Is it worth it?
According to a survey carried out by the Global Players’ Union (FIFPro) last November, professional football, although a good business for certain people is not so for the players. Apart from instability, insufficient regulation and unfulfilment of employment standards, 41% of players have been paid late in the last two seasons. Obviously, these footballers were not well known stars: their salaries ranged from a mere €900 to €1,800.
Not astronomical image rights holders either. Simply footballers. Just under 14,000 of these footballers from 54 countries filled out the questionaires. The lowest participation came from players in the big English, Spanish and German leagues: no comment. Nevertheless, the survey hints at the labour problems related to football careers below the elite.
“This is the reality of the football industry,” says secretary general of FIFPro, Theo van Seggelen. And a bitter one too: FIFA allows clubs to pay players up to 90 days after the due date. And although 78% of late payements fell within that three-month window, one in 10 of the players surveyed had to wait longer.
To be a pro is not only a poorly paid job, it is one that is paid late. It’s also dangerous: some overheated fool may be waiting out there with a bottle ready to hurl at any moment. See photo above: it’s Italy, but it could be anywhere.
At least a footballer’s career is short. Most of them are ready to give it up at 35.