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Articles > Rant June, 16, 2015

Footballers’ Lives Represent Everything Wrong With Society

Fatma Muhammed
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Every morning when Britain opens up the newspapers, they are most likely to find the back pages smeared with fresh reports exposing, in detail, the latest ‘star’ footballer and his recent scandal. Topics ranging from behaving despicably in a night club to cheating on their current partners. Footballers seem to tick the check list one by one. Are footballers really role models? Is there an imbalance between fame and responsibility that simply does not warrant our youth to look up to them?

First of all, let us take at wages. Football – the most popular sport in the world – is a multibillion pound business. This generates a serious debate when it comes to a player’s wages. Is it fair that some footballers earn in one week what a, shall we say, normal human being with an average job would earn in ten years of work? This is if he does’nt spend any of it too! According to the BBC, Manchester United and England captain Wayne Rooney earns around £300,000 per week! This is £15,600,000 a year while this excludes all merchandise promotions and other payment he receives. This is solely based on his barbaric weekly salary!

If we take the example of a doctor, then this noble professional requires years of hard work and study; the degree itself takes 6 years which involves a countless amount of practice hours, reports, and essays. Even after graduation, a doctor in his or her foundation years will only earn around £30,000-40,000 a year according to the NHS. After the foundation years, they begin to earn a little more – sometimes up to £60,000-70,000. Doctors put in an astonishing amount of work to reach such a stage which includes unbearable hours as well as heavy stress levels, and while their profession is one of the noblest in society, their wage seems like child play in comparison to that of a professional footballer. It is simply unacceptable that a 20 year old footballer, such as Raheem Sterling, can ask Liverpool FC for more than £100,000 a week while some doctors, at the age of 50, with 20+ years of experience, receive £100,000 per year! My question to the British public is simply: is this tolerable?

Beckham's $60k a month home in Malibu, California.

Beckham’s $60k a month home in Malibu, California.

In addition, many youth look at these high figure salaries ( the majority of these footballers have not got an education past GCSE) and believe that they do not have to work hard in school because they will become footballers. While at the same time, they are not putting in the required work to become one. Thus, they lose out on this dream of theirs to become a footballer while receiving poor results in school. Where does this leave them? They look at salaries and consequently ruined their youth…just like that! Some of them, due to their inability to achieve such a goal, may even result to crime in order to receive material satisfaction! I ask you again, do we want our future aspiring to be footballers?

Another appalling point is the public actions of some of these footballers. Not so long ago, Ashley Cole – while a Chelsea player at the time – shot a work-experience student with a pellet gun! Is this someone you want your son to grow up to become? What makes it worse is that he was said to have been “just larking about”! Such frivolity behind this behaviour is simply unacceptable in our society yet will anyone do anything about it? It seems to just be brushed underneath the carpet. Being a role model is a huge honour and those in positions of influence should respect the important role they play in young people’s lives, whether they wish to accept this responsibility or not – they have no choice. Today’s youth are so engrossed in football that they tend to copy and want to become like these footballers but if these so called ‘role models’ are irresponsible and immature, how will this aid in successfully cultivating our youth?

Another famous footballer, John Terry, was found drunk, urinating in a night club! He was also found guilty of racially abusing Anton Ferdinand as well as sleeping with Wayne Bridge’s wife! This is the same John Terry who was the former captain of England! This atrocious behaviour from an individual who represented his country at the World Cup becomes known to the public, who, if they don’t see it from the newspapers, will surely see it from the various social networking sites such as Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and more.

Shocking behaviour is even disseminated onto the pitch itself where millions can view it! Let us look at the famous case of Luis Suarez who now plays for Barcelona in Spain. On three separate occasions in his career, he has been banned for biting another player! Yes, you heard that correctly. It is flabbergasting that such an action can occur on the pitch so much so that the third incident, which took place in the World Cup 2014, was viewed by FIFA as the worst incident because it happened in front of over a billion viewers! At the same time, Luis Suarez is one of the best players in the world thus his popularity comes with this cannibalism, quite frankly, which cannot be forgotten! I repeat the question to our British public again, do we want our children viewing these individuals as role models?

