Juan Mata has taken a swipe at the silly amount of money thrown around in football this days, saying he will take a pay cut if it meant a return to the day when football was driven by the fans, not by bussiness men.
Spain star Mata who cost £37million when he left Chelsea for United two years ago is thought to earn £150,000 a week, but has become the first high-profile Premier League player to voice his unease about the commercialisation of a sport he adores. “Football is very well remunerated at this level,’ said the 27-year-old in an interview on Spanish TV show Salvados. “We live in a bubble. Compared to the rest of society, we earn a ridiculous amount. It’s unfathomable. With respect to the world of football, I earn a normal wage. But compared to 99.9 per cent of Spain and the rest of the world, I earn a silly amount”.
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Meanwhile, ticket prices show no sign of falling. The new bounty is expected to be eaten up by wages. Riches at the very top is one thing, but inside the English game there have long been concerns about the out-of-control pay demands of top teenage players, egged on by agents and families who are acutely aware of their potential and pressure on the biggest clubs to produce more of their own talent. “Every player thinks he’s Diego Maradona when he joins a big club. That happens to all of us but then you notice it in the younger players. You see kids who think they’re rock stars, wearing extravagant clothes and driving flash cars. Sometimes you have to take them aside and have a word”.
“The business side of football makes it seem as though the owners are now more important than the fans,’ said Mata.”I don’t enjoy the business side of football. I love the game. I love training and competing.I’d take a pay cut if there was less business involvement in the sport. At this level, we’re very well paid and sometimes you start thinking there isn’t much of a difference between x and x+3”.