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1 August 2011 - 1:33am

Player Salaries

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Athletes in America are paid huge salaries. This past weekend it was reported that Peyton Manning, a quarterback for the Indianapolis Colts was given a $90 million contract. Tiger Woods is worth more than a billion dollars, and the majority of his money comes from endorsements.

I am curious and have a question for those of you who live in other parts of the world: Do athletes around the world make that much money? Do you see that in soccer, cricket, rugby, or other sports? How about endorsements? Any athletes getting ridiculous deals over there?

rsBB84
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1 August 2011 - 9:32pm
#1

Great subject, and an especially topical one nowadays at that!

ESPN The Magazine released a fantastic, fascinating article on this a few months ago: http://sports.espn.go.com/espn/news/story?id=6391145

Turns out the top spot annual salary is a two way tie between Alex Rodriguez, a baseball player in the United States; and Manny Pacquiao, a professional boxer from the Philippines. The annual salary of each of these fellows is a whopping $32 million. Not bad a for year's work!

Not surprisingly, the most represented sport on the list is soccer/football. What I didn't know is how much the race car drivers of the world are paid.

I can speak broadly about soccer/football players relative to athletes in the United States. Generally, the highest paid guys make more than the highest paid NHL and NFL athletes, but still not quite as much as the top-paid pros in the NBA and MLB. The list bears this out.

Anyone else have input from other sports?

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auCL-Ed
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2 August 2011 - 2:08am
#2

The top cricketers in the Indian Premier League earn a load of cash. The league only runs for under 2 months but in terms of weekly wage they are among the highest paid sportsmen in the world. The top guy M.S. Dhoni earns about $1.5m in 6 weeks. And that is salary only, endorsements not included.

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21 August 2011 - 6:52pm
#3

Well, here is a record-setter: http://espn.go.com/sports/soccer/news/_/id/6881825/anzhi-makhachkala-mak...

Leave it to a Russian tycoon to break - or, in this case, blow away - these kinds of records! lol

For those of you not in the know, Anzhi Makhachkala is not a well-known team outside of Russia at all. It does not have the notoriety of the Moscow teams, Zenit, or Rubin. Given how things have gone with Chelsea (Chelski), Manchester City and Shaktar Donetsk, other teams that have had oil money injections, it looks like ol 'Anzhi might be an up and comer as well!

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24 August 2011 - 3:17pm
#4

Player salaries are at the heart of the impending NBA lockout. In this article on ESPN, Malcolm Gladwell, author of the popular books Blink, What the Dog Saw, Outliers and Tipping Point, argues that professional sports teams should not be viewed the same way as business ventures because franchise owners also derive 'psychic benefits' which often take precedence over profits: http://www.grantland.com/story/_/id/6874079/psychic-benefits-nba-lockout.

The article is an interesting, brings up several interesting points and is worth a look if anyone has a few minutes. However, I feel its a little light on the argument and feels more like someonee recounting a few interesting stories.

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10 September 2011 - 3:53am
#5

richest footballers are cristaino ronaldo and lionel messi. richest sportsman is woods . but half of messis salaary goes to charitys

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12 September 2011 - 3:07pm
#6

Relating to my earlier my earlier post about Samuel Eto'o, here is an interesting New York Times article on his decision to move to the team. Much is also devoted to the team itself as well as its oligarch owner: http://www.nytimes.com/2011/09/12/world/europe/12dagestan.html?_r=1

Certainly worth a read.

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13 September 2011 - 7:23am
#7

I think this photo says it all. Have you ever seen a man with a bigger smile on his face?

Cha-ching!!! Money

etoo.jpg

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geGambleMaster
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13 September 2011 - 12:42pm
#8

LOL his thoughts about the crowd in front: "even if you sum up your salaries all together, I'll still have more than you"

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19 October 2011 - 11:49am
#9

I realize the news is a couple of weeks old, but I figued it worth mentioning that Anzhi Makhachkala is looking to splash out more dough. They already have Zhirkov, Eto'o and Roberto Carlos (both the defender and the coach) and they've apparently guaranteed a CL appearance in 24 months time. Quite frankly, I can't see this not happening unless maybe the other Russian teams like the Moscow clubs, Zenit and Rubin start to shell out a bit more to stand in their way.

http://www.goal.com/en/news/12/spain/2011/10/06/2699091/roberto-carlos-r...

