Wayne Rooney received his new contract the other day - and it was met with widespread disbelief at the £300k-a-week that the England international will reportedly receive for his duties at Manchester United.
The usual rhetoric came out about the relative pay in regards to nurses and soldiers, football’s gone mad and one national paper even managed to top it all by watching the amount he earns in real-time - for the ultimate shock factor.
Firstly I disagree with the former - the very fact that the job of nurses and soldiers is vastly superior in importance to a professional footballer means they must be paid less. When caring for the sick or fighting for your country the biggest part of your motivation for doing said job must be intrinsic, not based on extrinsic monetary greed.
Footballers are greedy, no doubt - the money is there to be taken and Rooney was entitled to ask for this whopping amount of cash - however much it might upset those of us who make as much in a year as he will in half a day.
One person who agrees on that point is Michael Duberry.
The former Chelsea and Leeds United defender - who won the League Cup and Cup Winners’ Cup during his time at Stamford Bridge - finished his professional career at Oxford United in 2013.
And in his column for the Oxford Mail he offered his opinion on the decision to award Rooney with such a bumper deal - and he criticised the way in which the media portrayed professional footballers of today:
“I think he does deserve it and is worthy of it. I certainly don’t have a problem with his new pay cheque. The majority of players come from humble beginnings like most of us, and not a silver spoon in sight…it was their hard work and determination that got them to play at a level which most could only dream of. That’s why I would never begrudge any player the money they are paid.”
And when speaking about how players on big salaries are viewed by the general public - he laid a portion of blame at the door of the media.
"…I empathise with the players, as I have been there. There is a constant negative opinion from media and some general public, which I don’t feel is fair. A pet hate of mine is that every time a player is mentioned, his salary is also reported. I think it creates a divide straight away, a ‘them and us’ mentality … more importantly it mostly creates envy from the reader towards the player.”
It is tough to understand why a footballer is getting paid so much for doing what they love - kicking a ball around a big piece of green.
But all they originally have is talent - and perhaps a little bit of good luck.
After that it is hard work from a very young age. Things are sacrificed such as time with friends and family, the young life you want and in this day and age a complete foregoing of any private life.
Think about it - as soon as we knew who Wayne Rooney was we knew of Colleen. Theo Walcott? We all soon knew of Melanie.
It may seem unfair to me and you that Rooney is earning 10 times more in seven days than any of us would hope to make in a year.
But with the money being pumped into football - brace yourself for bigger wages every season.
This is just the beginning of the £300k era - and it is something we are all going to have to get used too.
Like it or not.
Whether Rooney deserves that much in relation to other footballers earning less than him (Lionel Messi, Luis Suarez etc) is another question entirely.
image: © nasmac