Friday, June 4, 2010

Spain Potential Payday Draws Criticism

Unemployment in Spain is running at 20 percent. When talking about the financial crises in Europe, Spain comes up in the discussion not long after Greece and Portugal.

Hence, some are asking ... why Spain has the highest cash-reward system for its players of the 32 teams about to begin play at South Africa 2010.

How much money can the lads of "La Roja" earn if they win the World Cup?

Deep breath:

Spain's players will be given about $735,000 each if they win the World Cup. And remember, Spain is the co-favorite, with Brazil, to win the championship.

As this Johannesburg Times story points out, Spain's bonus structure is more than twice that of Germany, a country with far more wealth than Spain.

The Spaniards will get about $73,500 if they reach the quarterfinals, about $110,00 if they reach the semis and about $147,000 if they reach the final but lose.

And remember, that is each. Per player.

A left-of-center political party based in Barcelona pointed out that "the 14 million euros that 24 individuals (including manager Vicente del Bosque) would pocket is the equivalent of the wages of a thousand ordinary people for a whole year of work."

The Times story notes that, "an online opinion poll taken by Madrid newspaper El Mundo showed on Friday that no less than 93 percent of readers considered the bonus 'excessive.'

"On the website of sports daily Marca, 84.9 percent of readers were opposed to the bonus.

"According to Marca, the Argentine federation has promised a bonus of 510,000 euros (about $620,000) to each player if they triumph in South Africa, the second-highest bonus after the Spanish one.

"The English FA has, apparently, agreed to a bonus of 475,000 euros, while the players of France would get 390,000 euros, Italy's 240,000 and those of Brazil 180,000.

Hmmm. Spain loves its team, and would love to see La Roja win a World Cup. But maybe the love and admiration of their countrymen should be motivation enough for the players. Do they really need all that money as a reward for playing well on the planet's biggest sports stage?

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