Home
Olympic medallist and ex-world champion is combining major bike races with triathlons this year

Olympic medallist and former world time trial champion Emma Pooley says that her “hobby” of competing in triathlons is bringing her more money than her chosen sport. Given her palmarès, it’s a revelation that also underlines the huge gap in earning power between men’s and women’s professional cycling.

Pooley, who took Olympic silver in the time trial in Beijing in 2008 and won the rainbow jersey in that discipline two years later, has won races including the overall in the Grande Boucle Féminine – the women’s version of the Tour de France – and the Tour de l’Aude, as well as several World Cup one day races.

But she told BBC Sport’s Ollie Williams that a third-place finish last February in a half-distance Ironman triathlon event in the Philippines had brought her more prize money than winning any of those races did.

The 31-year-old, who won a blue for cross-country running and triathlon as an undergraduate at Cambridge before switching to cycling, says she isn’t motivated by money. However, the situation still strikes her as “nuts.”

"I don't do it for the prize money. I love sport," she said. "And if you'd like to print this I'd be very grateful, because I keep getting accused of being a whinger.

"I'm not trying to be whingy. I love sport and I know it's a privilege to do it, and that's why I do it - I've got the opportunity and I'm very grateful for it.

"But, occasionally, it seems strange when the prize money for coming third at a triathlon in the Philippines is more than the prize money I've ever won in a bike race. That's nuts to me."

Nor is it just in triathlon that she has won prize money exceeding that from any bike race she has won – last year, she won the Lausanne Marathon in Switzerland.

She won’t be returning to that event in 2014, saying: "No marathon running this year. I love running, but a marathon really takes it out of you for a long time."

Pooley is based in Switzeland and last year completed her PhD in Zurich in geotechnical engineering, taking time out of professional cycling as she finished her studies.

In November, she signed for Lotto-Belisol ladies – this week, she will be racing the Flèche Wallonne, which she won in 2010, as well as Liège-Bastogne-Liège.

It’s an unusual arrangement, with Pooley targeting specific major races such as the Giro Rosa in Italy, and the Belgian team letting her compete in those more lucrative triathlons including, in August, the tough Embrunman race in the Swiss Alps.

Speaking of the Flèche Wallonne, she said: "It's very up and down, narrow roads, twisty and technical. It's a stressful race.

"It suits me and it's a big one to win, especially as I'm on a Belgian team."

Pooley is one of the driving forces behind the campaign for equality in cycling, and together with Marianne Vos, Kathryn Bertine and triathlete Chrissie Wellington last year co-founded Le Tour Entier, which calls, among other things, for a women’s Tour de France.

While ASO, which organises the men’s event, hasn’t gone that far yet, it is putting on a women’s one-day race, La Course, which will see the world’s top female riders battle it out on the Champs-Elysées on the final day of the Tour.

"My dream for women's cycling is for there to be a similar level of racing available as there is for men - having a one-day race at every Tour is not the same thing. It's a great start, but there is more to be done."

Pooley is a member of the UCI’s women's cycling commission set up by Brian Cookson after he was elected president last September, but doesn’t see her future as lying in sporting politics.

"I didn't intend to become political," she explained. "It's just that people ask for my opinion and I give it. I don't have some burning desire to be the head of some federation or something.

"A lot of women get out of cycling administration, and team administration, because they're so fed up of it by the end - of making no money and of being seen as second best. And I think I don't want to carry on in the sport and be bitter about it.

She added: "I don't know if anyone would employ me. I think I'm seem as some kind of weirdo, radical feminist.

“I get the impression I'm really quite unpopular in some parts. So I don't know if I'd necessarily find a job."

Meanwhile, besides the potential earnings from triathlons, now she has a doctorate to her name, Pooley is looking to secure some income in that specialisation.

"I've got a perfectly serviceable degree, so I'm going to try to get some part-time work in engineering this year and next year,” she said. “I need to pay the bills."

Born in Scotland, Simon moved to London aged seven and now lives in the Oxfordshire Cotswolds with his miniature schnauzer, Elodie. He fell in love with cycling one Saturday morning in 1994 while living in Italy when Milan-San Remo went past his front door. A daily cycle commuter in London back before riding to work started to boom, he's been news editor at road.cc since 2009. Handily for work, he speaks French and Italian. He doesn't get to ride his Colnago as often as he'd like, and freely admits he's much more adept at cooking than fettling with bikes.

