Top people’s pay – the case of Mr Neymar

The Qatari owners of Paris St Germain think footballer Mr Neymar is worth £775,000 a week, according to media reports. They also think it worth paying a lump sum transfer fee of £198 m to secure his services for five years.

I suppose they might be right. He would need to stay at the top of his game and help his new club to win major trophies. He has already bought PSG a lot of publicity. Maybe more tickets will be sold at higher prices now for their games, and in due course maybe the value of their games to the media will go up. Or maybe this is not about making a profit, but is about making a statement. There is a long tradition of rich people and institutions spending large sums on football clubs and footballers. It can just be a way of recycling some of the money they have made from more successful ventures.

The downside of the spending are obvious. If Mr Neymar was injured, or if his form fell away, it will prove an expensive problem for the club. Top performance requires extraordinary levels of commitment, concentration, practise, fitness. Sustaining these for six years when you are paid so much anyway must require huge self discipline. Being a top sporting performer requires a person to regulate the whole of the rest of their lives. Too little sleep, too much alcohol, wrong diet, too many emotional distractions could throw the peak condition needed to perform well.

I raise all this not because I am concerned about the financial health and sporting performance of PSG but because it is an extreme case in the debate we are having about high pay. Some argue that it is never justified to pay individuals so many times the Minimum wage of those who help sustain their activities. What do the cleaners, caterers and security personnel at football grounds where Mr Neymar plays think of the differentials? Clearly Mr Neymar does not need that much money to live to a very high standard of comfort. He can also earn huge sums in addition to his wages through sponsorship deals and activities based on his fame.

Others argue that sporting or cultural stars are different to senior executives in large companies who negotiate large pay packets. It is true that sporting stars do have to perform to get their large money, whereas some business executives get large salaries or guaranteed bonuses without needing to perform in an exceptional way. In some ways sports people are more like entrepreneurs, who can earn huge sums by selling what the public wants at a price the public can afford and is willing to pay. All the time people pay their sporting tv subscriptions and the ticket prices, the stars can claim they are “worth it”.

Yesterday’s news that FTSE top pay had fallen does reflect the feeling of many that the pay of corporate executives in large quoted companies needs to be more strongly policed by shareholders, taking more interest in ensuring performance is required to justify multi million sums. That is something which shareholders need to do in a free society, on a case by case basis.


  1. Lifelogic
    August 4, 2017

    The difference between footballer and business people (which most seem to fail to grasp) is that you cannot replace a footballer with two men say 95% as good or three men 90% as good. In business you usefully can. You can only have 11 people on the pitch so want the very best. If the player is worth that figure in the market so be it. Either they pay him less (and the club gets the difference) or they pay him more and the player does. The government gets a big cut in tax anyway – rather too big a cut, which they nearly always spend very badly indeed.

    Also in business you get many hugely over paid people driving their businesses into the ground in the Fred Goodwin style. Real talent seem harder to judge in business, you can do things that may look superficially good short term but do huge harm in the long to medium term. The sharehold control mechanisms over pay and senior staff are weak and work poorly, They need improving significantly.

    In general individuals and businesses invest and spend their own money so much better than the state will. So it is nearly always better that they keep the money rather than the state. The state will almost certainly waste it on all sorts of idiocies, many positively harmful like the ERM disaster or the climate alarmist religion or the subsidies for “renewables”. Or they will use it to try to buy votes or keep rent seekers happy.

    1. Lifelogic
      August 4, 2017

      Talking about football what does T May think of the gender pay gap between the highest paid men or women footballers perhaps a 10,000/1 ratio or similar. Does she think it is just the market, supply and demand. This as so few seem to want to watch women’s football (and certainly do not want to pay to do so). Or, given her usual lefty, chip on the shoulder, irational approach to almost everything else does she think the government and the courts must intervene! Perhaps with some government brain washing to make people desire to watch women’s football.

      I quite like watching it as it happens. But it does slightly remind me of captaining of my primary school football team.

      The other thing that is funny about it is how desperate to be positive the femail commentators are, even when a player make a complete and utter fist of something.

      Rather a contrast to the people commenting on a men’s game, where they would be the first to say what a dreadfull shot/control/header/pass/mistake/or missed open goal or tackle it was.

