Don't Criticise Rooney, Messi and World's Best Players for Escalating Salaries

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Don't Criticise Rooney, Messi and World's Best Players for Escalating Salaries
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Wayne Rooney is worth £300,000 a week, and if Chelsea want to hand Eden Hazard £200,000-a-week to keep him happy and no doubt raise his buy-out clause at the same time, and Barcelona push Lionel Messi to the extraordinary level of £14 million-a-year, then it's worth it.

Manu Fernandez

I’m sorry, but I am not one of those joining in the queue to throw my hands up in outrage at the incredible escalating salaries of the game's superstars. Yes, I agree that £300,000 a week is a lot of money to keep Rooney at Manchester United and away from the clutches of Jose Mourinho and Chelsea.

And football must be the only business in the world at the moment where the money keeps going up and up. But there is a reason for it—the best players are in demand, and that has always been the case.

Actually, you have to feel sorry for the players sometimes for feeling the weight of criticism for the amount of money then earn, because, in a way, it is not their fault. There is huge demand for the very best sportsmen, especially footballers, and that demand is in short supply.

They are getting paid because they are the game, they are the entertainers. If it weren't for them, there wouldn’t be a game, and there wouldn’t be people willing to pay to watch them either live in the stadia or live on TV.

That has been the case for some time in many other sports, particularly in America, where the NFL, basketball and baseball dominate.

Gareth Copley/Getty Images

The best players attract the biggest television deal, and their club owners demand the huge TV fees. It's been like that in the United States for a considerable time, and more recently it has happened in the UK with TV rights.

You have to say that the clubs pay what they can afford. Of course, sometimes they pay what they cannot afford and some clubs have got themselves into a financial mess as a consequence.

But it is an open market and the players command the going rate for their talents, and should not be criticised for that.

 

Glenn Hoddle is technical director of Football 30 where 80 of the greatest legends from Chelsea, Arsenal, Spurs, West Ham taking part in Elite Legends Cup at Brisbane Road on May 18.

Paolo Di Canio, Iain Dowie, Alan Devonshire, Teddy Sheringham, Ossie Ardiles, Ricky Villa, Danny Murphy, Darren Anderton, Franco Zola, Jimmy Floyd Hasselbaink, Martin Keown, Niall Quinn, Paul Merson, Alan Smith, John Jensen, Kenny Sansom and Ian Wright are among the multitude of top stars participating.

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