54 comments

Avatar
Argos74 [392 posts] 2 years ago
0 likes

 41

Not whingy, nor some kind of weirdo radical feminist*. Just a magnificent athlete who deserves credit where credit is due, including being being able to earn the same sort of living from the sport as the blokes.

* On second thoughts, under the circumstances I'm not sure I'd have a problem with at least two out of three of those. If someone called me a weirdo radical biker, I'd take them to a cake shop to discuss matters further.

Avatar
madonepro [36 posts] 2 years ago
0 likes

If you've ever met her, you'd add whingy too.

A few years ago, she had a whinge at the fact that she was still waiting for a Power Meter from J Vaughters, so I contacted Jon and put everything in place. Managed to get Emily to email me through a contact at British Cycling, and she whinged some more, even though all she had to do was email JV at the address he gave, and provide her address, and she'd have the PM, but no, whinge whinge whinge.

Avatar
pwake [376 posts] 2 years ago
0 likes
madonepro wrote:

If you've ever met her, you'd add whingy too.

A few years ago, she had a whinge at the fact that she was still waiting for a Power Meter from J Vaughters, so I contacted Jon and put everything in place. Managed to get Emily to email me through a contact at British Cycling, and she whinged some more, even though all she had to do was email JV at the address he gave, and provide her address, and she'd have the PM, but no, whinge whinge whinge.

Who's Emily? Are you sure you're telling the truth?

Avatar
Flying Scot [918 posts] 2 years ago
0 likes

As a professional, enter the events that pay the best, also enter the lower paying ones that keep your profile up.

Tens of thousands would love to be able to select from these choices.

Avatar
workhard [397 posts] 2 years ago
0 likes
Flying Scot wrote:

As a professional, enter the events that pay the best, also enter the lower paying ones that keep your profile up.

Tens of thousands would love to be able to select from these choices.

Bless.

Tens of thousands don't have 1/10th of her talent nor 1/1000th of her dedication.

Avatar
Owen Rogers [24 posts] 2 years ago
0 likes

As a professional cyclist you enter the races your team wants you in. If you're lucky, with status and ability you pick ones which suit you, like la Fleche Wallonne suits Emma Pooley.

If she wins she'll get around £1000. What a pay day to share with your team mates. All that for one of the top 12 one day races of the year.

Over paid, I reckon.

Avatar
ambrosio2 [19 posts] 2 years ago
0 likes

She knocks spots off the men. It is so usual that a person who has so much talent and brains is not utilised by those who are fearful of those two attributes. Rock on Emma.

Avatar
StoopidUserName [171 posts] 2 years ago
0 likes

I really hope some of these comments are a joke...seriously guys this is the 21st century, get out of your cave!!!!

Avatar
Joeinpoole [439 posts] 2 years ago
0 likes

It's not "nuts", it's simply the market. Prize money for any sport doesn't grow on trees, it has to be *generated* through sponsorship and TV deals. Considering that she has a PhD I am surprised she hasn't worked that one out for herself.

If money was her objective, as a female athlete, then she should have taken up tennis, golf or athletics. Those sports are 'tv friendly' and the competitors actually look and dress like females ... which means we, both males and females, enjoy watching them.

Women's football for example will never take off whilst they insist on dressing like blokes and trying to talk like them too (whilst blowing snot from their noses when being interviewed) in a ridiculous bid to be taken seriously. If in tennis the women wore baggy men's clothing and also acted like blokes then their sport too would have considerably less appeal.

Victoria Pendleton seems to be doing ok though ... for some reason.

Avatar
mooleur [537 posts] 2 years ago
0 likes

Urgh seriously.

Guys, I think the points she's making is the huge gap in women's pro cycling, not that she's "having a moan about not getting paid enough" - Emma's concern is with the sport, not her own personal gain. Do you even realise what she's done for women's cycling in recent years? The campaigning she's been doing?? All this and yet the point she has to make here is that female pros, while they could be the best in the world, still get paid peanuts compared to an amateur mixed gender sport like Triathlon.

Her point is the amount of crap female pros put up with for sh1t all return is absolutely bonkers, not least unfair - it's simply illogical.

Oh, and "if you want more money take up another sport"?!?!?! I'm sorry, but in what world is that an OK statement?

