During the summer of 2012, as a nation we came together to support new sporting heroes and role models. The Olympics came to town and for the first time in a long time, we were proud to be British. It was historic, not only because we suddenly found out the Britain was a world power on a sporting level again, but we discovered the golden standard of what a sportsman could be – humble, humorous, eloquent, passionate and proud.

As the summer of 2013 draws to a close, we still have Mo Farah dominating over staggering distances and Chris Froome dominating over even longer distances in France. But the magic of the Olympic spirit has dissipated over time and I think I can point the finger in relative safety in the direction of our “national sport”.

Don’t worry, this isn’t a football blog, if anything it is an anti-football blog. I do love the sport for some reason, but the people who play it are much harder to warm to. Cheaters on the pitch and in the bedroom, these are the kind of people who should you bump into them in on the street are liable to fling themselves to the ground screaming and then try to sleep with your wife. A lot of them can’t help themselves, it is instinct. I worry for their equilibrium.

But as cretinous as a lot of professional footballers can be, it is the money in football that makes them inhuman and unrelatable to us mere mortals. If a footballer is on £30,000 a week, he is considered a poorly paid guy…. £30k a week for shepherding a leather sphere around a field and trying to get it into a cupboard at the far end as many times as possible over 90 minutes. And they do this up to TWO times a week! 180 minutes work a week must be tough.

To put up the other side of the argument, these footballers earning unimaginable sums of money are putting a staggering sum back into the country with their 50% tax rate. But to knock that argument down, I am pretty sure a lot of footballers do what they can to avoid as much tax as possible. It is very difficult to get by on only £15,000 a week you know.

So you have people scraping by on minimum wage, teachers getting paid diddly squat and nurses caring for the country for a Snickers and a cup of tea. Then you have the worst paid Premier League footballers earning a year’s worth of minimum wage in a week. Maybe if these men were good role models to the younger generation and donating an easily affordable 20% of everything they earned to charity, we might be able to stomach the sickening wages they receive. Instead, we are just sickened. Undereducated, over privileged, overpaid.

The money in football

So Gareth Bale recently joined Spanish Giants Real Madrid for the princely sum of £86 million. You’d think that money could help fix the Spanish financial crisis, provide crucial funding for cancer research or maybe supply aid for Syrian refugees, but unfortunately Mr Bale is more important. If that doesn’t get you mad, brace yourselves…. Bale is earning around 56p every, single, second. He actually earned about half a million before even putting in a single minute of work in on the training ground.

Thanks to the website What Bale Earns, I can help put the staggering amount this man earns for playing a game into perspective for you.

  • 02/09/13 12:30 Bale Signs for Real Madrid
  • 02/09/13 16:00 Bale has earned 47 weeks of minimum wage
  • 02/09/13 18:28 Bale has earned enough to put a deposit on a house

Lets skip a few days

  • 07/09/13 16:32 Bale has earned the same as Barack Obama does in a year
  • 10/09/13 21:49 Bale could buy life saving food parcels for 9226 families displaced by the fighting in Syria

Think on that for a minute, in just over a week he has earned more than the most powerful man in the world and enough money to save almost 10,000 Syrian families. All for playing a game… and he hadn’t even played a minute of football at the time of writing.

Mankind, you have a problem.

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