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David Moyes - Show Me the Money

By James  Marshall :  15/10/2008 :  Comments (18) :
Many of us believe that the money paid to professional footballers is obscene, and in light of David Moyes new contract I think its worth a few words about whether they're worth it.

A footballer's career is limited in time but people in the street cannot understand the salaries they command, and rightly so ? I mean, the majority of people earn less in a year than some top pros earn in a week.

Wages are paid based on two things in the private sector: how good is the employee at their job? ? and how much is that job worth to the company?

So how good is say, John Terry (a high earner) at playing football? Let?s put it this way, almost every child in England plays football at some point. But of all of those available he is one of the best two English defenders and captain of the national side. So one in 50 million good.

Footballers are not paid for their labour, but for their ability. And it is an uncommon ability, there are only about 500 current Premier League players in a country of 50 million people in a league that draws on the finest talent from around the world. Even if every footballer was English then only one in 100,000 would make it.

The next question is how much is this skill worth?

League football fits into the entertainment industry better than most commercial sectors, it is unscripted drama performed live to spectators and broadcast around the globe for 10 months of the year.

If the star of a major TV series was being watched every week by a live audience of 35,000 and on television to an audience of hundreds of millions in 195 countries (between 100 million and 360 million a week in China) then they would earn far more for far less ?work?. Throw in major international tournaments watched by nine-figure audiences and you have some of the best known stars on the planet.

And this translates into cash.

Chelsea made £150 million in the 2005-06 season according to Deloitte. That?s £2.8 million a week, or enough to pay 21 John Terrys £135,000 a week. Of that cash they spent £114 million on wages ? the highest proportion of any club in the Premier League at 76%.

Since then, a new television deal means that ? before ticket prices, merchandising, pre-season tours, cup runs, or anything else is considered ? the bottom-placed team will be given £30 million. Enough to pay 14 Jimmy Floyd Hasselbainks £40,000-a-week.

Making the Champions League can be worth tens of millions to a club, and promotion to the Premier League worth £60 million to a club according to Deloitte. Signing a player that can help you achieve that for four years of their five-year deal makes paying them £2.9 million a season extra (£55,000 a week ? the top salary paid by West Ham according to chairman Eggert Magnuson) a perfectly sensible financial investment. In fact, on the numbers, you could sign 20 players on £57,000 a week to get promoted and still make more money than if you had signed none of them and stayed in the Championship.

In 2005-06, Premier League clubs spent considerably less of their incomes on player wages than the clubs in the Championship (62% of revenue, compared with 72%) and made more operating profit (£138 million) than any other European League. Considering English clubs have only won two European Champions League titles in 20 years (Italy has six, Spain five and England is tied with Holland, Portugal and Germany on two) and are making the most profit they should arguably be spending more. And that was before the new television deal boosted incomes across the league.

But there is a simpler question ? who would you rather got the money? The player providing the entertainment, the skill, drama, memories and moments of magic whose career will last only 15 years if he is lucky ? or the billionaire chairman?

Reader Comments

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Paul Niklas
1   Posted 15/10/2008 at 15:36:22

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The billionaire Chairman, who put his money up in the first place.

Pay the players a decent wage 100k per annum say plus a bonus ( top 5%) of earners in the country plus bonuses and thats that.

What else would they do ( pizza Hut at best for the majority of them).

Make this a stanadard across football with the money saved reduce debt, bulid new stadia and reduce prices.
Adam Croft
2   Posted 15/10/2008 at 16:13:42

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2005-2006 figures? Where is the relevance in that as we are now in 2008-2009? As was released last week the Premier League is now the most debt ridden league in the world because clubs have been paying players over the odds, with the top 4 in the biggest mess!

Last year changed everything, we had 3 Champions League Semi Finalists, and an all English final. Now throw in the hat the spending power of Man City and the billionaires lining up to invest in other Premier League clubs before the end of this year, and you will see that 2005-2006 figures are history, and have no relevance now.
Jay Harris
3   Posted 15/10/2008 at 16:42:41

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Sorry to correct you but Chelsea made a loss of 76 million and have made significant losses since before Abramovic took over.

The £150 million you allude to is income before expenses.

If Chelsea didnt have Abromavic giving them an interest free loan they would be well and truly bust by now.

It?s about time some sensible financial regulations were brought into football before it implodes with some very heavy casualties.

IMO the very top players should earn their extra corn through image rights and marketing and all players should have to take a basic wage plus bonuses for achievement.

How this could be structured internationally is the big problem as if it is only introduced in one country then players will still flock to where the money is.
Dave Gleaves
4   Posted 15/10/2008 at 17:06:31

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Consider this: Moyes is to be paid £15 mil over the next 5 years

What was the value of the first team squad when Moyes took over - you?d be lucky to get £30 mil, and that would include all rights to Gazzas life stories.

