Top Footballers See Pay Rise By 1500%
Top footballers have seen their pay rise by 1,500% over the past 50 years, while average UK wages have increased by just 186%, a new study has found.
Players' wages now account for up to 70% of a club's turnover, compared with 48% in 1997, the High Pay Centre says.
And it is the fans who are paying for the "excessive" wages, the report finds, with the cheapest tickets for top games having increased by more than 1,000% since 1989.
Then, you could have watched Liverpool for £4. Now, it costs £45. At Arsenal, prices have risen from £5 to £51, the research found.
The centre is now calling for a national debate on what is fair pay.
Report author Dave Boyle said: "Over the last 30 years we have seen massive increases in players' salaries. Accompanying this we have witnessed many fans priced out of the market, levels of debt that would be unsustainable in any other business and a national team that is continually out-performed by teams from much poorer football countries."
English football clubs accounted for 56% of all debt in top flight clubs across Europe, while over half of English league clubs have been insolvent in the past 20 years, according to the study.
Nick Isles, chairman of the High Pay Centre, said: "Bankers and company executives frequently make the comparison between their own pay and that of professional footballers.
"In football, as in business, the money could be better invested in training and infrastructure, rather than unsustainable salary increases.
"It may now be time to put the brakes on this dramatic escalation in pay at the top. We are calling for a national debate on what is fair pay for those at the top of our companies, banks and football leagues."