Are footballers really worth 12 times more than nurses?

September 21, 2010


-Rachel Mason is public relations manager at Fair Investment Company. The opinions expressed are her own.-

A recent survey revealed that the public believe footballers are the most valuable members of society. Now that is one of the most depressing things I have heard in a long time.

The ComRes survey, which was commissioned by the BBC, asked 1,000 members of the public what they thought 15 professions should get paid.

And although the public believe that footballers should get a lot less than they do – the average is £1.7 million and the public suggested £365,000 as an appropriate salary level – it is still a whopping 12 times more than those surveyed believe a nurse is worth (£29,000).

The public also believe that footballers are more valuable than the bosses of Britain’s top 100 companies. Currently, CEOs are paid £2.1million on average, but the public think they should get around £118,000 a year – less than half of the salary deemed fitting for kicking a ball around.

I’m sorry, but what is going on here? I would give anything to play sport for a living – it is literally a dream job – and then to get paid ludicrous sums of money to do so is just unbelievably lucky, but these footballers don’t even seem to appreciate what they’ve got. As a society we moan about them all the time – their attitudes, their questionable morals, the way they flaunt their hideously extravagant lifestyles – but apparently, we still think they should get paid more than any other profession! Crazy!

Let’s face it. The world could do without footballers. Okay, Heat magazine would have less to write about and the BBC would have to start showing some actual TV on Saturdays instead of the joke that is ‘Final Score’. Come on people, a TV show where we talk about games we can’t even watch, while there are tons of sport that the BBC could get the rights to going on all over the country, unwatched? Please.

But could we do without nurses? No. Could we do without the Prime Minister? No matter what you may think of him personally, no, of course not. What about head teachers? Clearly not. But apparently the public think they are only worth £43,000 a year. Luckily they actually get paid £76,000, which is still not enough if you think about it, otherwise there wouldn’t be such a shortage.

Sadly though, this is the society we live in. Celebrity is everything and therefore, gets rewarded accordingly. Someone who came last in Big Brother 25 could earn more in one year than a care worker could earn in a lifetime, and there is something seriously wrong about that.

As John Caudwell, entrepreneur and founder of Phones4U told the Radio 4 programme: “I think it’s a bit of an indictment of the British public that they think footballers should be the best paid of all members of society.”

I couldn’t agree more.

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