Current value - let be very pessimistic and say £70 mil, given the Jordies playing staff where estimated rescently to be £100 ml

Conclusion - Moyes, without much financial help, as more than doubled the net worth of the team in the last 5 years or so, not to mention all the revenue received from the Uefa Cup run and more significantly the top 4, 5, 6 finishes prize money from the Premier League, coupled with the general increase in profile of the club since 5 years ago, - WORTH EVERY PENNY

Hopefully we can now push on and get back to business i.e. winning few games and getting some respect back.

ps: Maybe he just signed because of all the financial cirsis going on in the world now. Tony?
Michael Hunt
5   Posted 15/10/2008 at 17:31:35

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John Terry is English and England has a population on about 50 million, but to say he is one in 50 million is ridiculous: Realistically only men aged between 18 to 35 are likely to be realistically able to be in the competitor pool (though at times perhaps an infant or 80 year old granny could do better!)
Footballer pay is obscene, ridiculous and unsustainable in the developing economic environment (unless there is a never ending supply of vain and stupid billionaire owners!)
Jeremy Benson
6   Posted 15/10/2008 at 19:45:57

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re: Dave Gleaves,

"Moyes, without much financial help, as more than doubled the net worth of the team in the last 5 years or so".

How on earth did you come up with that rubbish? Did Moyes buy all of the players since that time? Has he paid their wages? Has he doubled the value of all the players he has signed?

No. The club has financially supported this.

Don?t mistake the increasing value of a few players like lescott, cahill and arteta (probably £12-15 million overall), for covering the decreased values of players like VDM, Krøldrup, Beattie, Davies, etc etc. He maybe a few million in the plus, but not nearly solely responsible for a 100-120% increase in squad value.

And make no mistake, the majority of the value of this team was built around the proceeds of the sale of Rooney.
Andy Crooks
7   Posted 15/10/2008 at 20:37:15

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Dave, if David Moyes is worth every penny, what do you reckon Arsene Wenger earns? After all, he only provides attacking attractive football and wins trophies. While David Moyes provides hoofball and wins nothing.
James Brand
8   Posted 15/10/2008 at 21:27:47

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Perhaps I’m wrong but regardless of who the manager actually is, I think he should be the highest paid member of staff at any club?

I think it sends the wrong message if a player earns more than a will he be in subjection and respect a manager who earns half he does? He will soon become a cocky little mercenary and demand a transfer to someone like ManUre (you know who I’m talking about)

I think they should be able to earn additional money through image rights etc but should not be higher up on the payroll than the manager...

Maybe I’m wrong though....just makes sense to me
Neil Scott
9   Posted 16/10/2008 at 04:51:08

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James Brand you have a point that works well in theory but not in practise.

The grossly inflated wages of today’s footballer is because they are the (talented) few that provide well-paid-for entertainment to the worldwide masses.

They have a finite career of up to 15 years and therefore seek to maximise their pay across that short period before their talent, fitness and entertainment value expires.

The manager’s job is to collate a fine balance of individuals to form a team that entertains, wins games and ultimately wins trophies. Creating more entertainment along the way, that we then pay for gladly.

Now where this argument falls down is when the club forgets its principal duty to the customer (or fan) and signs players for a further four years who have no chance of improving (Phil Neville) or a manager for five years who’s performance has declined more with every month for the last eight consecutively.

I have no problem with DM as a man but as a manager he deserts his principal duty to entertain through winning games, or at least to go down trying. And if ever there was a good test of ’honourable davey’ then this is it.

To earn this level of money the man should be wholly accountable to the fans, and if his team fails to entertain them then he should stop taking their cash.

End of story.

Ste Kenny
10   Posted 16/10/2008 at 06:48:07

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I?d just like to ask what people thought of the Everton team before Moyes arrived compared to what it is now.

I think we have come a hell of a long way. IMO he has given Everton FC it?s self-respect back and the hope and expectation people feel now is also down to DM.

I can see his faults which are well documented, but for me his positives far outweigh his negatives.
Martin Hughes
11   Posted 16/10/2008 at 09:22:41

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David Moyes should be applauded for his contribution to EFC over the last 5 years or so. I cant think of any other manager who would have stayed as long as he has (especially the way the club is being run at the higher level)

Hoofball maybe, but with he has got at his disposal would any other manager done or do it diffrently?

Maybe just maybe some investmnet may come , hopefully Moyesey can buy some decent footballing talent and then who knows

Up the BLUES
Gordon Blair
12   Posted 16/10/2008 at 10:53:13

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Just nit picking a minute bear with me:

As has been intimated above, your 1 in 50Million comment is a little disingenuous.

Britatin’s current demographic composition has Males aged 18-35 as approx 9.4% of the population (which is actually nearer 60Million).

