Politicians & Football Don't Mix (4)


At some point someone has tell these politicians to stop. Yet another has been found to be have opened his mouth without thinking when pontificating on football. This time it was Richard Caborn MP, the former Sports Minister and now a possible Ambassador for the 2018 World Cup bid (please, no!) gave his views on wages in football:

I think there ought to be cost controls. Huge television revenues are now washing through into wages and that is something football ought to look at and some of that ought to be invested back into football.

There ought to be a discussion, not just at the English level but at the European level, and that's why the new European white paper and the new treaty changes on sport are important in this area and there ought to be some relationship between income and expenditure.

In simple terms for the former minister: Football clubs take the money coming in and then allocate it as they see fit based on how best to make a profit through the best use of their resources. Players wages are just one small part of it, but they are a reflection of how much the club value the talent at their disposal in the context of the competition around them. Not only do the revenues go on players wages but also on transfer fees, community outreach, fees to the Football Association and assorted other outgoings that are all part of the trickle down in wealth. Of course all this could be cut off at source by the government through taxation on TV revenues at a punitive rate, and thus destroy football as we know it.

A private industry is successful at entertaining people, and they are being rewarded for this and yet this is seen as wrong? When Mr Caborn speaks of, “cost controls” what he actually means is, “the government should legislate and impose a salary cap on the wages of individuals working in the private sector.” The clubs are better able to dispose of their income more wisely than a government minister ever could and they should be able to do so as they please without interference from economically illiterate ministers.