      1. Hope
        August 5, 2017

        Brainwashing, the BBC shows women’s football. How stupid. How often does the BBC show football of a similar standard of men for non league clubs?

        Women’s tennis is anything but equal. They demand the same pay but provide a reduced standard. People want to watch the best. If BBC or anyone wants equality in sport make women compete with men and let us see how many get through to the last stages. Moreover it would prove overwhelmingly why women should not be in front line military duties. If we went to war we would want to win with the fittest and strongest, no unfair equality clap trap. The same being save in a fire. May’s equality view is fanciful unfair garbage.

  2. Mark B
    August 4, 2017

    Good morning.

    This is a private matter between two sets of private individuals (buyer and seller) involving private money. It is therefore none of our business.

    But let us look at what public individuals spend public money on.

    Let us take the case of an MP and Secretary of State who, in his time in office, negotiated one of the most expensive public contracts to build a power station, which, when finished will provide the public the most expensive energy they will have to pay. The Minister was charged, whilst in public office to look after the public purse and ensure that the public get a fair deal.

    It does not affect me what someone pays Mr.Nymar. It will affect me what some little swine has signed us up to ! And the sums for Mr.Nymar are small by comparison. And he was bought and paid for with the proceeds of fossil fuel. How ironic.

  3. alan jutson
    August 4, 2017

    Afraid sport is now very big business where if you own a club, you can often make a small fortune, problem is usually you have to start off with a larger one in the first place.

    Sky sport and its subscription model has changed all of the original basic rules, with its huge payments to Clubs.
    Likewise player sponsorship has given the opportunity for even good (not exceptional) players to earn a spectacular living.

    Will it continue, only if supporters are prepared to pay the ever increasing entry fees, subscriptions, and sponsors product prices.

    The owners of Clubs have to also calculate the value of vanity against cost.

    It could all end in tears for many !

  4. alan jutson
    August 4, 2017

    Is it a co-incidence that since we have had Lottery Funding for certain sports, our medal Count in International competition has increased dramatically in those sports.

    Proper funding means sportsmen and women can concentrate on training for peak performance, on a full time basis with the support of professional trainers, good facilities, extensive medical, dietry support and sports scientists to maximise personal performance.

    Its similar within industry, a properly funded and well equipped Company which supports new product development, invests in up to date equipment, has ongoing training and good working conditions for its staff, tends to continue to outgrow those who do not invest in such a manner.
    It should also go without saying that you also need a good management and communication structure in place so that all effort is in the direction planned.

    Perhaps the Government and its various departments and organisations should be reminded of this very simple fact.
    If people pull (or are allowed to pull) in different directions, then the end result will always be poor due to its own internal chaos.

  5. eeyore
    August 4, 2017

    Footballers are entertainers. They take a little from each of a lot of people and that adds up to a lot. Business leaders may get a lot too, on the premise that they add a lot of value to the companies they lead. In neither case is public money spent. Private organisations can do what they please with their own.

    Huge salaries are often described as “obscene”. They’re not obscene to me. I love to see people do well – it gives hope to us all. What’s truly obscene is poverty, and the obscenest of all is when a cynical, lazy state bribes people with handouts they can’t resist to stay poor, resentful and unhappy all the days of their life.

    1. Hope
      August 4, 2017

      People should be able to earn what they like or the company likes. Tax should be at a bare minimum. Neymar is irrelevant because commercial world applies.

      However, public sector pay is different and cannot be equated to be the same. BBC, Local authorities, MP and the like are grossly overpaid comparing with other public sector employees. MP should not police themselves for pay, rewards, or discipline. The farce following 2009 is despicable. Once again, the lack of integrity with MPs is unacceptable. It needs oversight and control by members of the public without any connection to politicians.

      You forget Cameron told us public sector pay would be capped at no more than the PM. Look at the quangos and ask yourself why did he not implement. Of course he was going to scrap the Quangos that implement EU regs and directives.

      1. Hope
        August 4, 2017

        Look at stupid May gender pay gap at BBC. This is rubbish. It is about who is popular with the public. it is not equal or determined by sex. Oprah Winfrey earns more than most presenters because of her talent not because she is a woman. These auto cuties are what they are, not necessarily talented or worth the same as their male colleagues. Once again, May and her perverse view of equality.