This means, in the UK, there are approximately 4,725,000 blokes of the right age to be ’in contention’ (regardless of whether they have ever had the slightest inclination to kick a ball or not). So, to be England Captain, JT would be 1 in just under 5 million.

To be a Prem player (taking your generous figure of 500 players) you would need to be 1 in 9450 in the demographic group - almost good enough odds to make you consider dusting off your boots, eh?
Chris Williamson
13   Posted 16/10/2008 at 12:45:38

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I love footie, but at the "end of the day" it?s a sport. Footballers are people who are just good at kicking a bladder, and reading a game. They don?t save lives, invent things, make medicines or make anything tangible. They should not be paid so much. £100k tops. Pass the savings onto the fans at the gates. Short career? Maybe ... but after 10-15 well-paid years what?s to stop them retraining and learning skills to work for the rest of their lives? Geesh - I wish my career was well paid and short!
(I'm a long-suffering teacher.)
Monty Carlo
14   Posted 16/10/2008 at 12:57:14

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I hate it when people say "end of story" (or the abbreviated "end of") when trying to make a point (no offence intended Neil Scott).
James Marshall
15   Posted 16/10/2008 at 13:40:15

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Apologies if I?ve mislead anyone with my figures - they?re near enough correct and its not about being exact anyway, its more about the point I?m traying to make which is covered either way (I hope).

Being pedantic about it doesn?t actually make any difference but thanks anyway Gordon.

Incidentally, I wholly believe that footballers ARE paid too much.

David Moyes by the way, earns as much as his peers so people complaining about his wage should really be complaining about every player & manager out there, not just DM. There are managers on the more, less & the same as him spread across the Premier League - he?s only being paid whats due in the grand scheme of things.
16   Posted 16/10/2008 at 13:53:16

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Let?s not let facts of any kind get in the way of a good socialistic discussion.
We have had in this thread the following points made.... top salary for a footballer should be £100k a year. Okaaaayyy. I?m sure every agent and player will raise their hand and say sure, I?ll take a 95% pay cut. No problem.

Chris, who says he is a teacher, also points out that a footballer?s career is 10-15 years long. I say that?s an Urban Myth and it keeps popping up because the TOP players have longer careers, but an average player in English football might have a top flight high paying portion of his career last 4-6 years.

Of course they have high wages. So do movie stars. It has nothing to do with the money coming thru the turnstiles. It has everything to do with TV. And if the salary cap was instituted, the players would flee in a heartbeat to another league. Just like in hockey where the salary cap in the NHL has players considering Russia and the salary cap in the NBA has players looking to Europe to overpay for them.

£100k a year is beyond laughable. So, if you are going to make an economic argument please, let?s start with something that is workable.

Let?s also stop with the idea that we pay their salaries. We don?t. We might think we do, but we don?t. We contribute some money, but it isn?t nearly enough to cover their car maintenance.

From my experience with a salary cap, it does nothing to reduce the amount of money the average supporter will have to pay to go to a match. It just doesn?t. Let?s all take a deep breath and tell ourselves over and over again.... It?s a business. Nothing more than a business. However, it is THEIR business not ours. And when we come to grips with that and lose the emotional bonds that draw us to our club, then we will understand the business.

Do you think any player who kisses their badge after scoring a goal truly cares about the legacy of our club? I doubt it. They don?t live like us, live with us, act like us, or marry like us. (How many supporters can truly say their wife or gf is better looking than a wag?) It isn?t the ?60?s anymore. These players are mercenaries and mercenaries are historically overpaid.

And again... it?s not your money that?s paying DM or his players. Your collective pounds are a drop in the bucket.

Tim Lloyd.
17   Posted 16/10/2008 at 15:39:32

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Sad but true, Clyde. The only thing to remember is that things in life rarely stay the same.

The whole finacial aspect of Association Football has changed since I first started to watch.

In the pro game, the wage for, say, Dixie Dean, was £6 for playing, an extra £1 if the forthcoming match was drawn and £2 if it was won.

The whole game has changed beyond all imagination since those days and probably will again, in the lifetime of the younger supporters of today.

Nothing is for ever!
Chris Williamson
18   Posted 16/10/2008 at 18:39:28

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I acknowledge the comment about only the top footballers having a 10-15 year career. Some even shorter, if an injury cuts it short. Nonetheless, all this cash ruins the competition as far as I?m concerned. I?ve shown less interest in footie this year than ever in my previous 42 years because - it?s a precession of bank statements these days. The start of the season optimism wasn?t there for me, for the first time ever, and I just saw how pointless another season would be.

Having said that .... can?t resist watching!

But we need a global wage cap. I?d go further and have a system where only 5 players per squad are permitted from outside a 50-mile radius from the club. Local lads, playing for their local club. Teams go up and down the league over the years, based on performance and the local gene pool. It would stop a top league where the top 15 or so clubs cement themselves permanently into place based on their cash (or debt!) Chew on that!

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