And don't give me any more BS about "oh it's because it's not got the sponsors or oh yes but you need to wait until people want to show it on TV" - go stick your head back in it's hole in the ground, women's pro cycling can and does get coverage, perhaps not in the UK or Belgium but worldwide women's cycling is picking up and completely captivates a sponsors market, the only missing link is the idiots that sit back on their armchairs stating that it's not good enough to watch and therefore not good enough to sponsor, i.e. those of you that think it's not worthy of airtime, ever actually watched women's racing??

The fact that this is even up for discussion is nuts to me, I don't understand how the consensus isn't "yeah, fair play, they don't get paid enough".

Avatar
Colin Peyresourde [1723 posts] 2 years ago
0 likes

Of course it is nonsensical. If one person does the same job as another they should be paid the same, oh, unless that person generates more business and brings more money into their industry - oh, wait that already happens!?!

I agree the disparity between men's and women's sport can be quite large at times. But you only have to watch the comparative men's football matches and women's football matches to see the difference in the draw they have (empty stands etc despite being put on sports channels). Though the argument still remains about whether the disparity is fair, commerciality always has a say.

Women's cycling is interesting, but you do have to ask 'if I'm going to watch one Amstel Gold classic which one will I view?' Because we don't have all weekend to watch these things. Perhaps women's cycling needs to learn to package itself in a way which generates more interest (and I don't mean 'sexy' photo shoots - sports women should be taken seriously) but if you think back to how men's cycling was first put on air in bite size half hour slots, perhaps something that women's cycling should do to generate interest. You never heard men arguing about how much they were paid even back in the days it was doodly-squat....and that wasn't long ago.

Avatar
JonSP [65 posts] 2 years ago
0 likes

"and the competitors actually look and dress like females".

There is so much wrong with this statement I don't even know where to start.

Avatar
md6 [181 posts] 2 years ago
0 likes

I think that it is disgusting the gap in the pay between men's and womens cycling. I am certain that all but the absolutely worst female pro cyclist would drop me (and probably 90% of the commentors on here too) very easily, so the issue about the ability is a non starter. From what women's cycling i have seen (limited i will admit) it has been exciting and just as entertaining as men's. I accept that men's cycling will generate more interest and sponsorship money as that seems to be the case with all sports (i could hypothesise that it is due to men who predominantly are the audience being intimdated and/or dismissinve of female athletes) but to have such a gap that coming 3rd in a second tier half Ironman (which the philippines race is, none of hte big guns really go there) pays more than becoming world champion in cycling. Whilst triathlon is one of the few sports where women get paid the same as men (as i understand it) it doesn't mean that there should be such a gap. The UCI should look at doing something to change this situation - make all race sponsorship deals be for both mens' and womens' races perhaps

Avatar
Al__S [1024 posts] 2 years ago
0 likes
Colin Peyresourde wrote:

You never heard men arguing about how much they were paid even back in the days it was doodly-squat....and that wasn't long ago.

So the riders strikes and protests in the 70s and 80s didn't happen? Plus there were far fewer "channels" for coverage (especially in English) so even if they were complaining there would be far less coverage.

Avatar
Al__S [1024 posts] 2 years ago
0 likes

women's cycling, like almost all women's sport, is stuck in the same feedback loop of no coverage-supposedly "no interest"-low sponsorship-less talent development. It's a vicious circle. Needs ideally a broadcaster to take a punt on full coverage.

Avatar
workhard [397 posts] 2 years ago
0 likes
Joeinpoole wrote:

It's not "nuts", it's simply the market.

Women's football for example will never take off whilst they insist on dressing like blokes and trying to talk like them too (whilst blowing snot from their noses when being interviewed) in a ridiculous bid to be taken seriously. If in tennis the women wore baggy men's clothing and also acted like blokes then their sport too would have considerably less appeal.

Putting aside the revolting sexism which implies folk only watch women's sport to look at women's bodies, and that women must behave in ways pleasing to others to be appealing...

...do you have a clue about the history of women's football/soccer? Its development as mass spectator sport in the ealry 20thC mirrored that of the men's game and it was once so popular the FA found it necessary to ban women from playing on the grounds of its affiliates in 1921, a ban that lasted 50 years, because they didn't like the competition.

It's the market? My backside, the market is rigged. By men.

Avatar
beardyjim [46 posts] 2 years ago
0 likes
Joeinpoole wrote:

Those sports are 'tv friendly' and the competitors actually look and dress like females

Have you looked at the male pro tours, quite a few of them have blokes wearing 'tights' and in days gone by wearing tights may well have been considered ever so slightly female so does that mean I should boycott watching them as they don't have standard issue lumberjack shirts or pinstripe suits?
 29

Avatar
farrell [1950 posts] 2 years ago
0 likes

I can't figure out which is more repugnant. Joe In Poole's post or the fact that there are eight other cavemorons that felt compelled to hit the 'like' button.

