Sunder and Tom’s study of social mobility within football provides a very interesting analogy for rising and increasingly entrenched inequalities across society over the last 30 years, and illustrates well the fact that ‘fairness does not happen by chance’.
But it seems that rising inequalities in professional football are not simply illustrative or reflective of rising inequalities across society generally: in fact, footballers themselves are said to be planning to undermine (already limited) efforts towards alleviating inequalities.
It turns out that some of the top Premiership footballers have discovered that the new 50p income tax band will chip into their wages. It could ever turn out that the Premiership no longer offers the highest wages in the world, once tax has been taken into consideration. And they are searching for ways to avoid paying this additional tax, with players at Liverpool, Manchester United and Arsenal said to have asked to be paid their salaries as interest-free loans.
Arsenal’s recent signing, Andrei Arshavin meanwhile- who had seemed almost overbearingly honest in a game against Fulham last month, going as far as admitting to the referee that he had not been fouled and so did not deserve a penalty- has simply requested an increase in his £80,000 a week wages to cover the loss he will incur due to the tax rise.
First anger at (not Sir) Fred’s pension, then at MP allowances that exceed the average annual income: could the growing public awareness and rejection of massive inequalities extend to an outcry even against the beautiful game?