Torres Moves to Chelsea.

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Main Question or Discussion Point

I didn't see a sports forum anywhere, so I'll just put this here.

Chelsea paid 50 million pounds ($80 million) for Torres, the 4th highest ever for a football player. Frankly, I don't think he's worth it. Even when Torres was at his best can you honestly say he was the fourth best in the world? I don't think so. And he has been in poor form for so long.

All this money being thrown around in football ("soccer" for Americans, my apologies) disturbs me. Yes I know people may do what they want with their money. And in a recession too. Aren't most of the major clubs in serious debt?

Btw, how does this compare to what Americans pay for their sports players, I'm curious to know?
 

Answers and Replies

  • #2
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There isn't a footballer on the planet who can justify their pay and those kind of fees.

If people wish to waste their money on these idiots (I'm sorry but most can barely form a sentence and the recent news on them has hardly been glowing) then that's up to them.

Unfortunately, people would rather waste their money on this rubbish than put it where it matters. We're in recession and yet they'll still spend £50+ on a match ticket and then complain when the government adds a penny to fuel duty.

(I'm not for the rise in fuel duty, but it's this ridiculous attitude people have that annoys me. It's not so long ago John Cage's "4:33" (a song of complete silence) was in the UK Top 40 Singles Chart competing for top spot - that means people have gone out and literally bought a silent/blank MP3 file (aka nothing), so much that it's in the charts. And with my own experience, these same people were complaining about paying for their higher education. Priorities people.)
 
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  • #3
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You have to realize that American sports deal with player trades much differently than soccer (football) does. There are no transfer fees usually paid in the big American sports.

To be clear, the money qspeechc is talking about is a fee paid by the Chelsea club to the Liverpool club. This does not count the new contract deal that Torres will get from Chelsea. To be clear, this is just $80 USD paid from one club to another. It is quite foreign for Americans to consider.

When you hear about American athletes contracts, that is the money paid directly to the player. Torres was reportedly making about £4.8 million ($7.7 Million USD) a year with Liverpool. Compare this with Cristiano Ronaldo, who earns $17.06 million USD per year. This is comparable to US American Football players ( $14-15 Million per year for top players). American Baseball players have much higher annual salaries, Alex Rodriguez reportedly makes about $27 million USD.
 
  • #4
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You have to realize that American sports deal with player trades much differently than soccer (football) does. There are no transfer fees usually paid in the big American sports.

To be clear, the money qspeechc is talking about is a fee paid by the Chelsea club to the Liverpool club. This does not count the new contract deal that Torres will get from Chelsea. To be clear, this is just $80 USD paid from one club to another. It is quite foreign for Americans to consider.

When you hear about American athletes contracts, that is the money paid directly to the player. Torres was reportedly making about £4.8 million ($7.7 Million USD) a year with Liverpool. Compare this with Cristiano Ronaldo, who earns $17.06 million USD per year. This is comparable to US American Football players ( $14-15 Million per year for top players). American Baseball players have much higher annual salaries, Alex Rodriguez reportedly makes about $27 million USD.
I'm from the UK and very much aware of how transfer payments work.

You can dress it up how you like, whether between clubs or to the players it doesn't justify the amount of money.

I'm yet to hear one justification for the players earning what they do or the transfers being worth what they are.

The UK is incredibly sports heavy, we're cutting student funding for higher education and yet we can blow £13 billion on the Olympics. It's madness, based purely on "maintaining our image".
 
  • #5
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I'm from the UK and very much aware of how transfer payments work.

You can dress it up how you like, whether between clubs or to the players it doesn't justify the amount of money.

I'm yet to hear one justification for the players earning what they do or the transfers being worth what they are.

The UK is incredibly sports heavy, we're cutting student funding for higher education and yet we can blow £13 billion on the Olympics. It's madness, based purely on "maintaining our image".
I am by no way advocating these sort of payments. I was just clearing up some possible misunderstandings for my fellow Americans who might not understand what was meant by that $80 million USD transfer fee. We have nothing like it here in the US, so I just wanted to be clarify the situation since the OP was asking for a comparison with the US.

You make good points jared, but I think you are confusing two separate facts: 1. private club payments and 2. Public sport funding. I don't believe there is an actual connection other than the possible "sport crazy culture" which doesn't seem much worse than the US. Again, I am not saying that is good or bad.

I have played soccer (football to you) in Europe and have witnessed first hand the European football culture. Never got to play in England specifically, but played in Holland, Germany, Denmark and Ireland. Taking the football hooligan gangs out of the equation, the die hard fan for any soccer club in Europe is similar to die hard sports fans in the US. So, I would venture a guess that the sports cultures are similar. Traditions are not quite as long standing over here, but there are plenty of traditions.

qspeechc said:
Aren't most of the major clubs in serious debt?
I don't know. If that is true, seems odd that they can raise the sort of capital for a trade while being so far in debt. But I am not an accountant or a banker.
 
