they intend to finance their wage bill through purely normal club revenue.
Newcastle of course are a million miles away from paying the type of wages you see above and to be honest I wouldn’t want the club to pay them, unless the figures somehow added up, no matter who owns the club.
There is definitely room for Newcastle’s overall wage bill to grow but it has to be sustainable and how a club who isn’t in the Champions League could afford to fund the salaries of people like Drogba, Torres and Lampard (and the rest who of Chelsea’s squad who won’t be far behind) from normal revenue is beyond me.
Much like Newcastle ended up with what they were paying people like Owen, Viduka, Dyer, Geremi and others, maybe the question is not how much they earn but how much they are worth. I’d be interested (even in this mad inflated world) to hear how somebody like Frank Lampard deserves to earn over £10m a year
If you would like to feature on The Mag, submit your article to [email protected]