Adam Ray ponders the question: how much is a netballer worth?   10 May 2006

Is Irene van Dyk really worth that much?

Reports over the weekend claimed she had asked for nearly NZ$1.5 million to switch teams in the national netball league. The star shooter is at the top of the international game and is thus an asset to any team, but is she that much of an asset?

Predictably, her demand, or the demand made to the Capital Shakers through her manager, caused a fair bit of excitement after it was revealed at the end of last week. Shock, horror, some people thought, could a netballer be paid more than an All Black?

It must be remembered the pay demand from van Dyk, who lives in Wellington but plays for the Waikato-Bay of Plenty Magic, was promptly knocked back. But it still gets you thinking about how much players are worth.

Netball and rugby are often compared as two of our top national sports, both in terms of spectator interest and player numbers. But there is a difference between them, in that rugby is now thoroughly professional and netball is, well, pretty much amateur.

Top flight New Zealand rugby players pick up retainers of hundreds of thousands of dollars a year. This is paid from the cash the New Zealand Rugby Union rakes in from it TV deals, other sponsorship, and income from ticket sales.

Our top netballers earn a fraction of this, with perhaps the top Silver Ferns getting paid no more $80,000 and normal national league players earning $10,000 to $20,000. Van Dyk’s deal was going to be financed by a private Wellington firm – not by the franchise itself and not by the national netball body. Neither of them would probably have the cash to splash on recruiting her anyway. The income raised through netball still pales in comparison with the money splashing around in the world of rugby. Netball might draw major interest when the Silver Ferns take on Australia, but for the rest of the time it is well behind rugby. Van Dyk is a netball superstar, but this is a sport that just does not generate enough cash to offer its best players million-dollar deals.

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Your Comments:

left by melissa wise 22 Dec 2007

Irene van D yk is worth the money she asks for.

left by annilay 17 May 2009

i think yhat irene van dyk should quit because she is too old to play netball and should let younger players to take her replacement.

left by Melissa Wise 5 Nov 2009

Irene van Dyk is not to old and she shouldn't quit until she wants to. It's not up to other people its up to her so leave her alone

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