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Teenage Millionaires

Last weekend I read an article that suggested that Liverpool starlet Raheem Sterling was offered a new contract believed to be in the region of £20,000 a week. Only for him to turn it down as he apparently thinks he is worth closer to £50,000.

Now don’t get me wrong Sterling has the potential to be a fantastic player, but that’s just it, the potential too. He’s 17 years old. Yet he is allegedly demanding he be paid double the average national salary, every week.

Footballers earn a vast amount of money for doing what many consider a hobby. Players, some of them not even that talented, are paid astronomical fees for doing a job many fans would happily do for free.

The majority of professional footballers have made sacrifices and worked hard to get where they are in life, and are rightly reaping the rewards of all their time spent on the training pitch.

But when we hear how Ashley Cole nearly swerved his car off the road when Arsenal offered him an “insulting” £55,00 a week it is easy to see why most footballers are as popular as estate agents and bankers.

Sterling may be a precocious talent with a bright future ahead of him but £50,000 a week is surely a grotesque figure for him to be earning at 17.

But in a world where money does all the talking there are undoubtedly a number of clubs rich (or stupid) enough to pay him what he wants.

Maybe Sterling should be applauded. The greed culture amongst footballers is widely reported and he seems to have taken to it at a young age if the reports are to be believed.

And is it any surprise so many young players lose their way considering the fortunes clubs are willing to pay them? Some young footballers find themselves going almost overnight from earning £100 a week on a youth scholarship to earning what their dad earns in 6 months, in a week.

The money involved, coupled with the numerous agents and hangers on who tell them they are the next Lionel Messi only serve to produce the sort of ego Cristiano Ronaldo would find excessive.

Despite this I hope one day Sterling will be worth the sort of money he’s after, but not yet.

Robert Lock