Monday 21 January 2019

'It baffles me' - Rio Ferdinand hits out at the criticism of footballer's wages and asks why golfers don't get scrutinised

Ferdinand not impressed by criticism of footballers wages. Photo by Michael Regan/Getty Images
Ferdinand not impressed by criticism of footballers wages. Photo by Michael Regan/Getty Images
Kevin Palmer

Kevin Palmer

Rio Ferdinand believes the intense scrutiny of footballers wages is unjustified, as he suggested rivals sportsmen do not get criticised for earning similarly extravagant sums.

Alexis Sanchez's move from Arsenal to Manchester United has put the focus on wages and agents fees at the heart of the sporting debate in recent days, with the Chilean set to sign a deal worth £500,000-a-week deal as part of his 'free' transfer to Old Trafford.

That will represent the biggest wages package in Premier League history, but the primary reason why Sanchez is being paid such a huge sum is due to the fact that United are not paying a transfer fee to sign him.

He is reported to be receiving £7.5m-a-year over the course of his four-and-a-half year contract, on top of his basic wage of around £350,000-a-week, with former United defender Ferdinand annoyed by the criticism of wages for top Premier League players.

"It strikes me that footballers always get hammered for this situation," Ferdinand told BT Sport. "Is is because it is a working class sport? It is because a lot of the people come from backgrounds with not as much money or less affluent backgrounds?

"I don't see golfer who earn huge money getting called out for the wages they are earning. Motor racing drivers..these guys don't get called out for what they earn and it baffles me a little bit.

"Listen, policemen, firemen and nurses deserve to earn more than any sportsman on the planet, but we are just lucky to be born into an industry that pays so well."

To back up Ferdinand's argument, golfers Dustin Johnson and Rory McIlroy are believed to have received more than $1.5m each just to turn up at the Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship, with lavish prize money also on offer.

Meanwhile, Ferdinand also gave his verdict on Sanchez's move to United, just a week after he hinted the Chilean would be wise to turn down United and sign for local rivals Manchester City.

“I’m delighted, I can’t wait to see him in that red shirt,” added Ferdinand.

“I hope he’s going to really turn the fortunes of Manchester United into a positive in terms of trying to get some silverware.”

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