  6. Monza 71
    August 4, 2017

    If the Qataris are stupid enough to meet the terms demanded by Barcelona that is good for the Spanish team. Whether it is good for PSG is questionable but it is the team owners’ money to do with as they wish.

    The top sports stars earn huge sums because their careers are limited by aging, many have little prospect of more than five to ten years at the very top where the big money is earned.

    Of more concern to me is the fact that the huge budgets being spent by every major sport from Formula 1 to the Premier League and Golf are driving these most popular sports off of Free-to-Air Television. This is shortsighted and has already had a very bad effect on young people taking up Cricket.

    In the UK, Formula 1 has been sold exclusively to Sky from 2019-2024. That decision is being repeated in many other countries, particularly ones like the UK where it has always enjoyed a large following amongst knowledgeable enthusiasts..

    Public enthusiasm is the ultimate judge of the popularity of a sport and to continue to watch F1 in 2019 it will be necessary to purchase a Sky package costing at least £40 per month. As a result, in those five years, the TV audience and hence the number of British people following the sport will have plummeted. Major team and track sponsors will not like to see their exposure to the TV audience cut dramatically. Teams might see a short term increase in revenue from the promoters who made the sale but ultimately it could well prove counter-productive for the teams.

    In the meantime millions of viewers will have lost out on a sport they enjoy.
    That is the real cost of these very high incomes paid to sports stars.

    1. Mark B
      August 4, 2017

      But if we got rid of the TV Tax it would not matter as you can then spend your money on what you watch.

  7. Nig l
    August 4, 2017

    Yes I can never quite understand this obsession with executive pay and that reducing it is good. The boo people forget that HMG gets 40%+ in tax and the spending power both benefiting the economy and by goodness we need it, even on luxuries that us ordinary people cannot afford, if spent in the UK has to be good. We seem always to be cutting off our noses to spite our face. Why doesn’t some PhD student come up with some algorithms based on sector, size etc to be cross referenced to what is actually being paid to enable a remuneration committee could use as a ‘scientific’ way of coming and justifying the rewards package. As for shareholders, tell me Mr Redwood what expertise have they in remuneration apart from the institutions who will have their own agenda and anyway can always outvote the rest. This is just the politicos throwing a titbit to the mob.

    The real debate should be in the public sector where quite extraordinary awards are made for often modest talent and questionable performance, no chance of being fired, the next opportunity available despite your previous performance and old fashioned pension schemes index linked.

    You are so keen on shareholders’ input Mr Redwood when will you be tabling a motion to allow voters (national shareholders) to have the same input on public figure salaries as happens in the private sector.

  8. Mike Stallard
    August 4, 2017

    If silly people want to spend their time collecting silly amounts of money (you cannot take it with you and it puts other people off being friendly too) that is up to them. Let them get on with it. It is called Greed.

    What is not right is for people to rob other people to do it. I am thinking of foreigners who steal and cheat and lie to get money from seriously poor people whom they are meant to be serving. Lots in Africa, Russia and the Arab states, I understand, but do not know.

    And it is creeping in here, I notice, when public servants take far too much for themselves out of the tax. NHS, BBC, local government “Cabinet”, railways, energy companies (Electricity)…

  9. Turboterrier.
    August 4, 2017

    executives in large quoted companies needs to be more strongly policed by shareholders,

    Their pay should be based upon performance and have they met the expectations of the shareholders and more especially the staff.

    For far too long failure has been perceived to be highly rewarded with CEO and Chairman of some of the larger corporations and on many occasions it is the workforce that have despite total commitment and effort end see their salaries frozen and who can blame them for the attitude of “whats the point, why bother”

    Perhaps as with footballers the mentality of having to pay outrageous sums to ensure you attract the “right talent” by companies is rather old hat and everything should be based on the performance and indeed welfare of the company in the form of investment to secure
    the long term future of everybody’s interest on, return on investment, long term job security and expansion

  10. agricola
    August 4, 2017

    It is the market place working unhindered. Do not forget that this footballing genius only has around a fifteen year earning window.

