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Reflecting on football salaries

A few days ago, L'Équipe published the salaries of players in the five big European leagues. Although there may be some gaps in the information (as in the case of Piqué, whose revision includes a reduction in one part and a deferral of another), the details have the reliability of the brand and offers several points of interest. The first, of course, is the anomaly that is PSG. The top ten salaries in France belong to the Parisian giants. As are the top two in the world, Neymar (50 million a year) and Messi (40m). Mbappé survives on 26 million. Between him and his teammates are Cristiano, Piqué - prior to his downgrade - Bale and Hazard. No wonder people have had enough.

Bale, Hazard and Simeone: some salaries are worth it

In Spain, it is striking how the income of Barça's captains, Messi's little group, has skyrocketed, which explains the club's financial disaster. At Madrid, there’s a sense of irony that the two highest paid players have been officially declared unfit by the coach: Bale and Hazard, tied at 27 million. One is famously dedicated to Wales and golf while the other is tied to nothing else. Lewandowski does what he does at Bayern for 'only' 24 million. As for Atlético, they have record spending on their coach, Simeone's 22 million, but his influence on the club has been of such historical significance that it is hard to classify it as wasteful.

Take that | Wales' Gareth Bale celebrates.
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Take that | Wales' Gareth Bale celebrates.MATTHEW CHILDSAction Images via Reuters

Note that these are gross sums but, either way, they are enormous sums, even when translated to net. For a large part of society it is scandalous, but it is what market forces gives us. What is indisputable, however, is that this contradicts completely the alleged crisis hurtling towards football, a hoax on which Agnelli, Florentino and others have been attempting to build the Super League. Beyond the madness at PSG and a few other clubs, football is going from strength to strength and if a few want to change the system it is for a reason far from that to save football from a crisis that does not exist. There are adjustments in every sector, except this one.