Saturday , September 18 2021

Playing on “Uneven Grounds”!

Front Commun Montreal, Canada

Hey it’s been a while since we haven’t given you any news so here’s a text about the arrival of Drogba in Montréal. Drogba and the others: an unequal world Two months ago, July 27th of 2015, the Impact announced they had signed Didier Drogba. Rumours had been circulating for several weeks but rumours are only that, rumours. And in Montréal we had more than our share of rumours of great and world-famous players who were supposedly on the verge of signing a contract, but always ended up going elsewhere.

True, we had Alessandro Nesta and Marco Di Vaio in 2012. But now, the Drogba rumour was true. The striker from Ivory Coast joined the team at a crucial moment. After 6 games, Drogba has shown how good he is. First-game as a starter: 3 goals in a 4-3 victory at home. Then he keeps scoring and leading the team to victories. He has scored every 69 minutes since his arrival. As we say, Drogba is burning the league. In fact, he is showing how unequal and shallow this league is. It shows with the various salaries paid to players. Major League Soccer is by far the most unequal professional league in North America.

There is, like in the rest of society, an elite and the rest of the workers have to struggle hard to make a living. Take Kaka, the Brazilian superstar playing for Orlando: 6.6 million $ (around 5 million €), he is paid slightly more than Steven Gerrard, Michael Bradley or Frank Lampard. Didier Drogba, with a salary around 2 million $ is far behind. But the real issue is with the average players. Last year, the median salary was of 90 000$. But the minimum wage, paid to many players, and not always young ones, was 36 500$. This is ridiculous.

It is extremely difficult to live in cities like New York City, Los Angeles or Vancouver with such a salary. Fortunately, the players’ union has been able to raise the minimum wage but still, the inequality is gigantic. For example, in New York City, the three goal keepers earn together 210 000$ while Lampard earns alone 30 times this amount. During warm-ups and practices, David Villa fires shots at the third goal keeper while earning over 100 times more than him.

We are delighted to watch legendary players like Kaka or Didier Drogba. Truly, they are capable of amazing things. But, for the league, this model of growth (a few superstar earning 100 times more than some of their teammates) is unsustainable. So far, the best demonstration is in CONCACAF. Year after year, a Mexican team wins the title. And they don’t have players paid that much. Drogba in Montréal is amazing. But it will take a lot more vision than signing a few superstars for this club to be successful in the long run.


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