Moreover, their degrading behaviour is taken to the various communities! Some footballers failed drug tests and were caught indulging in illegal substances. Lionel Messi, who is largely recognised as the greatest player of all time, was charged with tax fraud. Even worse, Gavin Grant was charged for murder while Chad Evans was found guilty of rape! Are these types of behaviour tolerable? It is as if these footballers believe their fame and stardom on the pitch makes them immune to the law. The safety of the future of society is being played around with when it comes to footballers. These idiotic antics corrupt the minds of young teenagers and guile them into acting unacceptably in society! Do we really want our youth growing up to be violent, immature and irresponsible?!

Another point which is not taken as seriously as it should do regards ‘simulation’ as it is called in the rule book. But, what we simply call ‘cheating’ as sugar coating these actions is how we have gotten to where we are. Many players such as Ashley Young, Cesc Fabregas, Sergio Busquests, Neymar, and most notoriously, Cristiano Ronaldo have utilised diving – cheating – as a means of winning a game. This action usually brings about positive results as they are awarded with a free kick or a penalty – a match changing situation. The opposing player, who didn’t even touch the cheater, is cautioned. What message does this send to our youth? They look at diving and see the successes of such and believe that this is the way to conduct themselves on the pitch! They take cheating as a source of success and thus sportsmanship is thrown out of the window. Are they to blame? No. Why? Because they see professional footballers do it and achieve success via it. This selfish and absurd behaviour is portrayed to our youth every single week. When will it stop? Do we ban our children from watching football games on TV or do footballers have to take more responsibility for their actions and understand that millions of young boys are watching them as they play? Which one do you think is the reasonable solution? It is a no brainer.

Overall, I am sure that you will agree with me that footballers are not who we want to be calling role models. Do we really want to be telling our children to grow up to become footballers? No, we don’t. Some footballers – especially the famous ones – portray a horrendous image to the public and they are brainwashing the youth to think and act like them. Fair enough, football is a fun sport to play and watch, however, being obsessed with the players and wanting to be similar to them is unbearable. We should be telling our children to grow up to become doctors, educators or any other noble profession. As for football – a profession that requires a huge amount of luck to get into – then no, coupled with the fact that many famous footballers are poor role models while others are convicted criminals ranging from racial abuse to rape and murder!

The extravagant lifestyle and reckless behaviour of footballers – is it justifiable? Do we want our future aspiring to be such?

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  1. Kira Jarvis

    this is true, they get paid too much money anyway and do not show respect or guidance to others and encourage bad behavior to occur to the younger generation.

  2. Farah Naz

    It’s still not easy to become a footballer many work hard and do hours of training just to play football just like a person wants to become a doctor with all the essays and hard work however becoming a doctor is more difficult. I do agree with what you’re saying about doctors that they don’t get enough credit with all the work they do. I think that doctor’s should get a fair amount of money for saving many people’s lives and I actually think that they should get a similar amount as footballers. I myself am a football fan and I idolise a certain footballer Mesut Ozil who isn’t the best but isn’t bad he has done certain things like cheating but he is mostly known for the good he does like pray before a game. I find it ridiculous how certain players like Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo get like over 500k a week it’s just pathetic. Just imagine if some of the money from football matches went to charities like UNICEF and etc it definitely would make a huge impact and will help people who need the money. You often also hear some players who give money to charity but it’s hardly ever for example I think Ronaldo is great because he donates a lot of money to charity like he’s helped people in Palestine and has donated a lot of money to charities. Sometimes some players have charity matches which raise a huge amount of money and this is actually a positive of football because huge players host these matches for example David Beckham and Steven Gerrard so lots would pay to watch it. I do find it so stupid how a player like Wayne Rooney still gets around 300k a week he definitely doesn’t deserve it because he doesn’t play as good so he shouldn’t be getting anything around that much. Lastly I think football is one of the best sport and can have a huge impact on someone’s life this being the footballer or people who watch it but some people become brainwashed and would forget about school and work because all they have on their mind is them becoming a footballer this is like my cousin. But football can help people positively too like for example I was often really upset and it felt like my life was so boring until I started supporting Arsenal, they changed the way I feel because every time I watch them they make me happy and make me believe that I can achieve anything!

