Money Makes the Football World Go Round

March 11, 2013 at 11:09 am Leave a comment

The last few days have seen a change in fortunes for several top named footballers in England.

First of all there was the news that Michael “I won’t drop down the divisions” Owen is to be released by Stoke City. The former Liverpool, Real Madrid, Newcastle, and Manchester United striker has scored only one goal this season and has failed to start a Premier League game since signing a one-year pay-as-you-play deal.

Owen, who burst on the scene as a teenage at the 1998 World Cup has repeatedly said he will not drop down to the lower divisions in English football, so many believe the curtain has come down on his career, unless he can secure a deal in the Middle East or America. Even then it would be a risk to the club signing him as in 2010 he pulled up with a hamstring injury after scoring for Manchester United against Aston Villa in the League Cup and then was out for the rest of the season In truth he has never been the same player since rupturing his anterior cruciate ligament at the 2006 World Cup.

Another England player who looks set to face a sever blow to his income is Manchester United’s Wayne Rooney. Word out of the UK is that Rooney currently earning an unbelievable GBP230,000 a week, will be asked to take a pay cut as he is not going to be an automatic choice in Manchester United’s big games. Rooney has slipped down teh pecking order with the emergence of Robin van Persie, Japanese player Shinji Kagawa – who became the first player to net a hat-trick in the Premier League – and Danny Welbeck.

This could well be another shrewd stance by Ferguson, who may believe Rooney’s best years are behind him. Faced with a drop in salary Rooney may well seek a transfer prior to his contract expiring in 2015, which would mean Manchester United could demand a substantial price for the still lively 27 year old. It will be interesting to see how this one plays out. If Rooney is as dedicated to the United cause as he professes, he may take the cut on the chin. If he wants regular first team football or a similar salary he may well move on.

However one player who looks set to benefit from consistently performing well is Liverpool’s Uruguayan striker Luis Suarez. He has just been granted a pay rise that sees his salary go past GBP120,000 per week. Suarez signed new terms with Liverpool last Summer after rejecting moves to Juventus and Paris Saint-Germain, that saw his salary more than double to GBP80,000 per week. His new contract like most players at Liverpool was incentive based, and his 28 goals in all competitions this season has seen him trigger a pay rise. Liverpool’s owners Fenway Sports wanted a bonus oriented pay structure on all new contracts following the large sums paid out for under-performing players in the past. The pay rises kick in as soon as a target is reached. So love him or hate him Suarez has delivered on the park and has been rewarded for his efforts.

However, seriously is any sportsman really worth that sort of money per week?

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