As I was sat preparing for an upcoming economics exam I decided to turn the TV on and have a quick glance at Sky Sports News. A reporter was covering a story on Arsene Wenger having a rant about the 50% tax on those earning over £150,000 putting off foreign players. If there is any proof needed that the football world is detached from the real world this is it.
Now, this isn’t a rant about Wenger, I happen to think he is a very good manager. This is just me pointing out that the sky-high salaries that Premiership footballers are given makes them almost oblivious to what is going on in the world around them. We are facing the worst period of economic growth since the depression, recession has hit and it has hit hard. UK unemployment is currently around 2.9 million and is expected to rise over the coming year, of course this means lots more benefits payments for our government. Add on top of that the public sector net borrowing for this year, which will be £175 billion, a grand total of 12% of our gross domestic product.
So, I’m sorry Mr Wenger but you and your players may have to face having an extra 5% taken off anything you earn over £150,00o. Let’s face it, how many players are going to feel the hit? If a player is on £40,000 a week they’ll be earning £2,080,000 a year. They’ll only be paying an extra £96,000 a year, that’s not even three weeks wages on top of their current tax. That’s half of a new car to a footballer or a lifeline to a family who’s bread earner has just been made redundant