  • #6
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You make good points jared, but I think you are confusing two separate facts: 1. private club payments and 2. Public sport funding. I don't believe there is an actual connection other than the possible "sport crazy culture" which doesn't seem much worse than the US. Again, I am not saying that is good or bad.
I had two points, one was that the UK people are willing to spend extraordinary amounts of money on sport but complain when it comes to spending elsewhere on things like university tuition (a far more important and practical spend - "I'll pay £50 to watch 22 aholes kick a ball around for 90 minutes, but woah there, the government should pay my university fees!" - madness).

The second point was simply relating to the UK, in that we are rather sports orientated, even if we don't appear it. My olympics example for one, but even schools are in that mindset - my school would send two minibuses for a rugby match, but when it came to my geography class coursework we had to get there ourselves.

There are a number of UK sports clubs (football in particular) in serious debt - they get rich foreigners to buy them.
 
  • #7
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That's not the most bizarre thing about this.
35 million for Carroll, who is injured...

On a different note, it doesn't matter how much debt a club is in as it doesn't affect assets and operating costs and turnovers. eg. Man United are technically in about half a billion quid's debt, but it's irrelevant as they have an operating profit and are valued at well over 1.5 billion (iirc). Still scum though.
 
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  • #8
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On a different note, it doesn't matter how much debt a club is in as it doesn't affect assets and operating costs and turnovers. eg. Man United are technically in about half a billion quid's debt, but it's irrelevant as they have an operating profit and are valued at well over 1.5 billion (iirc). Still scum though.
I don't understand most of what you are saying, but half a billion pounds in debt is incredible, for a football club! I just can't understand why they have so much debt!

Football is a business like any other, it's no different from banking, say. I suppose the owners feel it is good business sense to pay tens of millions for transfer fees, and pay millions of pounds in yearly salaries for one player; but the money being thrown around still disturbs me. But hey, people may do whatever they like with their money.
 
  • #9
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I don't understand most of what you are saying, but half a billion pounds in debt is incredible, for a football club! I just can't understand why they have so much debt!
The Glazers borrowed huge sums of money to buy the club. That debt is on the club and the Glazers.

I suppose the best analogy would be a mortgage on a home. If someone said to you i'm £150,000 in debt, you'd think christ that's a lot of money to owe to someone. Noone would bat an eyelid at you saying you have a £150,000 mortgage, becuase your home is an asset and generally worth equal to or more than the value of the mortgage.

Same thing for United.

Although the debt is there it's irrelevent because the club is generating enough revenue to make a profit and pay the interest on the loans. The instant that the value of the club drops below the amount borrowed, there will be problems.


EDIT:
Along similar lines for City. The club has no debt as Sheikh Mansour didn't need to borrow to buy the club. People have been going bonkers that City have spent about £250M on players, saying what a collossal amount of money, look they are operating at a loss, this means disaster. Yet, as a business decision this is essentially CAPEX. He is spending now to build the team, to increase the value of the club.
 
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  • #10
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So basically I was getting excited for nothing, lol.
 
  • #11
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These athletes aren't only paid for how good they are. There is also "show money", they pay extra because he is popular and brings in people (sells tickets).

That's why C. Ronaldo gets so much cash; yes he is pretty good but not enough to fully justify his pay. The rest of the money comes from his popularity.
 
  • #12
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"how good they are"? Pull the other one.

"show pay"? For their ability to cry foul when the wind blows too hard.
 
  • #13
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These athletes aren't only paid for how good they are. There is also "show money", they pay extra because he is popular and brings in people (sells tickets).

That's why C. Ronaldo gets so much cash; yes he is pretty good but not enough to fully justify his pay. The rest of the money comes from his popularity.
People just see large figures and don't use them in context though. It's also very difficult to determine what someone is 'worth' becuase there is no fixed barometer.

If Torres only scores 1 goal this year for Chelsea, but that goal wins them the Champions League (winners get about 50m Euros) then his purchase would have been 'worth' it. If his only goal comes when they play Liverpool this weekend, then he will have been a colossal waste of money.

As you say, what value can we put on entertainment? If he's exciting to watch and the fans flock to see him play, then that £50 million will be recouped in merchandise/ticket sales.
 
  • #14
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They are paid so much now as that is what it takes to get them to join / remain with the club. It's the big headed attitude that 'they are the best' that means they can get more and more.

If we lived in a society where everything was happy and no financial trouble, I wouldn't care what anyone was paid. But, we don't. And the reality, as I've experienced first hand is that people will complain about the cost of essential items / utilities but will happily blow £50 on a football match.
 
  • #15
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but will happily blow £50 on a football match.
It'd be a miserable existence if we couldn't do anything fun. I complain about the cost of petrol, heating bills and food but I still drive around in a 1.8T GTI, becuase it's my little luxury.
 
  • #16
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It'd be a miserable existence if we couldn't do anything fun. I complain about the cost of petrol, heating bills and food but I still drive a car that guzzles petrol, becuase it's my little luxury.
Naturally, you've got to have fun. But if you have a few hundred quid knocking around to let you go to the football, you should have already covered the cost of the essential stuff.

There was something on the TV the other day about people on the dole having disposable income - that is just wrong. That's not what it's there for.

If you can't afford what you must have, you certainly can't afford the fun stuff.