    The real obscenity of the day was highlighted by judge Sir James Munby. Our apparent inability, as the World’s fifth largest economy, to provide very necessary mental health hospital facilities to a seventeen year old in dire need. The Judge described it as potential blood on the hands of the state. I find it obscene because I suspect it is only the tip of an iceberg of failure in our mental health services. Added to which our representatives in government dine out on the £13Billion a year we hand out in Overseas Aid. A country that fails it’s own in dire need is really not worth caring about. I suspect it is yet another example of the Westminster bubble being totally out of touch with those they pretend to represent. A democratic referendum on the subject of Overseas Aid is long overdue.

    1. fedupsoutherner
      August 4, 2017

      @Agricola. Hear, hear. I think that most people reading this blog agree wholeheartedly with you. It is shameful that our own people are not looked after properly and their interests put first especially when it is obvious some of these ‘poor’ countries are spending their money on space travel and other follies. If Brazil can find billions for the Olympics then why do they need our money?

  11. agricola
    August 4, 2017

    Sort out your captcha or is it the new moderator.

    1. Hope
      August 4, 2017

      Green taxes set to treble by 2021. This should be a worry to you JR. Especially how it will effect business and the electorate.

      SSE boss gets £1.7 million bonus giving him a £2.5 million pot for one year. Is this a disgrace brought about by the company or the govt? It is the govt’s Climate Change Act which is effecting us, the taxpayer, that the energy company’s implement. It strikes me this is the govt passing the blame. They appear to be doing this more and more. The govt needs to lead and accept its policy decisions.

    2. Denis Cooper
      August 4, 2017

      It seems to be getting worse, but it does not filter out the trolls …

  12. Bob Dixon
    August 4, 2017

    I have read that he had to buy himself out of Barcelona. It cost him 2 million.Lets hope the fans of PSG think he is worth it!

  13. Bob
    August 4, 2017

    “the pay of corporate executives in large quoted companies needs to be more strongly policed by shareholders”

    due to our extraordinarily complex and overbearing tax system, huge amounts of people’s savings are invested in shares through ISAs and pension funds, whereby the investor (the saver) cannot vote at the AGMs.

    Their votes are utilised instead by the fat cats who control the funds. Those same fat cats that fund the largest political parties, like Labour and the Tories.

    So there you go, no change is likely, the govt would rather go after the small guys.

  14. Richard1
    August 4, 2017

    The UK should adopt the Swiss system of binding shareholder votes on executive pay. If a manager is worth £10m pa shareholders should be free to vote that. Switzerland has also outlawed certain kinds of rip off bonuses such as golden parachutes. We need a system where directors can be ‘fired at will’, perhaps with max 12 months basic salary in compensation.

  15. Cliff. Wokingham.
    August 4, 2017

    Anyone is worth what someone is prepared to pay them. Almost anyone can clean dishes however, not everyone can score tens of goals in a top professional football league. Top people have become a commodity in their own right and effectively auction their abilities to the highest bidder.
    Would I pay anyone that kind of level of pay?,,,,Perhaps not but, if my business needed his services, then I would need to pay the going rate.
    When the envious talk about limiting other people’s pay and conditions, we move closer towards communism. What happened to “let the market decide” or are real Conservative principles not even popular amongst so called Conservatives?

    1. John Fitzgerald
      August 4, 2017

      Cliff. Wokingham whereas I agree with the sentiment of your comment I still feel the System is wrong when a CEO or Executive receives bonuses etc. when they have run the company they are in charge of, virtually, into the ground.

    2. Plebeian
      August 4, 2017

      “Almost anyone can clean dishes..” No they can’t! Though I get your drift.
      I cleaned dishes for a few hours in a commercial enterprise, backbreaking, sweat producing . Very very arduous. Doing a rudimentary job, all the time subject to absolutely everyone at work supervising you and “in the community” having no status whatsoever, speaking to your child’s teachers who look down on you and your child from Mount Everest with little to no hope of doing anything other, of establishing a friends and family network with such a status would drive most people literally into a psychiatrists arms. It did do with Soviet dissenters and Chinese bigwigs “Sent down to the countryside to learn from the workers and peasants” .
      The thing about a footballer is he/she is not attached even indirectly with filling my stomach. Yet they, some of them make me vomit when I see them point blank in fromt of the goal and kick in a hundred yards to the vertical. badly trained. ( equivalent to a dishwasher smashing every dish in the restaurant, whoops!. Most footballers only work for less than an eight hour shift. They think, along with olympians that FIVE hours “training” per day is “alot of work”. No, it is not.

