Should We Know The Salaries Of Top Sportsmen?- Jamie Salmon

By iSportconnect | April 18, 2012

I know the sporting calendar is congested, but I would argue that April must be the busiest and most diverse of the year.
Along with the standard fayre the list is endless – FA Cup Semi Finals at Wembley, the Boat Race on the Thames, The Grand National at Aintree, Heineken Cup Rugby Semi Finals, World Snooker Championships in Sheffield, new County Cricket season, London Marathon, Champions League Semi Finals and a few more I suspect. Add a global picture and you can add a couple of F1 Grand Prix in lively places such as Shanghai and Bahrain, Indian Premier League Cricket, Super 15 Rugby, The Masters in exclusive Augusta, Paris Marathon and Davis Cup tennis. Stretching the point might be to add the start of the new Baseball season in the US.
However, Major League Baseball is the thing that most of the sporting fans in America look forward to in April and having seen the build up and the opening week-end of activity while in the US recently, it was certainly loud and widely reported. It is a sport that had never grabbed my attention, but it now does. It is just huge. I now know a little more about it thanks to the Atlanta Tribune as on one single full page they published the individual player salaries of every single team in the League. For the record, the top individual annual salary is a mere $24.4m based on each team playing 162 matches in the regular season.
The public declaration of salaries is interesting. I presume the same declaration applies to other massive sports in the US like Basketball and American Football. From a worldwide perspective, golf is another transparent sport in terms of what players earn on the golf course as is the lucrative Indian Premier League cricket, who even go to a players auction, but in the UK we seem to keep things very close to our chest. Should we know what Premiership footballers or top cricketers basic salaries are or would the accountants who look after their money become a little stressed at the thought of it? I do sometimes wonder exactly what is Drogba or Rooney’s basic saIary and just how much Surrey CCC actually do pay Kevin Pietersen for his few games a year. In sports like rugby, where a salary cap operates, it would certainly show transparency and scotch the rumours that some clubs are significantly over the cap. However, I also fully understand the view that it is absolutely none of the public’s business what the players earn. Perhaps we should buck the current public trend of wanting to know what everybody is doing and keep our noses out as sometimes the American way is not the best way.
However, back at the epic baseball and with the crowd cheering madly, national celebrities open the game with the most appalling pitches to the gloveman (wicketkeeper to me). The Beach Boys of which the youngest is 63, oldest 71, even sang Star Spangled Banner to open the first Los Angeles Dodgers game, but alas to my massive disappointment did not get to throw a pitch. Then I found out that they have reunited for a 50 date world tour to celebrate their 50 years since signing their first record deal in 1962 so I understood why they were saving their energy.
While in a typical American bar there were three big TV screens, one showing baseball, one showing the US Masters and one to my surprise showed Arsenal v Manchester City. The biggest cheer was when Arteta scored the winner. Work that one out while having a quiet beer in deepest Georgia, but suspect Arteta does not earn as much money as Bubba.

Salmon Cropped

I know the sporting calendar is congested, but I would argue that April must be the busiest and most diverse of the year.

Along with the standard fayre the list is endless – FA Cup Semi Finals at Wembley, the Boat Race on the Thames, The Grand National at Aintree, Heineken Cup Rugby Semi Finals, World Snooker Championships in Sheffield, new County Cricket season, London Marathon, Champions League Semi Finals and a few more I suspect. Add a global picture and you can add a couple of F1 Grand Prix in lively places such as Shanghai and Bahrain, Indian Premier League Cricket, Super 15 Rugby, The Masters in exclusive Augusta, Paris Marathon and Davis Cup tennis. Stretching the point might be to add the start of the new Baseball season in the US.

However, Major League Baseball is the thing that most of the sporting fans in America look forward to in April and having seen the build up and the opening week-end of activity while in the US recently, it was certainly loud and widely reported. It is a sport that had never grabbed my attention, but it now does. It is just huge. I now know a little more about it thanks to the Atlanta Tribune as on one single full page they published the individual player salaries of every single team in the League. For the record, the top individual annual salary is a mere $24.4m based on each team playing 162 matches in the regular season. 

The public declaration of salaries is interesting. I presume the same declaration applies to other massive sports in the US like Basketball and American Football. From a worldwide perspective, Golf is another transparent sport in terms of what players earn on the golf course as is the lucrative Indian Premier League cricket, who even go to a players auction, but in the UK we seem to keep things very close to our chest. Should we know what Premiership footballers or top cricketers basic salaries are or would the accountants who look after their money become a little stressed at the thought of it? I do sometimes wonder exactly what is Drogba or Rooney’s basic saIary and just how much Surrey CCC actually do pay Kevin Pietersen for his few games a year. In sports like rugby, where a salary cap operates, it would certainly show transparency and scotch the rumours that some clubs are significantly over the cap. Although, I also fully understand the view that it is absolutely none of the public’s business what the players earn. Perhaps we should buck the current public trend of wanting to know what everybody is doing and keep our noses out as sometimes the American way is not the best way.

However, back at the epic Baseball and with the crowd cheering madly, national celebrities open the game with the most appalling pitches to the gloveman (wicketkeeper to me). The Beach Boys of which the youngest is 63, oldest 71, even sang Star Spangled Banner to open the first Los Angeles Dodgers game, but alas to my massive disappointment did not get to throw a pitch. Then I found out that they have reunited for a 50 date world tour to celebrate their 50 years since signing their first record deal in 1962 so I understood why they were saving their energy.

While in a typical American bar there were three big TV screens, one showing baseball, one showing the US Masters and one to my surprise showed Arsenal v Manchester City. The biggest cheer was when Arteta scored the winner. Work that one out while having a quiet beer in deepest Georgia, but suspect Arteta does not earn as much money as Bubba.


About Jamie Salmon:

Jamie Salmon is a Director of Juniper Sport, a PR & Event Management agency who represents such clients as Mercedes-Benz, Polo Ralph Lauren and Rolex on a global basis. They are also responsible for the exclusive PR of Olympic medal swimmers Rebecca Adlington and Kerri-Anne Payne and for Zara Phillips.

Mercedes-Benz retains Juniper Sport as its international PR agency specialising in golf. Also, for the past five years, Juniper Sport has worked with Ralph Lauren to maximise its sponsorship of The Wimbledon Championships through a global public relations campaign and a polished, on-brand corporate hospitality experience. In addition, Juniper Sport’s working relationship with Rolex has been extensive within its sports sponsorship programme covering Golf, Tennis, Motor Sport and Equestrian. Juniper Sport’s current role is the co-ordination of its international golf programme. 

Jamie Salmon is a former rugby international for both England and New Zealand and has worked extensively in the press and broadcast media as a columnist and commentator for rugby union.

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