Money can be a very serious subjectbut it can also border on the ridiculous, especially when it features on the back pages.
I’ve seen a few examples of that recently since the European football leagues opened their transfer window because ever since the 1st of July, player transfers, salary offers and pay demands have been sports page news.
The big story so far has been Romelu Lukaku’s £75million move from Everton to Manchester United.
That is a staggering amount of money, but professional football has become big business and Man Utd.can probably afford the fee since they are the richest club in the world.
Evidently, management also believeit will make good business sense to pay the 24-year-old striker £250,000.00 a week – that’s P3.3million – for him to play a game most of us would play for free.
That may turn out to be the case. The club makes money from TV rights, ticket sales, sponsorship and mechanise sales, so if Lukaku performs well, he will help bring in cash in all those areas.
The ridiculous part to this story is that when Lukaku was at Everton, he earned P1.1million every week but stillfelt he was underpaid.
Unfortunately, the Belgian international is not the only millionaire player to feel that way.
Alexis Sanchez and Mesut Ozil, for example, are demanding about P4million per week to sign new contracts at Arsenal.
Currently they are taking home P2million a week – every week – or P104million a year.
I think that is extremely inconsiderate to most of their supporters.
Manchester United, Arsenal and many of the other big teams turn a profit and can afford to pay massive salaries so long as they can pass that cost on to corporations and wealthy supporters who are willing to fork out big bucks for tickets… but where does that leave all the low to middle income supporters?
Usually it leaves them outside the stadium, and while some still treat themselves to a few games a year, few can afford to bring their kids, and I think that’s a shame.
The main reason I’ve decided to write about this, though, is because I’m worried about one of the messages these stories might be sending to those kids… and to anyone else who follows the professional game.
That message being that we should always look out for number one and try to get the most we can for ourselves out of every situation… even when we already have far more than we need.
But if these guys aren’t happy earning P1.1million a week to play football what makes them think they will be happy with P4million a week? Sure, it is a good idea to save for the future and take care of the family, but they could do that with what they earn in a single day.
That’s P160,000on Lukaku’s former salary; P450,000 on his new one.
So,maybe there is another message we could take from these tales.
Perhaps the secret to happiness doesn’t involve seeking more; perhaps it has more to do with being able to see when we have enough,and being happy with what we have.