      1. fedupsoutherner
        August 4, 2017

        Plebeian. got it in one!! Washing dishes maybe looked down upon by some but I can manage my life without a footballer but not someone washing the dishes (normally me)!! If I never saw another footballer in my life I could manage. Yes, I have never watched a match all the way through…for me it’s boring. I can understand others loving it but we could all live without it. It must be nice to earn so much doing something you love and how lucky they are that most have a natural talent but the money is getting beyond ridiculous.

        1. libertarian
          August 5, 2017

          fedupsoutherner & plebeian

          So i guess you dont watch movies or listen to music for the same reason These people all earn “obscene” amounts of money for their ability to entertain billions of people .

          Not sure I’d pay to watch you wash dishes to be honest

    3. Dave Andrews
      August 4, 2017

      “not everyone can score tens of goals” – might also include the England football team, which lost to Iceland despite being paid massively more.

  16. margaret
    August 4, 2017

    I wonder what women football players get paid. As women’s football becomes a crowd puller it will be interesting to see how much these top players get.
    Many in non- paid sports put as much effort into their ‘hobbies’ as professional players.

    1. Anonymous
      August 4, 2017

      Pub league stuff I”m afraid.

      1. Anonymous
        August 4, 2017

        Now those of us who dislike sport have to endure twice the news reporting.

    2. Richard1
      August 4, 2017

      Indeed. But what should not happen – eg as it has at Wimbledon – is political correctness determins that the rewards must be the same – let the market decide.

    3. Denis Cooper
      August 4, 2017

      There was a previous time when women’s football was a massive crowd puller in the UK, until the FA stepped in and clamped down on it …

      “WW1: Why was women’s football banned in 1921?”

  17. JoolsB
    August 4, 2017

    I care not what private companies decide to pay themselves. Or for that matter do I think is it any business of Government to interfere in gender equality pay as May proposes (and I say that as a woman) Government should keep their noses out. Whatever happened to small state Conservatism?

    What I do care about however is the bloated salaries and pensions and perks offered in the public sector courtesy of taxpayers’ money in the private sector who can only dream of some of the benefits they are forced to provide for the public sector. It’s about time this Government had the guts to tackle that one and leave the wealth producing private sector alone.

    1. Nig l
      August 4, 2017

      Well said.

      1. miami.mode
        August 4, 2017

        Second that Jools and couldn’t agree more.

        Government often seems only too happy to set up quangos, agencies, etc and then endeavours to disclaim responsibility when things such as extravagant pay provokes public outrage or when things go wrong.

        Conversely when things go wrong in the private sector, as in the security arrangements for the London Olympics, Parliament is often the loudest voice demanding reparations, resignations, sackings, exclusion from government contracts etc.

  18. A.Sedgwick
    August 4, 2017

    For some years I have felt the Premier League was in for at best a correction. Last year I cancelled my TV sports contract because of the crazy money that I was helping to finance. Now you can opt for specific sports, which is better, but ideally you should be able to buy specific events.

    Money spent on a couple of players in the last year or two by English clubs could have bought a whole PL club, now this situation has escalated further to being an even greater turnoff to the whole sport in Europe, surprised Brussels have not got involved.

  19. JimS
    August 4, 2017

    Is it fair that some people are able to benefit by ‘multipliers’ that they haven’t created?

    The people that design, make and operate printing presses most likely get paid a ‘normal’ wage, their machines churn out pages for pennies that get sold for pounds. It is this multiplying machine that makes a ‘best selling’ author wealthy not their talent.

    Similarly a footballer can at best perform in front of a few tens of thousands of fans but a TV camera can turn that into millions. A top ranking surgeon however can only ‘perform’ for one person at a time.

    1. Bob
      August 4, 2017

      “A top ranking surgeon however can only ‘perform’ for one person at a time.”

      haven’t you seen Supervet on Channel4?

