There is too much money in sports.
For many people around the world these are difficult times, many have lost their jobs, and others are fretting about losing them. Every day we see more companies go bankrupt and the whole world seems to be waiting for the crisis to end. Everyone in the world, except the sports industry, who are still wasting vast amounts of money on salaries, TV deals, agents, and advertisements. The world of sports is too influenced by money, and by means of reducing or even removing advertisements, decreasing the salaries of professional players, and lowering the price of tickets we can improve the spirit of competition, make sports more available to everyone, with the money saved improve the lives of people who are not as well off as the people in the western world.
Sportsmen and women are people with talent that stretches far above a normal human's ability, and for this they should naturally be rewarded. However, as much as the world's economy sways the salaries of professionals only seem to be increasing. In 2008 the highest paid athlete David Beckham earned more than 48 million (Freedman) in the 1970s when TV was not as influential to sport as it now is Pete Rose was able to negotiate a million per year contract (Gilis) This clearly shows that the salaries have boomed incredibly over a short period. The average gross income for a citizen of the USA in 2005 was forty two thousand US dollars(United States Average Salaries and Income). Do athletes need forty million to survive? The amounts of money that go into the player's salary are not motivating them to strive for perfection. It only seems that more and more are doing it for the money in it, and this, ruins the healthy spirit of competition that makes sport so interesting to watch, and most importantly to play. Above all the most ridiculous amounts of money are wasted on player transfers; can anyone really be worth over a hundred million? This trend is not confined to only the players and the teams, the agents for those players have also gotten major salary changes, “Mills estimates there were 50 or fewer agents when he started in 1967. He made $3,900 on his deal for Owens. Today there are about 1,000 agents certified by the NFL Players Association. Agents now are allowed to charge 3 percent. “A player gets a $10 million bonus, there's $300,000 for the agent,” he says.” (Looney) This is definitely a good indicator of where a countries interests lie; in most countries professional athletes earn more than triple the amount of a high ranking police officer, doctor, or teacher. Suppose instead of this high average pay people started paying athletes a much lower salary per year, let's say 200,000 $, and then reward them for good performances. This would really separate a good athlete from a bad athlete and on top of that would make more athletes really put in that extra effort knowing they will be rewarded.
Fans are part of sports no matter how you look at it; they cheer, shout, sing, and show the immense passion that they feel for their team, they are the essence of sport. Unfortunately though they are becoming more restricted in their support because of the prices of tickets, the united kingdom's national football stadium cost a whopping 1.5 billion pounds (Egan) and in order to counter these huge expenses ticket prices are raised. However it doesn't seem fair that the hardcore supporters of those teams are not allowed to come to the matches because they cannot afford tickets. A true supporter will not mind standing in the rain for hours on end to watch a sports game on a muddy public pitch, because they do not care for the air-conditioned VIP boxes, a place they will probably never go to in their entire lives. Isn't that what sports are all about, the raw passion and talent, not the rich posh businessmen impressing future clients who do not care for the game at all?
If one takes a moment to look at a professional football/soccer stadium, s/he would see a green piece of grass, seats, and advertisements, lots and lots of advertisements. It seems that there is no place that companies can't get their names on. They are plastered on player's shirts, all around the stadium, they even have them on the camera and security staff. Above all the most money is spent on TV advertisements, General Motors spent 578 million dollars on TV advertisements during sports games (Thomas). Is this necessary? There seem to be fewer and fewer athletes who do it just for the joy of playing, or simply to please their fans. If we can remove all the sponsors and advertisements in the sports industry, then sure there won't be the magnificent stadiums and million dollar TV contracts, there will be pure, focused, talent focused environment. Moreover, with the removal of advertisements player salaries will probably get a drop which will lead to more players that are focused on going down in the record books not for million dollar contracts but because of their achievements.
Poverty is a huge world issue at the moment, many people are working hard voluntarily to help improve the standards of living in third world countries. If all the above measures are taken, there will be a huge sum of money left to spend. What better to spend it on than improving other less fortunate people's lives. Oxfam a leading charity in the world spent 46 million dollars in 2008 (Charity Review Oxfam), that's almost the same as David Beckhams salary! If we cut all players salaries we would have billions of dollars to spend on emergency relief and long term charity projects. After all what seems a morally better way to spend money, giving it to the poor or giving the already rich athletes even more money?
To conclude, sports have become too much about the money and less emphasis is put on player talent. Taking the above steps will ensure that sport stays competitive is available to all and is more pleasant to watch. On top of that the money that will be saved will go to charities that will improve the lives of others, although the economy of the rich countries will take a blow it might be restores when the LEDCs are improved by the charity and become more open to trade increasing economies globally. If all is performed this way, there aren't many downsides.
Phil, Carman “Don't be greedy; Such a thing as too much money.” Advertiser, The (Adelaide)(n.d.):Newspaper Source. EBSCO. Web. 1 Dec. 2009.
Looney, Douglas S. “Money makes world go 'round (in sports, too).” Christian Science Monitor15 Dec. 2000: 12.Newspaper Source. EBSCO. Web. 1 Dec. 2009.
“EDITORIAL: Money game: There seems to be no end to the commercialization of big-money professional sports.” Journal-World (Lawrence, KS)26 July 2007:Newspaper Source. EBSCO. Web. 1 Dec. 2009.
Selvig, David “It really is all about the loot: Commercialization of sports has become as American as apple pie over the last two decades. Nothing we can do about that now, obviously.” Jamestown Sun, The (ND)05 June 2009:Newspaper Source. EBSCO. Web. 1 Dec. 2009.
Gilis, Charles. “American History 1970-1979.” Lonestar College. Lonestar College Kingwood, Aug. 2009. Web. 1 Dec. 2009. <http://kclibrary.lonestar.edu/decade70.html>.
“United States Average Salaries and Income.” International Average Salary Income Comparison. N.p., 2007. Web. 1 Dec. 2009. <http://www.worldsalaries.org/>.
Freedman, Jonah. “A crash-course in foreign-exchange rates.” Sports Illustrated 2008: n. pag. Web. 1 Dec. 2009. <http://sportsillustrated.cnn.com/more/specials/fortunate50/index.20.html>.
Thomas, Katie. “As the Economy Worsens, Is There Money for Play?” New York Times. New York Times, 15 Nov. 2008. Web. 1 Dec. 2009. <http://www.nytimes.com/2008/11/16/sports/16sponsor.html>.
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Egan, Andrew. “World's Most Expensive Stadiums.” Forbes. Forbes, 6 Aug. 2008. Web. 1 Dec. 2009. <http://www.forbes.com/2008/08/06/ expensive-stadiums-worldwide-forbeslife-cx_ae_0806sports.html>.