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Sunday, February 15, 1998 Published at 15:34 GMT

Talking Point

Are footballers paid too much?

Is football money-mad?

Ruud Gullit, former player-manager at Chelsea FC, is disputing the club's claims that he was dismissed because of money.

The club say Gullit asked for 2m per year as player-manager, and they could only offer him a less lucrative mangement-only deal.

Football is renowned as a sport where pay packets and transfer fees for the top players regularly reach seven figures. Many are paid 20,000 a week. Liverpool FC's Robbie Fowler was recently reported to have asked for 50,000 per week - a wage which would have made him the highest paid footballer in Britain.

But is it in the same league as other sports? American football is also a big money business. The San Francisco 49ers have agreed to pay one player $8.2m (5.7m) a year.

However coaches seem to get a comparatively rough deal in both sports. A prospective coach of the Dallas Cowboys recently asked for $1.3m (800,000). When he was offered a mere $500,000 (305,000) - he turned the job down.

What else could be done with such massive sums of money? If you support a team, do you begrudge the money going to pay the stars? Are they worth every penny? Or, as some people say, is anyone really worth that much money?

Are footballers paid too much?

What you've said so far

Spread out over 45 years, a few big salary cheques isn't as much as it sounds ...
George Kendall, UK

If footballers got paid less then ticket prices could come down ...
Adrian Cole, UK

Just think what a hospital could do if they got the money Alan Shearer gets....
Tony Eccles, Sussex, UK

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