  20. Dennis Zoff
    August 4, 2017

    Seriously! This fabulous football wealth nonsense on one page of a newspaper and on another page is a picture of an grossly undernourished child somewhere in Africa, followed by an advert for the latest expensive supercar. Cruel and crazy world we live in!

    1. Anonymous
      August 4, 2017

      Think of the number of people that supercar is feeding and keeping in a good lifestyle – not just the owner. Stretching human skill and ingenuity to the limit.

      The growth of population in dust bowl Africa is exponential and not our fault. I gave great thought to the affordability of my children before I had them and would not have had them at all in a country like that.

  21. Anonymous
    August 4, 2017

    Neymar is at the top of a very big pyramid of competitors delivering a product for which much of the world is fanatical.

    Good luck to him.

  22. Bert Young
    August 4, 2017

    The package for this Brazilian footballer is ridiculous . The same is true for the over-paid footballers in this country . Compared to the training and skill of the swimmer Peatty , it makes a nonsense of skill and reward compensation .

    Equally the pay packages exposed in the BBC are stupid . There seems to be no sense or control over what is happening in this body and , in my book , it should be privatised and properly exposed to market conditions . The Direction and Management of the BBC show no capability to run the place in a balanced and competitive enviroment ; I seldom watch it nowadays preferring Skye news .

  23. John S
    August 4, 2017

    Earnings of footballers and directors of public limited companies may or may not be justified. However, it is not the business of government to poke its nose in. At least the state will get a fair proportion back in taxes.

    For employees of the state and state-funded media, then that is of course a different matter.

  24. RDM
    August 4, 2017

    And here’s me, I would settle for a new contract, doing something, anything!!! 😇

    I don’t pay any Tax, if I’m not working!😴

    So, as long as he pays his Taxes, in this country, a?

    In the long run, if the FA (and Government) can’t see the problem with it, they deserve everything they get!

    That money has to be raised from the TV company’s and their customers (us) or from the supporters going to the grounds (us) ?

    How long will (us) keep paying to see the boys keep playing?

    Mmm… Piece of string, anyone?

  25. Epikouros
    August 4, 2017

    How much a person is paid is not any other persons business. They do not have to justify what they are paid to anyone other than those who pay them. If the owners of Paris St Germain have made a mistake and are paying too much then they will be the ones out of pocket. The one area that should be of concern to all of us and does effect our pockets even more than those that directly employ is government and the public sector because ultimately it is the tax and licence payer (BBC comes to mind) who gains or loses out. Evidence suggest mostly it is the latter.

    What happens in the private sector is of no concern to us but the government and the public sector is one area that we should be very concerned but which we certainly are not. The theory is because we are democracy then we do have a say but as we know in practice that is hardly the case. The recent revelations about the high levels of pay that some of the employees of the BBC receive who work there is a prime example of how little we count very little when it comes to setting levels of remuneration.

    1. RDM
      August 5, 2017

      You keep reminding the Lefties that!

      And, some in Government, there are a few Lefties hinding there!

  26. Know-Dice
    August 4, 2017

    Off topic 🙁

    Don’t you just love the BBC – “UK car sales fall 9.3% in July says motor trade body”

    “The trade body said the market was falling – for the fourth month in a row – amid “growing uncertainty” over plans for Brexit.”

    “Earlier this year, many customers had brought forward car purchases ahead of changes to Vehicle Excise Duty in April.”

    No mention of the issue with diesel cars or the recent missive on electric cars…

    Let alone yesterday’s head line “worst economic conditions for the last hundred years” – What since the end of the First World War!!!

  27. Denis Cooper
    August 4, 2017

    I assume that this is a privately owned football club which is not of systemic importance for the economy of France or the world and so would not need to be rescued by the taxpayer if it went bust through bad decisions or for any other reason. So basically I see no reason to care what its players are paid, or try to second guess the management or the owners.

    On the other hand I do care that we taxpayers still own 71% of a retail bank which could not have been allowed to go bust because the ramifications for the economy would have been too severe, and that was after it was paying its senior managers huge sums.

    And I more than care that the BBC, which is compulsorily funded by all TV viewers on pain of imprisonment even if they watch the BBC, is proposing to broadcast this insulting trash as part of its pro-EU and anti-Brexit campaign:

    “Alan Partridge to be BBC’s ‘voice of Brexit’ in new series, Steve Coogan reveals”

    Whoever commissioned that should be sacked.

