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A 99% pay cut for John Terry.

That, judging from a yougov poll for the Fabians, is what the British public would like to inflict on the Chelsea player, reckoned to be the top division's highest earner. He currently trousers around £135,000 a week, while the poll suggests that top players should make no more than £62,000 a year. So, he would be in line for something like a 99% pay cut. And it is not just a handful of players making a good living. Last year The Independent calculated that the average income in the top division is £676,000 PA.

Having spent a fruitless 15 minutes playing hunt the quote, I will have to rely on this half remembered effort of mine from last year:

"I forget whether it was Friedman or Hayek who observed that while there is plenty of envy directed at wealthy businessmen, there is very little for pop stars, bullfighters and so forth. Or, in our times, lottery winners. Perhaps following the 'logic' of these merry little class warriors, there should be a cap on salaries for footballers, Warner Brothers should restrict the number of Madonna CDs it presses and Tom Cruise should only be allowed to make a film every five years for fear that 'hard working families and ordinary people' might take offence".

Whether I judge Terry's contribution to Chelsea's success is worth the bagatelle of £7m a year is utterly irrelevant. His employers clearly do, and as with any employment contract, no employer will pay anyone more than the value that they create for the employer. Should that urge for a deadly procrustean equality held by some of my fellow countrymen and women ever kick in, the following will happen:

The likes of Terry will sell their services to higher bidders outside this country or retire, the standards of the English game will fall and English teams will get slaughtered in the Champions League and the like. Gate receipts will fall, English TV rights will sell for less while UK rights for Spanish, French, US etc games or wherever our top talent are playing will rise. Meanwhile, the Exchequer will lose the money they take from the players, less money will circulate in the economy and things will be altogether worse....

Still, it is not all bad, the public want to cut Broon's salary by about 28%.

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Blogger Old BE said... 3:34 pm

I was going to do a bit on this but yours is better than mine would have been. The politics of envy is in full flourish in this land - no sooner does a successful industry start making serious wedges of cash and exporting huge amounts of "product" do people start feeling green.

Everyone else sells their labour to employers for the highest possible amount, why shouldn't footballers and actors do the same?  

Blogger Croydonian said... 8:36 am

Ed - go on, give it a go. There's more than enough idiocy around for us all to have a crack at it.  

Blogger Ross said... 5:38 pm

Quite why the Fabians want to ensure that Roman Abramovich has even more money is a bit of a mystery to me.  

Anonymous Anonymous said... 4:26 pm

Even Marx knew that the market sets wages.  

Blogger Man in a Shed said... 5:46 pm

I'd like to cut Broon's salary by 100% ;-)  

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