What I often hear from people who do and don’t follow football is them asking the question of why do footballers get paid so much money.
It’s such a good question because if you looked at how much a player at one of the world’s top clubs earns, you would likely be shocked.
Now, what so many people don’t get is that these players get paid so much to play a game they enjoy.
However, why is that the case and why are some footballers now multi-millionaires because of the sport.
Well, in this post, I will be discussing footballers wages, taking you through the real reasons why they make fortunes.
Table of Contents
Why Do Footballers Get Paid To Play Football?
I think the best place to start is on why in the first place, do they even get paid.
After all, the act of kicking a ball can be millions worldwide, so what makes some people special enough that they get rewarded for doing so?
Well, football is a game that is entertainment for millions of people around the world.
And where there is interest, there is ultimately a business there too.
So, as a result, football and being a source of entertainment have become very money-focused because there is a lot to make.
You have all the sponsorships, TV licensing deals, prize money and so on.
Because of that, teams want to attract more eyes and progress through the football ladders to become more successful.
This is why teams are constantly trying to improve by either scouting other players or building their academies.
The answer to the question is that they get paid because it’s how players are kept at a club. If a club wants to keep a player signed on, they need to give them a contract along with a wage.
This contract will mean for the next couple of months to typically 5 years, they will receive money from the club weekly.
Why players make so much is because clubs invest in them by giving them lucrative deals to stop them from joining other teams.
Why Are Some Footballers Paid So Much?
Having the best players helps teams compete for the higher levels.
So if you are a team like Barcelona or Real Madrid, to maintain success, you need to acquire and keep the best talent.
To do this, and with the money in the game rising, they offer these players bumper contracts that will keep them happy with that team.
For instance, if Ronaldo was offered a contract of $300,000 a week.
However, another team put on the table $400,000 a week for him.
Well, he is likely going to consider the offer, as it’s a substantial pay rise.
Now a player like Cristiano Ronaldo isn’t exactly the best example at this stage in his career as it is trophies that motivate him and not so much the money.
But it’s the billions of dollars in the game nowadays that gives clubs no choice but to give their players huge contracts.
Because if a club comes swooping in for a top player and promises them more than double what they’re currently making, then they’re likely to take the deal.
That is why clubs sign players who they recognise as irreplaceable assets for long term deals. This stops other clubs from prizing players away.
A good example would be homegrown talent Saul, who signed a nine-year contract with Atletico Madrid.
Do All Footballers Make Loads Of Money?
When you think of the highest regarded and most expensive professional football players, you associate the letter ‘M’ and the talent they have.
That is simply because these footballers make millions in a year of playing football, let alone their whole football career.
But just because you have the likes of Messi, CR7 and Neymar earning mega-money, it doesn’t necessarily mean that every professional is.
If you play in a big league, so let’s say, Premier League, La Liga, Bundesliga, Serie A, essentially leagues with a lot of money and lots of people watching, then most players are bringing in a million a year.
Lower Viewers = Lower Salaries
However, if we went down just a level down, or to a country where football isn’t as popular, for instance, MLS.
Then players are likely closer towards an average salary than millionaire status. MLS is a great example of this, as it’s a growing league with more talent being attracted to it.
Despite that, and players like Ibrahimovic and Carlos Vela, swapping the wintery weather of Europe for the summer heat of LA, the average salary is still fairly low compared to the leagues I mentioned above.
In fact, unless you’re established in the league, you won’t earn enough to be able to retire.
This is why some players retire at early ages (Around 26 to 30) to pursue degrees at University.
Is It Fair That Footballers Get Paid So Much Money
Now that if you have some information on why footballers get paid, I will talk about the pros and cons of whether it is actually fair.
Pro 1) Less Than 0.001 Percent
To become a quality player and play for a top team, you need, of course, raw talent, but you also need drive and determination to make it as one.
On your typical Premier League game, there will be a total of 360 players. This is how many players have managed to make it to the elite level of the English game.
This puts into perspective how many young footballers actually full their dream of playing at the top.
Now why I am saying this is because this is less than 1 per cent that has made it, and for me, it does seem right that they are paid well for it.
After all, millions are trying to chase their dream, and millions of other people are fans of the sport. So for those who have made it is a reward for the hard work over the years.
Pro 2) Keeping Money In The Pockets
Another point to touch upon is the fact that millions of people contribute to the wealth of the game.
Whether that be buying their teams kits, buying sports packages to watch the football or going to the game themselves.
Now owners, especially at the top, are making top dollar for the most part, and it only makes sense that players get a sizeable cut of the money.
For example, if a top league club was making $1 billion a year but was only paying their footballers minimum wage, it would be unfair.
After all, the owners are gaining from the players performing week in week out, and for them to pay so low while they make millions wouldn’t be exactly fair.
Football is the name of the sport, and the players are important in keeping the whole club paying, so paying them a reasonable percentage of the overall annual earnings only makes sense.
Con 1) Working Just As Hard
What sparks people to ask the question on footballers earnings is that they think of what they’re making and think that it’s not fair how they get paid that much money.
While they may be right, you could argue that many aspects of life aren’t exactly fair when you compare different things.
But when it does come to occupations, I have found that a higher work ethic doesn’t always translate into a much higher salary.
You could have someone who is a surgeon and does important life-saving surgeries 24/7 and therefore makes a good income.
However, compared to a footballer, annual salary is lower than a footballer’s weekly salary in some cases.
There are a lot of people who work very hard to pursue their goals. However, don’t end up very successful or make a load of money.
When anyone questions a professional footballer’s wage, I completely get it as the figures they bring weekly and yearly are astonishing.
However, when you take a step back and realise why that is and the percentage of people living comfortably from football, it makes a lot of sense.
What do you think about players wages? Do you think they’re fair?
Let me know your say below 🙂