Mourinho and Cristiano Ronaldo are only the lastest targets. Gotta love Russian oligarchs and their toys.

All in all, what do people think about this phenomenon of rich barons picking up and investing heavily into club football? We've seen the ascendancy of Chelsea, Manchester City and are probably on the way to seeing more of this with Anzhi and others. Do you think it is good for the game or for competitive parity? Do you see one of these teams lifting the Champions League trophy in the next, say, 5 to 10 years?

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20 October 2011 - 1:09am
#10

It doesn't seem to be working so well for them yet this year. They are currently 8th in the Russian league. But I guess if they splash enough cash they will eventually buy a team good enough to win the league.

I really despise this sort of thing. And I say that as a fan of a Liverpool which has been the beneficiary of a couple of rich Americans buying the club, albeit off another couple of rich American swindlers. So I have seen both sides - its great when your team lands the pot of gold, and its terrible when the pot disappears or turns out to be an illusion.

I would love to see the introduction of some kind of salary cap or financial regulation. UEFA is trying to bring it in by pegging a team's expenditure to their revenue generation. The intent is good but I have a feeling that it may actually backfire. If teams cannot spend beyond a certain percentage of their revenue, even when a rich new investor takes over, how can a smaller club hope to catch up the big global brands like Liverpool, Man United, Real and Barca etc? While it may help in lowering these ridiculous salaries that players earn, it may in fact entrench the gap between the rich and poor. And we're already seeing teams trying to exploit it - Man City's sheik paid the club a massively over-inflated amount in a "sponsorship" deal with a company he owns.

Thats one reason why I love the A-League in Australia. Players earn peanuts in comparison to Europe but there is a salary cap in place, with teams having the ability to pay one "marquee" player outside the cap, and another marquee outside the cap if he is Australian. Consequently the competition has generally been very even over the past few years. We were lucky it was a new league and needed a sound financial footing from the start. Trying to introduce something like that in Europe would be a nightmare.

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25 October 2011 - 5:22pm
#11

You're absolutely right in saying that financial parity is more or less a precondition for parity on the field. Can you imagine trying to go against the financial titans that are Europe's biggest football clubs? I think you're absolutely right that the entrenched haves will go to some length to keep the have-nots down. I suppose its how any market works when you think about it.

While we're on salaries, it looks like the NBA has decided to cancel another two weeks of the season. I think we can stick a fork in the NBA season because it looks like it's done.

That's a shame because this season may have been the last that my Boston Celtics could have made a run at the title. They have some aging stars who perhaps had one year, i.e. this year, in the tank before calling it quits. Think we'll move into rebuilding mode now. Hey, at least we had 2007, though...

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27 October 2011 - 5:28am
#12

I cannot fathom how it can get to the stage where an entire season is in jeopardy - especially when the playersare already some of the highest paid athletes in the world. And the country they play in is in such a precarious financial position. Meanwhile the millionaires argue with the billionaires over money. Surely both sides of the argument can see that this just looks like a giant slap in the face of the fans who could probably use a little sport to cheer them up? I am just astonished.

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27 October 2011 - 8:40am
#13

Apparently there is some promising news of progress between the two sides. Here is the most recent ESPN story on the issue: http://espn.go.com/nba/story/_/id/7152850/nba-lockout-union-owners-resum.... It looks like some steps are being taken in the right direction, but that is still a significant improvement from the news we have been listening to all summer and fall, i.e. no progress ever being made.

ED - your point is very well taken and I think the NBA is doing itself some solid PR damage, so to speak. I think fans will remember this bickering during this financial climate. The NBA players even had the gall to launch the 'Let Us Plan' campaign a few weeks back to try and elicit public support for their cause: http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/early-lead/post/nba-players-use-twit.... How is that for awful?

It is a shame because the NBA had built some very good momentum over the past few years. From the rise of some truly awesome, fun to watch characters (LeBron James, Blake Griffin, Derrick Rose, Kevin Durant, Chris Paul, Dwight Howard, etc.) to cool story lines (Nowitzki and the Mavs winning, "The Decision", etc.) and great games and playoff series, the NBA was well on its way to being as popular as it was during the Jordan era.

Shame about greed, huh?

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27 October 2011 - 11:34pm
#14

Spot on. When its a fight between spoilt rich brats with giant egos and greedy owners it is very hard to pick a side. They all come off looking very bad in this argument and the ones that suffer the most are the people who just want to see some games.

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