Sunday, July 10, 2011

Sportsman and women: to be a millionaire or not to be


Every year newspapers and TV programmes talk about the outrageous salaries of some professional sportsmen and women. This is a good example to talk about the differences between the richest and the poorest with such an example as this: Tiger Woods, the most highly-paid sportsman in the world earned 90.5 million dollars in 2010 --that is 5,356 times the annual minimum wage of a worker in California, where the golf player was born. 
But differences go even further. Among the most well-paid sportsmen and women, there are significant differences according to their country of origin. This table shows the wages of the best-paid sportsmen in each country (only taking into account their competition salary, not their income for advertising, own businesses, etc.) and there are curious figures: the wages of the sportsmen of poor countries. Misdongarde Betoligar, a football player from Chad playing at the Serbian team FK Metalac is the best-paid sportsman of his country: he earns 21,500 dollars a year, equivalent to 14,900 € at current exchange rates. That is, he earns not much more than 1,000 € per month. And even more astonishing: Santosh Sahukhala, a football player from Nepal playing in his own country is the best-paid sportsman of Nepal and he earns 5,842 € per year. They could not be called millionaires, and if they are compared with their western counterparts, differences are amazingly huge. But what if we compare their income with the salaries in their own countries? In Nepal, the annual minimum wage is 55,200 rupees, equivalent to 531 €, and a qualified worker gets 59,400 rupees, equivalent to 572 € per year.
It is obvious that there are huge differences between the salaries in rich and poor countries but it is also obvious that there are huge differences between the income of top-ranked players and, for instance, a school teacher. And maybe this is the problem.

Sources:

  1. Tiger Woods: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tiger_Woods
  2. Minimum wage in California: http://www.dol.gov/whd/minwage/america.htm#California
  3. The best-paid athletes per country (only taking into account their competition salary, not their income for advertising, etc.): http://sports.espn.go.com/espn/news/story?id=6391145
  4. Minimum wage in Nepal: http://www.minimum-wage.org/international/en/Nepal
    
 
 
 

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