    1. Denis Cooper
      August 4, 2017

      “even if they never watch the BBC”

  28. a-tracy
    August 4, 2017

    Isn’t football wealth good for the State and thus all of us?
    How much tax is paid by these top footballing stars in the Countries they work in? So his earnings are good for France. Does a footballer living in the UK pay the 60% tax between £100,000 and £120,000pa, do they declare their earnings as self-employed or how does it work?
    Do the profits of the owners of the clubs get taxed in the Countries these clubs earn their money in?
    Just like we should be grateful that individuals like Adele stay in the UK and pay their taxes in the UK, well if you believe what the newspapers say about her complaining about the amount.
    However, how do you get a top earning job in a Council/Housing Association, for example, spending other people’s money, poorly in the case of all these top Council officials of the 111 tower blocks clad in combustible materials are all of these top decision makers of where that money was spent under disciplinary action? Were these Councils or Housing Association properties insured for fire like those of us in private housing have buildings insurance or we lose everything if we don’t? If not why not? Why is it being suggested general taxes pay for this if it is the incompetence of local Council management?

  29. Hugh Rose
    August 4, 2017

    You don’t mention the tax paid by those sportsmen/women who earn the fabulous sums. While their tax avoidance schemes have received recent publicity, the Government must still harvest a fair percentage of their wages. In addition their spending on houses, luxury goods and high life styles must also generate tax for somebody but maybe abroad. Nor do you discuss whether corporation tax can harvest a percentage of the earnings by their clubs and the media outlets.

  30. Paul Owen
    August 4, 2017

    PSG is a private company and as such they are entitled to spent their money as they see fit. This is not a market rate though. Barcelona put a price in Neymar’s contract (which he only signed a few months ago) that they thought would be prohibitive and then PSG, thanks to its Arab owners etc, met that price. PSG as a club cannot possibly afford this transfer and their new player’s wages. Even the biggest clubs like Barcelona, Real Madrid and Manchester United would find such expenditure prohibitive. John Redwood is right though, football has a long tradition of very wealthy individuals buying and subsidising clubs for their own aggrandisement. This is that tradition gone mad.

    The real issue in football is the malign influence of agents pushing through these ridiculously inflated transfers to profit themselves. It is time football did something about it or be forced to by the authorities. Football is bringing itself into disrepute with this greed and indulgence.

  31. Brit
    August 4, 2017

    Mr Neymar’s salary or non-salary is surely a matter for him.

  32. ian
    August 4, 2017

    The gov earn a lot of money out of ticket sales, with vat, and footballers have special tax agreement with the tax office for high earners, football club are usual not in the business of making profit and paying tax and have big overdraft at banks, and go by now much the players are worth, sales, and the grounds with tv , so if bank said it ok, that it. boardrooms pay themselves as much they can, with wages and other deals for themselves which they can pay less tax on with perks with no tax on. Singers and so on, if off shore can get round taxes on earnings, but not on ticket sales, and on shore have tax deals and accounts so they pay less tax. It all up to the public, how much something is worth to them and if want pay the price.
    Gov quite happy to see it all go on and collect more tax, at the end of the day it just ponzi, will keep going up as long as the money is there, usually most of it come from banks and credit cards, and in 2008 and 2009 most had cuts to their earnings and were moaning. So the ponzi will keep going up till it can not go up anymore, which control by banks and central bankers and treasuries, the big the pull you are the more you receive, whether your worth it or not

  33. Denis Cooper
    August 4, 2017

    Off-topic, JR, I don’t know how often you bump into David Davis but next time you do I wonder if you could possibly ask him when, if ever, he intends to set up a media unit in his department tasked with countering this kind of rubbish:

    Or is he happy to see Remoaners’ propaganda go completely unchallenged day after day, week after week, undermining public support for withdrawal from the EU?

    1. fedupsoutherner
      August 4, 2017

      @Denis Cooper Yes, and what about the rumour that a 2nd referendum is looking more likely? Rumour or fact?

      Reply Nonsense. No 2nd referendum is needed or likely.

