Silly Money
GOAL: Sanchez struck it rich

I’m confused.

Aren’t the people who save lives and treat illnesses, and the ones who teach our children more valuable than showmen?

I suspect most of you would agree they are,but the financial rewards for those professions tell a different story.

When we compare what doctors, nurses, teachers and people in other necessary professions earn with what famous actors, pop stars and athletes make, it is obviousthe big money is in entertainment.

The latest example of silly money going tosomeone whosemain function is to provide a bit of distraction is the £450million a week contract Alexis Sanchez and his agent have hammered out with Manchester United.

Four-hundred and fifty million British pounds a week to play football, a game most of us would play for free.

That’s over £23million a year. Those figures convert to over six million pula a week and nearly 320 million pula a year.

Sanchez will be taking that home because English fans are willing to pay an average of P600 per ticket to watch him kick a ball and run around for 90 minutes.

But I’m sure they wouldn’t pay that kind of money to watch him do that on his own; he needs at least 21 other players and a massive organisation to stage a professional match.

I’m writing about this today because most football experts here in the UK say the player and his new team have made great moves and they seem to think there is nothing wrong with players simply going to the highest bidder.

I don’t agree, and neither do former Arsenal defender Martin Keown and current Manchester City Manager Pep Guardiola.

Keown called Sanchez a mercenary and criticised him for not going to Man City where he had a better chance of improving his game and winning trophies.

Interestingly, though, City dropped out of the bidding because Guardiola feared Sanchez’s wage demands would disrupt the spirit of his league leading team.

Hum… that would indicate there may be more to football than trying to buy titles by simply buying the best players.

Maybe that means there is more to success and happiness than just trying to earn as much money as possible and buying things for ourselves.

Liberia’s newly elected president may be a good example of that.

George Weah was recognised as the bestfootball player in Africa several times and in 1995 he won the Fifa World Player of the Year and the Ballon d’Or awards.

He was well paid, but he didn’t earn what most premier League players, let alone Sanchez, make today.

But he used his earnings to try to improve conditions in Africa.

He often paid for hiscash strapped national football team to travel to matches abroad and he paid to produce songs to discourage wars in Africa and to help stop the spread of Ebola.

Those deeds strike me as valuable ways for an anyone to spend his time and money.

Maybe Sanchez will do similar things for South America and his native Chile.

So maybe this value thing isn’t so confusing after all.

Maybeour value is defined by what we do with our time and how we spend our moneyas well as byhow we make it.

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