Are our REAL sporting legends getting paid what they deserve?

You might have heard in recent sporting news that the Brazilian, Barcelona football player, Neymar recently got signed to transfer to PSG for a £198 million deal. Yes, £198 million. The guy is earning £3,200 an hour. Madness.

I don't know too much about football or any other sport for that matter apart from athletics. However, I have a clear understand that footballers are earning way too much money. You could argue that football is the sport that 'dominates' the world and that is clear, but £198 million is a lot of money. We have Olympians globally struggling to get any sort of funding or sponsorship and it really doesn't make sense.

Maybe the problem lies at the beginning. From my own experience at school, football and rugby were the sports that teachers would push us to do. Athletics was almost unheard of. This creates an ongoing problem as without new top quality athletes coming through the generations, athletics as a sport will risk having the funding opportunities it needs to essentially survive. The less British athletes we have excelling in the sport, the less people will want to watch the sport on TV as well buy tickets to attend competitions such as the British Championships.

As an athlete myself, it angers me that I never properly got the chance to do the sport that I wanted to in school. I'm sure that athletes across the country would agree that we don't get the recognition for our national/international achievements from teachers and other students.

Usain Bolt gets paid around £1.7m purely from race wins and £23.2m from endorsements. Does he need all of that money? Possible not. But let's not forget that Bolt is the world record holder over the 100m and 200m. A legend, the fastest man of all time is getting paid nothing compared to the top paid football players.

Going back to football, we also have the women's England team qualifying for the European 2017 championships which is astounding. However, I'm certain that they won't be getting the money that that they perhaps deserve for it. We hear about everyone wanting women to achieve in football (and many other mainstream sports) but without the funding, there's only so much that they can do.

We need to recognise that there is a problem with funding across many sports globally. So many sporting legends are missing out on opportunities that they shouldn't have to miss out on. I'm assured that Neymar is an amazing football player but maybe managers need to reconsider how much money a player is really worth. £3,200 an hour is something that I struggle to comprehend.

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Author: Tré X Thomas

17 | Athlete | Student

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