      1. fedupsoutherner
        August 5, 2017

        Reply to reply. We are all getting sick of rumours when we are not sure they are correct. False news is a nuisance. Could someone in the party please make a public statement regarding this issue? Thank you JR for clarifying.

    2. rose
      August 4, 2017

      At any rate someone needs to point out that whenever a small EU country insults us, it is fairly evident they have been put up to it.

      In this case just remind Mr Varadkar we cannot make the border arrangements until we know what the trade arrangements are. Nor can we cancel Brexit because he wants us to. Nor are we going to hand Ulster over to the South because the IRA want us to and he can’t stand up to them. Anyway, he can’t afford it. Of course what they really all want is for Ulster to belong to the South but be paid for by us.

      1. Denis Cooper
        August 5, 2017

        It strikes me that Mr Varadkar is a bit thick.

        And let us remember that we are proposing to leave the EU through an article which was inserted into the EU treaties through the Lisbon Treaty, which was fully supported by the Irish government but then rejected by the Irish people in a referendum, then passed on a second referendum still with the active, and some would say deceitful, support of the Irish government. So why the hell should they complain if we choose to make use of it?

  34. Edward2
    August 4, 2017

    Like the actual transfer of the player the money has been transferred.
    It still exists but now in other people’s hands who will probably spend it in other ways.
    The club now have a valuable asset which if he performs well and keeps fit will probably have a higher value in a few more years.
    When Trevor Francis became the first million pound player upon his transfer to Nottingham Forest FC from Birmingham City FC there was similar astonishment at the price paid. Comments were that “football has gone mad” and politicians called for laws to control the market.
    The money came to Birmingham City FC who used the money to buy several players and improve facilities at the ground and improve the training ground.
    I feel this current transfer is a huge sum, but they are private companies who make decisions for themselves.
    If they get it wrong then they will fail.

  35. I am the egg man
    August 4, 2017

    Centralised food production is always a major-problem-in-waiting, EU or not. We buy far too much agricultural produce from Ireland for instance…and other goods passing through Ireland from EU small nations with limited, bare minimum allowable EUfood testing, such as Latvia. Horsemeat from Europe passed first to Ireland and then to us. The EU loves the idea of neat little computer stickers on trucks to N. Ireland from the Republic to make the border passage faster. One can get dopey doing it.

  36. Dennis
    August 4, 2017

    Super size payouts/salaries in the private sector are paid for by taxpayers in the form of buying those services at higher prices to pay for them – some are optional and others obligatory.
    Let’s hope super salaries are taxed appropriately so good for the taxpayer.

    Yes, change the capcha – the pix are so dark I can’t see any cars etc. for many, many tries.

  37. Caterpillar
    August 4, 2017

    One footballer can now capture a larger market than in the past. The footballer did not generate the technology to reach larger markets but manages to appropriate the ‘added’ value. The footballer then has a larger control on resource allocation, moreover the footballer’s visibility is a model for others with associated externalities.

    I think there are many cases of those appropriating not creating, power over resource allocation (govt or individual) going awry or huge social externalities being overlooked. Nonetheless recognising the failures doesn’t solve them.

  38. Mick
    August 4, 2017

    There is no way anyone who kicks a bag of wind around worth £750000 a week, these footballers wouldn’t have managed the football we had in the 50’s and you wouldn’t have headed it when it got wet it was like heading a medicine ball ☹️If he’s worth nearly 200 million then Pele would have been the first billion player.
    Off topic I see the BBC/Sky have there eu loving heads on about Ireland, just pull out of the eu I’m sure we would survive

  39. Iain Gill
    August 4, 2017

    Re “It is true that sporting stars do have to perform to get their large money, whereas some business executives get large salaries or guaranteed bonuses without needing to perform in an exceptional way.” Well exactly. There is a whole lot of difference between a Pete Townsend, Brian May, Jimmy Page and our business executive class. One lot has lots of raw artistic talent, has through their own hard work created around themselves a mini artistic industry, and the other lot sad to say in this country are largely there because of the school they happened to go to and who their daddy knew when they were starting out in the world of work. One is rare and deserves high money for bringing joy to millions, and the other is largely sucking on the teat of large organisations in which they have had no real impact on the wealth earning capacity or output.

    1. Anonymous
      August 5, 2017

      Zzzzinger !

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