Being a footballer is one of the highest paid jobs in the world with the big stars earning hundreds of thousands of pounds a week with bonuses in the millions. But this has not always been the way, here we take a look at how the wages of football players have sky rocketed.
The biggest wage earner in the world is Argentian superstar Lionel Messi who many people consider the best player in the world. Lionel Messi salary is a colossal 64 million pounds a year this is around 1.2 million a week, this is not including sponsorship and endorsements which is another estimated 20 million pounds a year.
The highest paid player in the English premiership is Paul Pogba who plays for Man United who earns an estimated 19 million pounds a year (£365,000 a week)
Until the end of the Fifties, English players maximum salary was £20 a week, adjusting for inflation that is around £280, this shows how much the wages have increased in today`s modern game. During the 1960`s we saw footballer`s status move from sportsmen to that of celebrities, with showbiz footballers such as George Best getting featured on the front page of newspapers as well as the back page and it was George Best who was the first big earner when who was given a salary of £1,000 a week in 1968 this is equivalent to around £16,000 a week in today’s money. In 1969 Manchester United was home to many of the footballing greats these included George Best, Bobby Charlton and Denis Law, the yearly salary for these stars of time was £204,028, this is around £3,5000,000 in today’s money. Manchester United`s current wage bill is around £203 million pounds, this is an increase of 58 times the wage bill of the late sixties.
Over the years there have been a number of landmark player transfers that have pushed prices up as the various different teams compete for glory, below we look at some of the more important ones in the history of football.
1901 - £4 a week wage limit is introduced
1905 - First £1,000 transfer Alf Common moves to Sunderland from Middlesbrough
1922 - Maximum weekly wage increases to £8
1928 - First £10,000 transfer, David Jack moves from Bolton to Arsenal
1961 - Maximum wage gets abolished, Jimmy Haynes gets £100 a week salary (£2,000 adjusted for inflation)
1962 - First transfer over £100,000, Denis Law moves to Manchester United from Torino for £110,000 (£2.2 million adjusted for inflation)
1968 - George Best gets first £1,000 week salary (£16,000 adjusted for inflation)
1978 - Trevor Francis is first million pound player signed by Nottingham Forest from Birmingham City (adjusted for inflation £5,5000,000)
1981 - Bryan Robson breaks the British transfer record when Manchester United paid £1.5million for his move to them from West Bromwich Albion
1984 - Average wages for a player in the top English division was £25,000 a year (adjusted for inflation £76,000)
1988 - Paul Gascoigne first £2,000,000 transfer from Newcastle United to Tottenham (adjusted for inflation £5,000,000) 1992 - John Barnes first £10,000 week salary (£19,500 adjusted for inflation)
1995 - Bosman ruling allowing players to move free when they reach the end of the contract, this gives the players much more power when negotiating contracts.
1996 - Newcastle break transfer record when buying Alan Shearer from Blackburn for £15,000,000 1999 - Roy Keane first £50,000 a week salary (£82,000 adjusted for inflation)
2001 - Sol Campbell first £100,000 a week salary (£158,000 adjusted for inflation)
2008 - Average wages for players in the premiership was £1.76 million (£2.25 million adjusted for inflation)
2009 - Carlos Tevez first £200,000 a week salary (£255,000 adjusted for inflation)
2017 - Neymar sold for £200,000,000 to PSG from Barcelona, Neymar wages around £27,000,000 a year