Thursday, March 29, 2007

Matt Giteau’s absurdly over-inflated contract

April 29, 2006

Last week it was reported that Australian Wallaby Matt Giteau -- a star backliner but hardly the world's best -- signed a massive three year contract with the dreadful expansion team Western Force and the ARU that could see him pocketing $1.5 million dollars per season. That would make Gitaeu the highest paid footballer in any code in Australia -- AFL, NRL or ARU.

Richard Hinds exposes the absurdity in the Sydney Morning Herald:

"$1.5 million a year? Those wages are for first-round draft picks in the NBA or female tennis stars who bleed about unequal prizemoney at Wimbledon. Not for Matt Giteau. And not yet for any footballer in Australia." ...

"For $1.5 million a season, Giteau will have to give the struggling Force the win-loss record of the Harlem Globetrotters before you could say he's been anything close to value for money. Even then, there can't be enough corporate gigs to address, school appearances to make and babies to kiss in Western Australia to collect the rumoured $750,000 marketing component of his contract without having Giteau's conscience pricked by the thought of blokes on assembly lines pulling $20 an hour."

And now deluded Australian fatties want some of the same:

Wallaby prop Al Baxter, speaking to Bret Harris of The Australian newspaper, warned that there would be an exodus of Australian tight-five forwards overseas if star backs such as Matt Giteau continue to command the big money.

Baxter said Giteau's multi-million-dollar deal with the Western Force, which includes a lucrative third-party sponsorship, highlighted the disparity between the salaries of backs and forwards.

According to Baxter - the Wallabies' tighthead incumbent, if Australian forwards cannot command bigger pay packets at home, they will head to Europe and Japan.

"The first thing I would say is if he [Giteau] can get that contract, good on him," Baxter told The Australian.

"It has certainly taken contracts to a whole new level and it is quite extraordinary, but I don't think tight-five forwards will see that unfortunately.

"You do look at the contractual system in Australia and there's a fair bit of disparity between tight-five and outside backs, or even inside backs.

"I guess you do envy Matt Giteau and Stephen Larkham and those sort of guys and the contracts they can get. I guess it's the nature of the game in Australia."

Baxter added: "In all seriousness, you will see an exodus to Europe or Japan."

Fox Sports tries to put it into perspective:

WHILE Matt Giteau's $1.5 million-a-year deal with Western Force set a record for a footballer in Australia, he had the potential to earn a lot more playing in Britain.

Sources in England have revealed that the golden boy of British rugby Jonny Wilkinson earns in the vicinity of $14.5 million a year.

And the vast majority of that money comes from arrangements outside rugby.

The source said that after Wilkinson kicked England's winning field goal in the 2003 World Cup final against Australia, his manager negotiated six deals worth £1 million ($2.35 million) a year.

And it is also understood that former England captain Martin Johnson raked in a staggering £8-million ($18.7 million) tax fee from his 2005 testimonial year.

Worrying times...


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