Give your heads a wobble.

MadonePro - You may be correct but unless you are going to spill the full facts it is worthless. And if you can't provide the full details due to the nature of your work I would then suggest you refrain from being so unprofessional.

Avatar
surly_by_name [358 posts] 2 years ago
0 likes

Consternation about the fact that women get paid less than men in cycling (and in many other sports) is a bit like being upset about climate change or wishing for world peace. In other words, almost entirely pointless.

I am happy for women to be paid as much as men. But I don't write the cheques. The teams - and by extension, the sponsors - do. The reality is that not enough people watch women's cycling, whether live or on TV with the result that sponsors aren't all that interested (i.e., they don't pay much for the limited exposure to potential consumers that they get).

The UCI can go some way to fixing this - creating a dedicated internet channel that shows women's racing. Requiring race organisers to put on women's events contemporaneously with the men's events and offer a prize purse that is either equal with or some significant, mandated proportion of the men's purse. (Although given the past decade has seen men's races across Europe fold because of financial difficulties, this second proposal is unlikely to be popular among organisers or the men, who will - not unjustificably - conclude that their smaller prize pot is a result of paying more to women. Let's see how many of the pro peleton are feminists then. Against this, the prize pot for men's races is pretty small anyway, most of the athletes reward comes in enhanced contracts terms, so maybe reducting men's pot wouldn't matter all that much.) Requiring teams that want Pro Tour (do we still have that?) certification to have a fully funded and functioning women's team. (Again, suspect financial strain on smaller teams would prove unbearable.) All of these "fixes" have a cost and they don't solve the fundamental problem that not enough people appear to find women's bike racing particularly interesting.

You all can do something to - turn up to women's cycling events, read reports of women's races, do more stuff to show sponsor's you are interested.

I've watched a little bit of women's road racing. I will usually watch the worlds and maybe the olympics, and I've been to see UCI cross events on a couple of occasions (women usually precede men). So what follows is based on anecdote not any systematic study. Women's fields are less competitive than the men's field. You have a dozen or so truly talented individuals and a lot of others who appear to be simply "making up the numbers". I am not suggesting that I am faster/stronger/quicker than any of the women who race in UCI events. (This is, in any event, irrelevant. There are plenty of male cyclists who are faster/stronger/quicker than me who go past me every weekend and I don't chase them down and stuff cash in their jersey pockets.) It's just that a lack of competition produces a poor competition. It's the same problem as women's slopestyle in the Winter Olympics or women teeing off from a different place in golf. (And cyclocross. Marianne Vos is a phenomenal talent and Katie Compton rocks. But watching a women's UCI cross event you sometimes feel like its a girls' school sports day once you get past the top 5. I'd be interested to see what would happen if you put Matthieu Van der Poel, Michael Vantourenhout or Wout Van Aert on the start line for women's worold cup event.) It's not a lack of ability, it's a lack of competition at junior ranks. So maybe that's where it needs to be fixed, but that isn't going to reduce the pay differential overnight and so isn't likely to assuage those who want a quick fix.

In response to a couple of (stupid) points made above by a number of different posters:

* I don't care what women wear in sport, in particular I don't think its the job of an organising body to legislate that women should wear any particular attire - I'm looking at you FIVB. (This is a pretty sterile debate in cycling anyway, its hard to imagine that you can get much more revealing than a skinsuit.) Money talks - athletes either do what they need to do maximise their own earning potential (Maria Sharapova, anyone) or decide they don't want to play that game and accept their lot. (Giorgia Bronzini is one of the most successful cyclists of her generation but compare her with Rochelle Gilmour and tell me who gets more airtime without a helmet on.)

* The idea that women cyclists "do the same job" as male pros is simply incorrect. The women race for much shorter distances. They compete much less frequently.

Cycling in the UK (and in a number of other English speaking countries) is enjoying massive growth. If the UCI can't translate some of this into an increased profile for women's cycling then it's a more cack handed organisation than we imagined possible.

Avatar
notfastenough [3679 posts] 2 years ago
0 likes

"I disagree with her, so she must be whingy."

