Player wages are justified says Giggs
Ryan Giggs believes the majority of top-flight players deserve their massive wages.
Such has been the explosion of cash into the Premier League over the past few years, that salaries in excess of £100,000 a week, if not exactly commonplace, are hardly unknown.
It is a far cry from the sums on offer when Giggs began his professional career at Manchester United nearly two decades ago, with many critics arguing the inflation has happened so quickly, there is now no connection at all between supporters and the men they support.
Yet Giggs, like long-time team-mate Gary Neville, does not feel the cash is excessive given the contracts being paid to televise the Premier League, which bring in well over £1.5billion.
"There is plenty of money in the game but the majority of the players deserve it," Giggs told ITV's News at Ten.
"There are a number of players that perhaps 20 years ago would not have got paid the money that they're getting now but that is the way that football is.
"The average player is getting a lot of money - if that is right, I don't know. But good luck to them - the money is in the game, why not earn it while they have got the chance?
"But twenty years ago that wouldn't have happened. Then it was probably only the top, top players, the elite players who would be earning good money."
It just emphasises the massive changes that have taken place during Giggs' stellar career, which has brought him 11 Premier League titles and two Champions League trophies.
"The game has gone massive," he said.
"Footballers make the front pages and the back pages - it is big news, they are like pop stars.
"A lot of things are for the good. The fitness of players is better than it has ever been. The Premier League is the best league in the world."
Giggs is also keenly aware the profile of top football players allows them to make more significant contributions to wider-scale campaigns.
That is why he has been spending time in Sierra Leone on a UNICEF project aimed at tackling the spread of HIV in the region.
And Giggs realises, compared to the struggles faced by so many children in the war-ravaged African country, week-to-week combat in the Premier League is easy.
"You see what true bravery is," he said.
"You hear all the time that a footballer is brave going into a tackle or going up for a header. That's not bravery.
"What I've seen - a 21-year-old lad who was telling me that he is positive for HIV and what he wants to do about it, that he wants to educate other people, that he wants to help stop it happening to other young men and to other young women - that is bravery."
The full interview will be broadcast on tonight's ITV News at Ten.
Children's bookseller wins The Independent's new author search
Board creates magnetic field to achieve lift
Company reveals $542m investment in start-up building 'a rocket ship for the mind'
Latest in Sport
Luis Suarez: Lionel Messi is better than Cristiano Ronaldo
Indian footballer Peter Biaksangzuala dies from spine injury after doing somersault celebration
Arsenal vs Hull: Gary Lineker and Piers Morgan lead criticism of Arsene Wenger after 'uncomfortable' interview with Jacqui Oatley
Angel Di Maria injury: Manchester United sweat over fitness of record signing as he is in danger of missing Chelsea clash
West Brom vs Manchester United player ratings: Saido Berahino scores highest, whilst Marcos Rojo scores lowest
- 1 Jack the Ripper: Scientist who claims to have identified notorious killer has 'made serious DNA error'
- 2 Banksy arrest hoax: Internet duped by fake online report claiming artist's identity has been revealed
- 3 Former East 17 frontman Brian Harvey turns up at Downing Street and 'demands to speak to Prime Minister'
- 4 Kentucky gang rape: 15-year-old boy left in critical condition after sexual attack by group at party
- 5 Paralysed man Darek Fidyka walks again after treatment by British doctors on brink of 'cure'
Cameron is warned 'no possibility' of UK reducing immigration and that bid to bring in quota on migrant workers would be illegal
Residents should throw a street party and mix with immigrant neighbours, councils told
Russell Brand threatened with arrest after filming outside Fox News headquarters
London bus driver 'kicks gay couple off for kissing'
Lord Freud: Tory welfare minister apologises after saying disabled people are 'not worth’ the minimum wage
Lord Freud hangs on as MPs of all parties 'call for his head' over disability comments