LETTER: My view on the high wages paid to footballers

A reader discusses footballers' wages.

Conor Coady of Wolverhampton Wanderers and Marcus Rashford of Manchester United (AMA)
Conor Coady of Wolverhampton Wanderers and Marcus Rashford of Manchester United (AMA)

Mike Gough (letters 26 April) correctly places the blame for the super league fiasco on owners, while Roger Allen appears, unfortunately, to blame the workers and their “stupid” wages.

I don’t doubt Roger Allen’s decent intentions, probably based on a notion of “worthiness”. Yes, I have a point of view about the relative value to society of the work of, say, Marcus Rashford and that of the care workers who looked after my mom until her recent death, but I have no mechanism by which I could bring that valuation into use.

Mr Rashford’s wages (about £10.4 million a year, I believe) certainly seem huge to ordinary people. However, after looking that up, I also looked up Manchester United’s debt. I came across a piece online (United In Focus), the reason for United’s huge debt appears to be the leveraged buyout by the Glazer family. If Mr Rashford’s wages were stopped until that £1.5 BILLION is paid off, he would be kicking a ball as an amateur for something approaching 1,400 years – a period considerably longer than that which separates us from Alfred the Great. Mr Rashford is only paid £10.4 million because the value of his work to Manchester United is worth more to them than that sum plus the other costs of employing him.

That’s capitalism – and the wages system. A wise old Jewish gent called Karl remarked back in 1865, “To clamour for equal or even equitable retribution on the basis of the wages system is the same as to clamour for freedom on the basis of the slavery system.”

Alan T Harrison, Walsall

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