Or perhaps not. Given her talents (triathlete, marathon runner etc), it's clear she could make more money in other sports if she dedicated herself to them, so, errr, maybe it's not the money that keeps her racing? She's campaigning for equality, and rightly so. Ok, I do understand the commercial realities, but these women barely get a sandwich and petrol money home for attending very high profile races.

Oh, and I've decided that rather than spend a small fortune on going to Ireland for the Giro, I'm saving some cash and taking the family to Welwyn Garden City that same weekend to watch the womens Tour Series.

Avatar
teaboy [311 posts] 2 years ago
0 likes

The trouble is that the circle needs to be broken. Not competitive enough = not enough riders coming through from a young age. Why is this - what's the inspiration? "One day you might be world champion and win £1000 for winning one of the biggest races in the world" isn't going to get any girl out of bed early and on a bike to do the training required. What is there for young female riders to dream about?

Race distance isn't decided by the riders but by the organisers. Number of races is not decided by the riders either, neither is how much coverage these will get.

Cycling is weird - there's a lot of money in the sport but with very little reward for the competitors.

Avatar
mooleur [537 posts] 2 years ago
0 likes

Some good comments coming through, finally! Though I just want to clear a couple of slight misconceptions up;

1. While in CX it's a little different as the fields are smaller and generally more "open" - in road racing the competition is generally huge, with every high profile race usually being oversubscribe with the worlds best fighting to take part.

There are a lot more women's pro races than the UCI likes to let on, for every singular world cup race (of which there aren't many) - there are UCI ranked races going on constantly between each. And when there aren't there are fields of 200+ pro and pro-am women turning up to continental races and kermesses around the likes of Belgium and Holland. So there really isn't an issue of there not being enough on, there's loads! Unfortunately in Britain we aren't really exposed to that fact, though, so I can see where folk are coming from with that.

Even with domestic races, I have to sign up 3+ months in advance for a lot of them because even at club level almost every race is oversubscribed. A lot of them now running at similar distances to the men.

On the subject of distance, some see it as a good thing that a lot of women's races run at almost half the distance as the mens - this makes for an extremely exciting, attacking and fast race and is not to be sniffed at!

2. I think the issue is not that not enough people are willing to watch the women's sport, but there is little or no cooperation from the likes of the UCI to help. The UCI has a channel which it features extremely small snippets of world cup races, but there is no vested interest in providing the masses with a suitable base for media coverage. The likes of RAI sport in Italy *always* show full women's races that happen there and the return has been massive, they usually see almost equal numbers of viewings and in some cases even more than the men's - because there are viewers from across Europe as Italian TV is about the only reasonable coverage we get.

Granted it's been the case in the past that perhaps there wasn't a projected return due to the fact that it's not been as popular, but that simply isn't the case any more. Even if it were as simple as strapping a go pro to an outrider - thousands, if not millions, of people would view it if only to watch some quality racing - all you need to do is watch twitter during a big race and you'll see that the interest is there. There is just no drive from the UCI, or otherwise (ahem, BC) to make any sort of changes.

A lot of early season women's races happen around the same time as the men's, or at least a couple of days earlier. The infrastructure is there already, yet they just don't bother. It's simply a mixture of laziness and the old fashioned view that women's cycling is second rate to men's.

But as some have mentioned, the more people that take the time to actually watch the races, and give it a chance, the better. We can all be a part of making this better if we simply gave the sport an equal chance as fans.

Avatar
madonepro [36 posts] 2 years ago
0 likes

Nice try, but seriously do you think I am going to pass that info to a complete stranger!

If you look through past editions of cycling weekly, you will recall Emma moaning in an article about not getting a power meter she was promised blah blah blah.

I'm lucky enough to know people, so thought i'd help out, but I wasted my time with an ungrateful individual, so sorry to burst the bubble.

I do know live in Perth, WA, where Emma spends a lot of her off season, she has family here, and I can promise you, the feeling here is of a whinging pom.

Unprofessional eh, that assumes I am in the profession...

Avatar
mooleur [537 posts] 2 years ago
0 likes

//s2.quickmeme.com/img/84/84c4cc353a9e4eb003711dd7957b854ed4fc0ab9a0ffe939eaa67554a4404ec9.jpg)

Avatar
farrell [1950 posts] 2 years ago
0 likes

I honestly didn't expect you to start naming names hence the comment about being a tad more professional, but as you have since suggested, you're not actually connected with pro cycling. I'm now intrigued why someone not "in the profession" decided to stick their oar in.

