It is usually considered humiliating for a person to be sold off like a piece of meat. For privileged football stars and unprivileged technology contractors, this usually tends to happen only at the conclusion of contracts. And even then, the transactions are usually conducted privately, the commodity is allowed some opportunity to negotiate a personal rate, though the buyer has the upper hand with the opportunity to walk away and leave the seller with nothing.
Over in India, they have not turned to capitalism in a half-hearted manner. The players in the Indian Premier League were simply sold off at auction, all at once, a single day's bidding. The cricketer who was bought is contractually obliged to play for the buyer for three years for the auction price.
But we shouldn't pity them too much. A million dollars a year for playing a handful of short games. That's preity nice by anyone's standards.