Embargo: 00:01, Wednesday 06 August 2008
A brand new website is calling on football supporters everywhere to join the campaign to bring an end to soaring footballers’ salaries.
Supporters of all clubs are being urged to log on to www.footballerswages.com and, by signing the online petition, they can join the campaign for the introduction of a salary cap system across all levels of the sport as well as a limit to keep all player salary increases in line with inflation, as is the case for many essential public sector workers.
The petition will be presented to all major football bodies, including UEFA, The Football Association and The Premier League.
Research by www.footballerswages.com reveals that Premier League clubs collectively paid out more than £1bn in salaries in the 2007/08 season, meaning that even the average Premier League footballer can earn more than three times the salary of the Prime Minister and more than 28 times that of a police officer.
In addition, some soldiers on the front line in some of the most dangerous place in the world such as Iraq or Afghanistan would have to work for more than 384 years on their current wages to match just the basic annual salary of the Premier League’s top earners.
As a result of these escalating wages, supporters are seeing the cost of supporting their team reach new heights season after season, with season ticket prices rising to record levels, new replica shirts being released year-on-year and many clubs formulating increasingly expensive and complicated ticketing and membership schemes which are pricing genuine supporters and young fans of the future out of the ground.
Footballerswages.com spokesman Michael Hewitt said:
“Every year, football supporters dread the day in which their season ticket renewal form arrives, not knowing how much more they will be expected to outlay for the coming season or whether their seat has now become a VIP-only zone.
“The clubs, some of whom have increased the cost of season tickets by nearly 20%, justify these rises by claiming that the revenue is needed so that they compete for silverware and attract the best players.
“What we disagree with however is that, when many of us are feeling the pinch during the credit crunch with rising fuel prices, food costs and below-inflation pay rises, clubs are imposing these increases on their supporters so that they can hand unimaginable salary hikes to their super-rich strikers or millionaire midfielders.
“When fans then see some of those footballers being compared to slaves, it’s understandable that supporters feel disillusioned with their club and the sport.
“Salary caps have worked around the world, including the UK, USA and Australia, in reducing ticket price increases and increasing competitiveness and unpredictability to their respective competitions. We see no reason why a UEFA-imposed salary cap cannot work in football either.”
Notes to editors:
For more information, email firstname.lastname@example.org or contact: (+44) 0113 241 0402
Further details are available at http://www.footballerswages.com
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