The story takes a bit of a twist with that reveal, as it appears that someone with no connection to the event has mithered people they don't know to email them so they could "sort out" a problem they had no involvement in after reading about it in a magazine.

Whilst I appreciate you may feel hard done by due to wasting your time, I can safely say that if a complete stranger started asking me to get in touch with them so they could get involved in something that didn't actually concern them after reading something about me in a magazine I would be very, very wary of revealing anything to them.

Avatar
Neil753 [447 posts] 2 years ago
0 likes

Play a womens' triathlon on the big screen in any pub, and watch carefully to see which shots have the clientelle chatting over their beer, and which shots have the viewers so fixated that conversation is momentarily suspended. Rightly or wrongly, it is this audience "reaction" that advertisers are searching for.

It's not "nuts", it's just advertisers looking for the most cost effective platform, and it is their money after all.

Avatar
Jimmy Ray Will [470 posts] 2 years ago
0 likes

This argument drives me nuts...

I totally get why Emma and women are moaning, I totally appreciate that the top riders should be earning more... they should be. Its the same argument that has me moaning that if I was a footballer not a cyclist, at the level I compete, I'd be earning a six figure salary, not working in an office...

But that's the reality... as a sport, cycling generally doesn't do enough to attract the big money, and here we are, scrabbling around for the scraps.

Womens cycling is not where it needs to be to generate the income needed to pay its stars the cash they deserve. Its as simple as that. Its not sexist, its not men raging against the women, its just the way it is.

As I've commented on before, womens cycling has great potential because it is 30 years behind the mens game. Its great that you can pick your winner from a handful of starters... you can then have heroes and turn up with a chance to support them achieving something. There are only a handful of mens racing where that is still possible, and guess what, they are the most popular.

So... the sport has to do something to address this. And to me, that something is not simply moaning about sexual inequality. No one owes womens cycling anything, like any professional sport, it has to prove itself popular enough to earn the corporate dollar to pay its wages.

There are hundreds of sports out there that are essentially amateur for this very reason... why should women's cycle sport have any automatic right to be different?

Yes the UCI should be doing more, and I think its great that Emma is lobbying for more action, but please don't let sexism draw the argument and focus away from where it needs to be.

Avatar
mooleur [537 posts] 2 years ago
0 likes
Neil753 wrote:

Play a womens' triathlon on the big screen in any pub, and watch carefully to see which shots have the clientelle chatting over their beer, and which shots have the viewers so fixated that conversation is momentarily suspended. Rightly or wrongly, it is this audience "reaction" that advertisers are searching for.

It's not "nuts", it's just advertisers looking for the most cost effective platform, and it is their money after all.

Generally one screen is only one viewer, in marketing terms, as far as they're concerned 100 people watching a race on their iPad is 100x better than 100 blokes glancing at one fee-paying box. Play a women's Belgian classic in LMNH and guaranteed the eyes will be on the TV as much as they'd be in the men's equivalent.

I'm confused. What isn't cost effective about women's cycling?

Avatar
Jimmy Ray Will [470 posts] 2 years ago
0 likes

I'm guessing the reference to cost effectiveness is the advertisers costs for reaching their target audience. A term that gets used a lot is CPM, which is the real cost of getting their brand/message to one thousand people.

Cycling offers brilliant CPM by the way, however rband alignment is not too hot.

Avatar
Joeinpoole [439 posts] 2 years ago
0 likes
farrell wrote:

I can't figure out which is more repugnant. Joe In Poole's post or the fact that there are eight other cavemorons that felt compelled to hit the 'like' button.

Give your heads a wobble.

It's always good to throw a little bait out there to get the 'PC Brigade' foaming at the mouth. They never disappoint.

To be honest I think it's "nuts" that Wayne Rooney gets paid more in a week for kicking a ball about than a top consultant surgeon gets paid in a year for saving people's lives. (NB: Did you watch "One Hour to Save Your Life" on the BBC recently? I'd honestly prefer to watch those guys doing their work than WR __ but maybe that's just me.)

I also think it's "nuts" that Anna Kournikova became the world's best paid sportswoman without ever actually winning a WTC singles event or climbing above 8th position in the rankings.

I think it's "nuts" that people pay thousands of pounds for shiny stones that they call "jewellery" that appear to have no practical purpose. Why don't they use the money to travel the world instead __ or buy a bike?

But that's how things are.

Pages