In today’s modern sporting world, there has been one constant that has been on the rise: money. It’s everywhere, and it’s gone further than just the odd bet or accepting a bribe. Money has engulfed the sporting landscape. Here’s why it’s now extremely detrimental to the reputation of sport:
-Athletes (soccer is a prime example) are now being paid millions and millions of pounds per season. Players such as Real Madrid’s Cristiano Ronaldo and Manchester United’s Wayne Rooney have contracts that are in the tens of millions of dollars, averaging out to hundreds of thousands of dollars per game. Compare that to the AFL, where the highest paid player might earn $1.5-2 million per season. Even still, third world countries are being paid alarmingly low amounts. So, what is the driving force behind money?
One could say it’s demand: the higher the profile, or the higher the skill of the athlete, the higher the contract should be. The difference between the AFL and English Premier League (EPL) is huge: the EPL has a much wider fanbase, much wider reputation. And it attracts some of the best soccer players from around the world. In contrast, the AFL’s reach is slowly extending in countries such as China. It does not have the access to the money the EPL does.
And then there’s the Pakistan cricket team. The bombing of the team bus in Sri Lanka a few years ago raised concerns about the security of the team. Since then, most, if not all, Pakistan matches have been played on either neutral or a home team’s ground. And the players aren’t getting much back for it.
Fortunately, some of the EPL players do help out with charities or communities, donating money and their time to help out. However, I sometimes do not understand why contracts must be so high. Then again, perhaps it’s the demand and the incredible lure that money gives.