Football - Premier League

Footballers' pay 'up 1508% since 1992'

Footballers' pay has risen nearly 10 times faster than that of normal people, according to a new report.

 
Players' pay up 1508% - Football - Premier LeagueReuters
 

The High Pay Centre's study shows that players' wages have increased by 1,508 per cent since the birth of the Premier League in 1992, compared to a rise of just 186 per cent among the general population.

And that's not all: the price of the cheapest seats at top flight matches has risen by 1,000 per cent since 1989. A ticket to watch Arsenal during their famous title-winning season in 1989 cost as little as £5 compared to £51 now, while their arch-rivals at the time Liverpool have seen the cheap seats rise from £4 to £45.

Average wages in Britain have fallen in real terms over the past three years, with the effect of the recession seeing many people's pay frozen while soaring oil and housing costs have seen a reduction in living standards.

But footballers have suffered no such hardship - and fans are feeling the pinch while simultaneously subsidising their heroes' enormous pay packets, which now account for almost 80 per cent of club expenditure compared to less than 50 per cent 15 years ago.

The report's author, Dave Boyle, argues that the game's finances have been allowed to spiral out of control.

"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," he said.

Nick Isles, chairman of the High Pay Centre, agrees.

"It may now be time to put the brakes on this dramatic escalation in pay at the top," he said, likening the high wages paid to footballers to that of bankers and CEOs.

"For both the pay is extremely high, excessively complex and in many cases, secret.

"In football as in business, the money could be better invested in training and infrastructure, rather than unsustainable salary increases."

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