  3. Marie-gabrielle Williams

    I think…in my opinion i do respect a number of footballers, for the hard work they put in, over the years, because to become successful you have to dedicate much of your childhood to it… many of the last generation and a few today are self-made footballers who have gone through hardships to get where they are… But i do find it shocking that doctors who are living to save people and doing visible good to society are paid a fraction of the price… its all the media today that gives the footballers their astronomical salaries… similarly, i find it disgusting that footballers get paid so much money compared to ballet dancers who work equaly or even harder to get to their level… its al relative i guess

  4. Marie-gabrielle Williams

    in my opinion i do respect a number of footballers, for the hard work they put in, over the years, because to become successful you have to dedicate much of your childhood to it… many of the last generation and a few today are self-made footballers who have gone through hardships to get where they are… But i do find it shocking that doctors who are living to save people and doing visible good to society are paid a fraction of the price… its all the media today that gives the footballers their astronomical salaries… similarly, i find it disgusting that footballers get paid so much money compared to ballet dancers who work equaly or even harder to get to their level… its al relative i guess

  5. Amit Ghosh

    These guys do not become professional footballers over night. From the age of 13, they enroll at academies that train them to their limits without guaranties of a career. They train from morning tI’ll dusk homing their skills. Those who do not make first teams end up sometimes playing for smaller clubs where the salary is not as fancy as you have quoted. The players that do make it become positive role models to many children by showing that hard work let’s you live your dream. And it is unfair that you compare salaries between pro footballers and other professions. Their salaries are privately funded and paid for by the club’s (Game Tickets and TV broadcasting rights). Yes some do make mistakes and other’s take part in horrendous behaviour but couldn’t that be anyone and not just a footballer.

    In regards to your comment on failed drug tests, it is a very small number of players.

  6. Divya Vinothakumar

    I agree with this completely. People have many different talents, but because these peoples talents happen to be football, they get paid unbelievable amounts

  7. Ruairi Gallen

    You do realise that footballers also go through years of hard work? All of the top level players have been training their whole lives, some players have even been forced to leave their homes at such a young age in order to make it as a footballer. Footballers also send alot of money back to their families in order to support them financially, and footballers such as Christiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi use money from their own pockets to support charities and pay for the treatment of many children. Take the example of the German National Team who renovated the area that they stayed in while in Brazil for the World Cup. Mesut Ozil sold his World Cup winners medal to charity to build an orphanage. Didier Drogba is possibly one of the best footballing rolemodels a person could be. The man has built hospitals and schools in his hometown, and has made huge strides in reuniting the waring factions in the Ivory Coast. Many footballers use their wages for a good cause and you have completely tarnished all footballers with the one brush with this article. Yes i do know that there have been huge incidents regarding racism and rape and these can not be defeded at all however I will say one thing ad that is that footballers have so much mediaa specualation so of course their actios will be highlighted more by the press.

  8. Ross Carson

    Interesting article, you know in the UBA and NFL starting salaries for rookies is very similar if not higher.

  9. lucy mbenza

    I totally agree with this, footballers earn wayy too much and all they’re supposedly doing is kicking a ball into the back of a net! the example of a doctor earning less than a footballer is also another incredible example, doctors save lives.. footballers entertain..

  10. Maro Haddeh

    I totally agree. #totes. sexayyyyyy

  11. Michael Johnson

    Yes but the point is the government pay Doctors or other professionals wages. Where footballers are paid by private businesses

  12. Emma Davison

    I completely agree with the arguments presented in this article. However, to generalise all behaviour of footballers to be outrageous is not necessarily true. One example may be Didier Drogba who grew up in a very impoverished community in the Ivory Coast- he has pursued an outstandingly successful career in football and been able to fund the construction of a hospital there. Surely this would suggest, although in a minority, that some footballers can inspire the younger generation who are doomed of a life without education and poverty, to achieve their dreams.