Kaka is now the most expensive footballer in history after signing to transfer to Real Madrid from AC Milan on a six-year deal.The fee is reported to be about £56m a nice £11 million more than the £45.6m Real paid for Zinedine Zidane in 2001. This works out to about $150,000 a week . Not bad in time of global recession. Or is it ever a time of recession in sports?
Check out this list of NBA players’ salaries with the top player being at around 24 million dollars and the bottom at 14 million. Some team budgets in Formula 1 like Ferrari run between 300 to 400 million dollars.
Yesterday, West Ham United’s long-term future was secured when the Premier League club was sold to a company owned by Iceland’s largest investment bank for around $162million. Another example to consider would be Manchester City, now the richest football club on earth because of their new owners.
And what about country bids for the Olympics and the World Cup. Here in the UK, despite the dire financial climate, The FA is seeking £5 million from the government to add to its own £10 million campaign fund. Gordon Brown has been the bid’s most enthusiastic supporter, promising that he would make it his personal mission to persuade countries around the world to support the bid.
It’s hard to imagine that this kind of money is being spent in a time when huge industires like the car indusry for example are hanging by a thread and when millions of people are losing their jobs and homes (Check out the unemployment posts below). Even Hollywood has been hit by recession. So what is it about sports that makes it immune to the financial downturn? And if governments and businessmen can pay that much money on Olympic bids, clubs and players, why can’t they pull us out of recession?