Former England, Liverpool and Manchester United striker Michael Owen believes footballers’ wages are justified due to the high demand for the sport.
Wayne Rooney’s recent five-year deal with Manchester United created a buzz, mainly because of his staggering £300,000 weekly wage packet, which makes the striker the highest paid footballer in Britain.
Writing in his blog on social network Sportlobster Owen, who scored 40 goals in 89 appearances for the Three Lions, argues the criticism over footballers’ earnings is unjust if other salaries in the entertainment industry are not considered.
He believes if more and more money is poured into sports, from supporters and companies, the athletes will continue to ask for a bigger slice of the pie.
He wrote: “Despite many of these issues being extremely important, I can’t help but think the current hysteria surrounding footballers reported wage packets is over-hyped and unnecessary.
“If you have a skill, which people are prepared to part with their hard-earned cash in order to watch, those with the skill will always command high salaries.
“Nobody complains if pop stars sell out a stadium and rake in millions from a tour. Nobody complains about the reported weekly salaries, according to Forbes, of sportsmen such as Kobe Bryant (£700k), Roger Federer (£800k), Phil Mickelson (£480k) and Usain Bolt (£290k).
“What is so different to a footballer earning similar amounts for being at the top of their own particular sport?”
Owen, who played for Real Madrid as well as England’s two most successful teams, said certain members of the workforce should earn more – but to compare their salaries with footballers is inappropriate.
He added: “I often hear and read the football fan’s mantra of ‘I’m paying his wages’ when a footballer is having a bad day and yet fans don’t feel the same way at all when watching Tiger Woods or Roger Federer play a poor match.
To read the rest of the Michael Owen blog go here
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