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Money in sport out of control?

Published: 06 Dec 2008 - 07:13 by rippa rit

Updated: 06 Dec 2008 - 07:13

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Sports Performance has released this article

"Money In Sport Is Out Of Control!

This week saw the beginning of an ugly new chapter in the financing of sport.

Baseball star Dustin Pedroia signed a six-year contract extension worth a record $40.5m, which will keep him at the Red Sox until 2014. Pedroia quoted “I'm extremely excited - I definitely wanted to be here a long time”. I’m not surprised with that sort of wage.

It was also reported this week that Manchester City, now the wealthiest football team in the world, had tabled an astonishing £129 million bid for Real Madrid goal keeper Ikar Casillias. £129 million? That is an unreal amount of money and on top of this they were willing to pay him a whopping £11 million a season to play!

What with the recent controversy surrounding cricket players joining the Indian Cricket League because of the vast sums of money available and the recent flow of Olympic (amateur) boxers turning professional I’m starting to wonder if those in the top order of the sporting world have gone completely money crazy and forgotten about everyone else.

Don’t get me wrong if I was offered the chance to become a professional sportsman I would take it in a heartbeat- who wouldn’t want to be paid for doing something they genuinely love?

I also don’t entirely begrudge sports stars earning astronomical sums. They are entertainers and they are at the best at what they do. The immense amount of money currently occupying the sporting world creates a climate where they can be offered this sort of wage- if you were offered silly money to play baseball or football I’m sure you wouldn’t turn it down.

However despite all this the spending has become reckless. Sports stars and the businessmen who seem play an ever increasing role in their lives seem to be steeped in a money obsessed culture.

There is a vast amount of money present in a majority of sports but nothing substantial seems to be being spent on developing them, particularly at grassroots and amateur level. There is little money being spent on facilities for your average sportsman whilst clubs like Manchester City are chucking £129 million on one player- it just doesn’t quite add up!

Prize money, transfer sums and contract fees should all be capped with the excess money left over filtered down to the rest of the food chain. The lower levels of sport need to catch up with this development otherwise sport in general will start to become elitist.

This financial situation is one of the reasons why people are inclined not to participate in sport. Unless you secure private funding the facilities for amateurs and semi professionals are generally poor. People are put off by this, particularly when taking into account the equipment and other fees they have to fork out for, making sport a lot more elitist than people think.

The line “Sport is for everyone” is often thrown around willy-nilly but in reality this is not the case. Buying a cheap bat and ball and going over the local park is not the same as actually playing a game of baseball. The financial imbalance currently present in sport is overwhelming and whilst the top professionals are swimming in lucrative contracts the average sportsman is struggling to find somewhere half decent and accessible to compete.

If there was more money available for the lower reaches of the sporting world then facilities, conditions and accessibility could be significantly enhanced. This improvement would encourage wider communities to take part in sport, reduce health issues that numerous governments and countries are eager to tackle, provide children and youths with something constructive to do and allow the development of home grown talent. Then wouldn’t we be living in happier healthier world!

In January the football transfer window will once again open but this time it will be even more excessive. English club Manchester City have hundreds of millions of disposable pounds which they will throw around as if it were gravel in a bid to attract the top players. Other clubs will also try to compete by throwing their millions around whilst the average sportsman will continue to play in below standard conditions with below standard facilities."

I concur, what about some money put into the sporting facilities, as without them the earnings would not be possible.

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