Anyhow, we pay footballers millions for their "skill" and yet pretty much every other job out there requires significantly more - and yet the pay is "up to 400 times less" (read that in the Daily Sport last night waiting for a kebab).
 
  • #17
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Anyhow, we pay footballers millions for their "skill" and yet pretty much every other job out there requires significantly more - and yet the pay is "up to 400 times less" (read that in the Daily Sport last night waiting for a kebab).
Don't confuse brains for skill. Also it's only really the premier league that pays that. The vast majorty of prefoessional footballers will never earn anywhere near that. You've also got to factor in a short career comapred to most jobs too.

The bottom line is, it's irrelevent what they get paid, and what the transfer fees are beucase the business model works.


I love how people jump up and down about footballers earnings. I remember the fuss years ago when Roy Keane (iirc) was going to be paid £50k a week by United. At the same time Schumacher was being £50k a day be Ferrari. If you want to look at decadent spending for no hope of profit, look to my main love of motorsports.
 
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  • #18
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Don't confuse brains for skill.
:confused:

I'm not. Nearly every other job on the planet involves skill to some degree. A lot require a high level of skill. Yet the people doing the jobs never get the chance to earn what these footballers do. And we're not even on to brains yet.

People talk about footballers as if they are some god with a ball. They're not. I've seen kids on the street do more with a football than most of these do in their career.

Take a standard 90 minute football match, break it down into each 'type' of kick / move they do (there really ain't that many). Now, if you spent five days a week training those specific items you'd be pretty good at them - but does your ability to execute that small number of 'skills' justify the level of pay? Perhaps it's their ability to fall over when they come in contact with another player - they ain't even good at acting?

Now consider a paramedic - not the most highly trained medical staff, but skilled none the less - these people have far more skill than those footballers will ever have and yet their pay isn't even close.

EDIT: I feel the same about all sports pay - not football specific, that was simply the topic here.
 
  • #19
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You can train all day long, you'll probably get pretty good. You need raw talent to make it to the top, and talent is rare. You can say the same for anyone who is typically well paid but doesn't do a 'useful' job. Actors, musicians. etc.

It's also the same with talented engineers in fields where they are prepared to pay through the nose for the best. Take Adrian Newey, was paid £4million a year by McLaren before he moved to Red Bull (more than most of the drivers and Newey doesn't have any 'show value' also you can gaurantee he didnt take a paycut in the move), purely because he is a godlike genius at designing grand prix cars.

People and products are worth what people are prepared to pay for them. It's not surprising that in a cash rich environment, things will natually be more expensive.
 
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  • #20
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It's not about useful jobs for me. It's about pay in proportion to what you do.

A footballer does sweet FA in comparison to a composer who does little in comparison to an engineer who does bugger all in comparison to a consultant. And yet the pay doesn't reflect this.
 
  • #21
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It's not about useful jobs for me. It's about pay in proportion to what you do.

A footballer does sweet FA in comparison to a composer who does little in comparison to an engineer who does bugger all in comparison to a consultant. And yet the pay doesn't reflect this.
Opinions differ.
 
  • #22
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Opinions differ.
There are people out there who believe a footballer does more than a consultant? That a footballer justifies their pay more than a consultant? Unfortunately yes. What a sad state of country we live in.

The only reason a footballer is paid what they are is because they know they can demand it. The clubs see them as a way to make money (a lot of money) and so can't afford not to have them.

Look at all the hype over Rooney for the World Cup. All that "it's all on Rooney" b*llocks. In the end he didn't do bugger all, certainly wasn't the saviour everyone made him out to be. And yet he pulls £250,000 a week.
 
  • #23
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You clearly don't like football, therefore it's unsurprising that you believe what they are paid is a waste. From a purely business perspective, having the top and popular players makes the club money.

Where you are going wrong is that you are looking at football purely as a job. Those players although employees are, in reality, assets for the club as much as bricks and mortar. The transfer fee is the equivilant to purchasing a building. The weekly wage is equivilant to mantainance.

For every advert, endorsement, etc both the player and club get a share. As football is by far the most popular sport in the country, means a metric f.ton of potential revenue.

This, and only this is the reason they are paid so much.
 
  • #24
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Don't get me wrong, as a business model it does work.

But, after so long it's not about playing football, it's about image.

These players know they are strong assets for a club and the club knows that simply having them there will boost profit - god on the pitch or not. So the player can then demand higher pay.

If clubs stepped back and said "how well can this guy actually play football? Let's base their pay on that." you may find things a little bit different.

Like I said, their job: playing football, doesn't justify the pay. Their job: celebrity/model/icon could certainly do. It's everything else surrounding it that is what brings in the money for businesses these days.

I personally am still against it, but that's how business is.
 
  • #25
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I think one of the biggest reasons so many clubs are in debt is that the owners don't buy the clubs because they are viable businesses. They buy them for prestige. They are already so rich, what possibly could they do with all of that money?

I think there a many fundamental flaws in the football system. How good your club is shouldn't depend directly on how much money your owner is willing to shell out.

EDIT: I'm excited for Chelsea
 

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