I don’t think it’s down to the working class nature of football, boxers don’t get the same flack, I think it’s because clubs are very often the heart of a community.
I remember chatting to a woman I met a few years ago who wouldn’t let her kids watch football because footballers were payed an obscene amount of money. I asked her if she allowed her kids to watch Hollywood movies, of course, she said!
Wherever you stand on it... Footballers do always seem to be fair game when it comes to having a pop at the rich. Is it the working class nature of football? I've always wondered.
Where are the calls for musicians, actors, or even athletes from other well-paid sports to give up their earnings for the less fortunate? Or the bankers and CEOs who squirrel millions away into offshore accounts, taking from society and never giving back?
At least footballers bring a bit of joy and entertainment to millions of people a couple of times a week.
Yep, its a real sob story.
But in normal life, imagine if you could live comfortably on 10% of your takehome after buying your house and car. You would only have day to day expenses, holidays, etc. You take the rest of your salary and put it in one of those long term savings accounts (or whatever) that you cannot touch for 2 years. Then your salary is reduced and that 10% is no longer enough to cover your day to day. Regardless of how much actual money that is, when you try to force people to change their living circumstances you will always have push-back.
Now of course nobody earning decent money should be in that situation. It is recommended to split your savings, some in short term (easily retrieved), some in medium term (normally a wait period to retrieve) and some in long term (not normally retrievable) eg Property and pension.
On one hand it does highlight that these are just people, like all of us. On the other hand, they are fabulously wealthy and a target for those less well off who are revered when times are good and reviled when times are bad.
I don't blame the players for earning what they do, you make hay while the sun shines and we would all probably try to earn the same if circumstances were different. The clubs though are a different story and should be looking after the non mega-rich employees.
Imagine complaining that you earned enough to invest into things like property so you can't afford to lose a quid of your huge wages. The poor sods. Must be awful having to downgrade your car or house to a smaller one when something doesn't work out as planned.
There is a grey area for sure. I don't think the footballers themselves are wrong to come out and say they're an easy target because they can stand to lose a few quid a week. If players drop their wages and the club still claims back for their non-playing staff then it's utterly pointless for them to lose the money. As the PFA has said something along the lines of, the only people it ends up benefiting are those who actually pay these players, saving them a few quid rather than keeping society at large going strongly. It ends up being more of a conservative approach for people who already have bags of money, people and businesses with plenty more than individual players.
What I would like to see however is players taking their pay packet and coming together away from their own clubs and arranging something with the PFA to distribute some well-needed money to clubs who under very few circumstances would be able to afford to do anything but sack or furlough their staff. I know these are hugely unique circumstances that very few can plan for but clubs like ours, run better, could actually afford to pay our non-playing staff their full wages if we were operating on a more financially sound model than we have been. The fact we've jumped into this along with some other clubs of similar or higher standing shows the haphazard financial bullshit football operates within. What is the point of these different financial levels of society if the higher level claims just as much as the lower? How in our right minds can we accept that top-end Premier League clubs who bring in so much income every year are claiming so much of taxpayers money right now?