If you’re a fan of soccer, you’ve probably noticed that the top players earn a crazy amount of money. With contracts that go well into the millions, it’s no surprise that some people are calling for a cap on wages. So, why do soccer players earn so much? This guide explains all of the reasons.
Soccer is the most popular sport in the world
Firstly, soccer is the most popular sport in the world. To an American, that might seem like a crazy fact. But in the rest of the world, soccer is hugely popular. It’s played in just about every country and has a worldwide fanbase that goes well into the billions. So, when you think about it, it kind of makes sense that soccer players earn so much money. They are at the top of a global industry. That’s why so many young American players sign up to programs like Soccer-to-Football.com to get the chance to train in Europe.
Supply and demand
Soccer is a business. The top clubs need to have success if they want to keep making money. That means they need the best players. And no club is going to give a top player away for free. The price of soccer players is down to supply and demand. If there were thousands of soccer players as good as Cristiano Ronaldo, he wouldn’t cost as much, and he wouldn’t earn as much.
Constant bidding wars
The wages of soccer players have been going up for years, much faster than inflation. The reason for this is because of a bidding war culture. If one club is prepared to pay a player seven million a year, the next one might come in and offer eight million. Over time, this drives wages up to ridiculous numbers that are pretty hard to fathom.
On top of their standard wages, soccer players can get brand sponsorships as well. This is where a brand will pay the player to do advertisements, wear certain clothes, and drink certain drinks. These sponsorships can go well into the millions, which means that soccer players can make a huge amount of money at a young age. However, brand sponsorships aren’t available to all players – you have to be the best of the best to secure one.
Inflation through time
Of course, the top soccer players have always made good money. For example, George Best, the Manchester United player, was the first player to get paid £1000 a week in 1968. In today’s money, that’s over £15,000 a week now. Not quite the same as the top-level football players get paid now but still a very healthy salary. Inflation means that modern-day players are the best-paid soccer players in history.
Soccer players are celebrities now. Sure, the big players of the 1960s were recognized in their local towns, but that doesn’t compare to the level of fame that top-level soccer players have now. Due to the celebrity culture surrounding soccer, money is always going to follow. Brands want to be associated with them, soccer teams want them to play for them, and soccer fans want to interact with them.