British Politician: Unlike Professional Athletes, Bankers Are Overpaid

Wayne Rooney

[credit provider=”Wikimedia Commons”]

Via The Telegraph, UK Business Secretary Vincent Cable delivered a statement yesterday to the House of Commons on executive pay, particularly at banks.He focused on familiar themes like aligning incentives with all stakeholders, restricting rewards for failure and furthering transparency and accountability.

But buried in the details of his statement on the topic today was this gem, addressing the burning issue of why the UK government is going after bankers but leaving footballers (aka soccer players) alone:

I am also asked by critics why – as an addicted fan of Match of the Day – I don’t make the same fuss about the Premier League footballers who earn upwards of £50,000 a week [ed. note: wages for top players are as high as £300,000 a week]. But here, failure – whether by managers, players or the club – is severely punished. Rewards, for the few, are lavish but playing and managerial careers are usually brief. Quality is clearly recognised and acknowledged. There is also a high level of ethnic diversity – not a feature of British boardrooms. And it is not a committee of Manchester United players who set the pay of Wayne Rooney. The fan base does not expect a puritanical approach to equality and will tolerate some wide differentials; but it does expect rewards to reflect merit.

So there you have the British Business Secretary’s views on how much Wayne Rooney gets paid.