SAF: Wages will spiral further

A recent survey published in the United States placed United 16th

in the list of sport’s biggest payers. Their estimated average

salary of £67,370 per week is dwarfed by that of top dogs

Barcelona, whose squad, containing star names such as Lionel Messi,

David Villa, Xavi and Andres Iniesta, is raking in £104,500 a

week per man. They are eye-watering sums, even for a man such as

Ferguson who has spent so long at the very top of his profession.

And, whilst large parts of the world are still being adversely

affected by the massive global downturn, Ferguson is convinced the

highest-profile sporting stars can continue to expect their

salaries to climb massively. “It is hard to imagine these sums,”

Ferguson told US-based satellite radio station Sirius XM. “If you

go back to when I started at United in 1986, the largest salary was

£115,000 a year. The figures have just rocketed. “I don’t know

where it will stop, with people demanding success the way they do

today. “You have a lot of wealthy owners in the game and television

is putting a lot of money in.” Huge wage inflation is just one of

the reasons Ferguson has repeatedly claimed there is no value in

the transfer market. The statement is not strictly true in a season

when he acquired 19-goal Javier Hernandez for £7million. But

Fernando Torres, Andy Carroll and Edin Dzeko changed clubs for a

combined £112million in January and have met with only limited

success, proving vast fees in themselves are no guarantee of

anything. “We try to be as sensible as we can,” said Ferguson.

“Obviously, we have to be competitive, and we are in what we pay.

We can be proud of that. “We still retain all the top players and

when we go for a player we generally get them. “The most important

thing, and some people don’t realise it, is that some people build

football teams, we try to build a football club. “Every football

club needs a foundation.”