The game we all love has not changed since the early ages, it still has the same rules, pitch and ball. People think that the game had never changed and will not in the coming years although some slight changes have been made such as the goal post being circular instead of pointy and how new technology has been introduced to make the game quicker, but there is a major key that is involved in football especially in the 21st century which is money. In the late 1800s, football players just played for the sake of then fans and enjoyment that it brings out of them, but in the current generation, footballers often like to play for team that offer big money.Back in the early 1900s, only a certain number of players were payed depending on their performance and their weekly wage was just £4-a-week.1 As of today, we see remarkably massive amounts that players are receiving such as Pogba who is earning around £290,000-a-week (Manchester United’s most payed player)2, also the Brazilian star Neymar who is now earning around £770,000-a-week.3 This is a big topic when it comes to football and I will research and talk about how money is affecting the game when it comes to transfers, wages, position value, etc., also I will be researching whether people think that should players be earning what they are currently?
The start of money flowing into football and how it is still increasing
As the talented, sensational Frenchman Paul Pogba whom plays for the most prestigious, massive club in England Manchester United is earning around £290,000-a-week. We seem to think that is a lot of money, but some people find it under average for a world class player to be earning that much. After doing some research there are some facts that will amaze people as well and that is the journey of footballer’s wages. Here are some facts about wages from the late 1870s which has been issued by The Telegraph:
“1879: Lancashire club Darwen causes a scandal when it is revealed they had been paying two Scots, Fergie Suter and James Love.
1885: Professionalism is legalised.
1901: A £4-a-week wage limit is introduced.
1905: The first £1,000 transfer fee is paid when Middlesbrough sign Sunderland’s Alf Common.
1922: The maximum wage grows to £8 a week (£6 in the summer), plus a loyalty bonus of £650 after five years.
1928: The first £10,000 transfer – Arsenal sign David Jack from Bolton.
1947: Jimmy Guthrie takes over as chairman of the Players’ Union with the maximum wage still only £12 a week (£10 in the summer).
1961: New PFA new chairman Jimmy Hill finally wins abolition of maximum wage. Johnny Haynes becomes first £100-a-week player.
1962: The first transfer over £100,000 takes place as Manchester United pay £110,000 to sign Denis Law from Torino.
1979: Nottingham Forest pay the first £1million fee, signing Trevor Francis from Birmingham. Peter Shilton becomes the best-paid player in Britain with a new contract at Forest worth £1,200 a week.
1988: First £2million transfer as Paul Gascoigne moves from Newcastle to Tottenham.
1994: Chris Sutton becomes the first £10,000-a-week footballer when Blackburn sign him from Norwich.
1995: The Bosman ruling allows out-of-contract players free transfers and therefore higher wages.
1996: Newcastle smash the transfer record, signing Alan Shearer for £15million from Blackburn.
2000: Roy Keane becomes the first player to top £50,000 a week with a new contract at Manchester United worth £52,000 weekly.
2001: Sol Campbell’s free transfer from Tottenham to Arsenal sees the England defender become the first £100,000-a-week player.
2002: The £30million transfer fee barrier is breached when Manchester United sign Rio Ferdinand from Leeds.
2010: Carlos Tevez is the first £1million-a-month player – his weekly wages from Manchester City are claimed to be £286,000 a week.”4
In today’s game, the most paid player weekly is currently Neymar whom also made the world record transfer move from FC Barcelona to the French giants PSG.
We have to think about the past of England as the economy was really low so not a lot of people were earning enough money, but as of today since the economy is really high we now see players on the average salary of £50,000.
“In 1956-57 a Manchester United and England player would have earned £744 in wages, £72 in league match bonuses, £45 in league talent money, £60 in European Cup bonuses, £150 in accrued benefit, £80 from Provident Fund credit, £56 in FA Cup bonuses, £50 in FA Cup talent money, £400 from international match fees, and £20 from inter-League match fee. A total of £1,677.”5Earning
money without playing footballWe all think that footballers only get paid by playing
football, well that
is not the case. Footballers also earn money through advertisement as well.
Also, a main way how footballers earn extra money is by sponsorships. “They can
make a fortune simply for agreeing to play in football boots made by a given
company, such as the million dollars per year Nike agreed to pay the Brazilian
player Neymar for doing just that.”1
Not just getting sponsored by boot companies earns the player money, but also
things such as a specific drinks company to wearing a certain clothing line,
any player can get any type of sponsorship depending on the profile of the
player whether they are good enough to attract more supporters in their
footsteps.Factors that affect a player’s weekly wageThere are major factors that play within the wages of a
footballer and this is their positions, skills, contract length and age. Positions can affect a player’s salary e.g. a striker and
midfielder will normally have a higher salary than a defender or goal keeper.
The reason why this is normally common in football is because that a striker
can carry their team into winning games and the more goals that are scored the
more money gets added onto the players salary, also a talented striker will be
able to sell more shirts than a talented defender. I have found some
information on salaries and have been comparing them side by side with strikers
and defenders. “Carlos Tevez became an overnight
sensation in 2016 after he was approached by Shanghai Shenhua for a potential
move. His weekly wage of £634,000 made him the highest-paid footballer in the
world, a title he still holds.”2 That is an outstanding
figure when it is compared with a defender’s salary. One of the highest weekly
paid defender is from the English Premier League, Vincent Kompany whom plays for Manchester
City. He roughly earns around £150,000-a-week and is told that he is the highest paid defender
in the world as of now.Skills also plays a factor in a player’s salary. It makes
sense to give a more talented player more money than a player who is not that
before signing a contract the manager can see their past seasons whether or not
if they have been providing assists or goals, the more assist and goals then
the more money they’ll
likely earn.An age of a player and their length of their contract can
affect their salary as well. When a player comes towards the end of his career,
their weekly salary tends to go down since when aging their skills also comes down. Players like
Lionel Messi (30) and Cristiano Ronaldo (32) tend to have their salary
increasing even when they are old, this is because both sportsman tend to
improve when growing and this can happen to any other player as well. Also, the length of a
contract can determine the players salary. When a player’s contract is coming
to the end, the
negotiate whether to stay and earn more money or to leave the club since they
are considered as a ‘free agent’ when their contract expires.How contracts work in football: The dark side to footballer’s and their wagesOkay so
we have spoken about the amount of money players earn which when we hear it we think ‘wow! He must be living a
life of a dream with vast amounts of money’, but that is not the case. Over the
years, the news have reported that some footballers get involved with tax fraud and these
are not just with small footballers, world class players such as Lionel Messi
who has been in a massive tax fraud and has been trialled at a court in Spain.
This means that there is a dark side to footballers and their salary as well.
1 How Do
Football Players Make Money And Do They Deserve It? online.
(2016). Available from:
Accessed 23 December 2017.
2 Nair, Aadi (2017). 10 footballers with the highest
weekly wages in the world. online. Sports Skeeda. Available from:
Accessed 23 December 2017.
1 Fraser, Dave (2016). THROUGH THE W-AGES From £4-a-week to £400,000… How wages have changed in football through history. online. The Sun. Available from:
2 Hulk (2017). How much does Manchester United players get paid ? (Weekly Wages). online. Sports Maza. Available from:
3 Footballers’ wages: How long would it take you to earn a star player’s salary? online. (2017). Available from:
4 How footballers wages have changed over the years: in numbers online. (2011). Available from:
5 How footballers wages have changed over the years: in numbers online. (2011). Available from: