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.

Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

Bleacher Report

Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Day In a Page

John Palmer: 'Goldfinger' of British crime was murdered, say police

Murder of the Brink’s-MAT mastermind

'Goldfinger' of British crime's life ended in a blaze of bullets, say police
Forget little green men - aliens will look like humans, says Cambridge University evolution expert

Forget little green men

Leading evolutionary biologist says aliens will look like humans
The Real Stories of Migrant Britain: An Algerian scientist adjusts to life working in a kebab shop

The Real Stories of Migrant Britain

An Algerian scientist struggles to adjust to her new life working in a Scottish kebab shop
Bodyworlds museum: Dr Gunther von Hagens has battled legal threats, Parkinson's disease, and the threat of bankruptcy

Dying dream of Doctor Death

Dr Gunther von Hagens has battled legal threats, Parkinson's disease, and the threat of bankruptcy
UK heatwave: Temperature reaches 39.8 degrees on Central Line - the sweatiest place in London

39.8 degrees recorded on Tube

There's hot (London) and too damn hot (the Underground). Simon Usborne braved the Central line to discover what its passengers suffer
Kitchens go hi-tech: From robot chefs to recipe-shopping apps, computerised cooking is coming

Computerised cooking is coming

From apps that automatically make shopping lists from your recipe books to smart ovens and robot chefs, Kevin Maney rounds up innovations to make your mouth water
Jessie Cave interview: The Harry Potter star has published a feminist collection of cartoons

Jessie Cave's feminist cartoons

The Harry Potter star tells Alice Jones how a one-night stand changed her life
Football Beyond Borders: Even the most distruptive pupils score at homework club

Education: Football Beyond Borders

Add football to an after-school homework club, and even the naughtiest boys can score
10 best barbecue books

Fire up the barbie: 10 best barbecue books

We've got Bibles to get you grilling and smoking like a true south American pro
Wimbledon 2015: Nick Bollettieri - Junk balls and chop and slice are only way 5ft 1in Kurumi Nara can live with Petra Kvitova’s power

Nick Bollettieri's Wimbledon Files

Junk balls and chop and slice are only way 5ft 1in Kurumi Nara can live with Petra Kvitova’s power
Ron Dennis exclusive: ‘This is one of the best McLaren teams ever – we are going to do it’

‘This is one of the best McLaren teams ever – we are going to do it’

Ron Dennis shrugs off a poor start to the season in an exclusive interview, and says the glory days will come back
Seifeddine Rezgui: What motivated a shy student to kill 38 holidaymakers in Tunisia?

Making of a killer

What motivated a shy student to kill 38 holidaymakers in Tunisia?
UK Heatwave: Temperatures on the tube are going to exceed the legal limit for transporting cattle

Just when you thought your commute couldn't get any worse...

Heatwave will see temperatures on the Tube exceed legal limit for transporting cattle
Exclusive - The Real Stories of Migrant Britain: Swapping Bucharest for London

The Real Stories of Migrant Britain

Meet the man who swapped Romania for the UK in a bid to provide for his family, only to discover that the home he left behind wasn't quite what it seemed
Cheaper energy on the way, but it's not all sunshine and rainbows

Cheaper energy on the way, but it's not all sunshine and rainbows

Solar power will help bring down electricity prices over the next five years, according to a new report. But it’s cheap imports of ‘dirty power’ that will lower them the most