The newspaper “l’Equipe” publishes this Tuesday the salaries of the players of the elite of French football. A PSG which explodes the counters, underpaid women … “Liberation” returns to the five points to remember from these revelations.
Swallows, cherry blossoms and dizzying wage sheets. Spring marks the traditional publication by the teamsalaries of footballers in the French Ligue 1 championship. And like every year, looking into these figures makes you dizzy as the incomes of some are staggering. From overpaid PSG stars to badly off women, Freed comes back to the five points to remember. All amounts mentioned relate to gross monthly salaries and do not take bonuses into account.
An ever-increasing payroll
Last year, in the middle of the season, the broadcaster Mediapro dropped Ligue 1: goodbye to the juicy contract and hello to the policy of budgetary rigour, we thought. Especially since the pandemic had been there and had not done any good for club revenues. However, for this 2021-2022 season, wages have continued to increase. According to the team, L1’s payroll fell from 1.38 billion euros before Covid (2018-2019 season) to 1.73 billion for the current financial year. However, not all clubs are housed in the same boat. PSG is largely responsible for this increase, its payroll having almost doubled over this period.
PSG crushes everything
Nobody is really surprised: the Parisians Neymar, Messi and Mbappé have the three highest salaries in French football this season. The Brazilian would earn just over 4 million euros gross each month (almost 50 million euros a year), against 3.4 million monthly for the Argentinian and 2.2 million for the French striker. But the hegemony of PSG does not stop there: the 14 highest salaries in Ligue 1 are all Parisians. We can even go even further: 21 of the first 23 are players from the capital, the equivalent, within one footballer, of two full teams.
Paris is clearly not in the same league as its competitors. PSG alone has 37% of the championship’s payroll. The average gross salary of Parisians amounts to 990,000 euros per month… compared to 67,000 euros for the rest of Ligue 1. Behind PSG, Marseille, Monaco, Nice and Lyon are the most generous, even if the amounts are far to be comparable.
About Monaco, note the case of midfielder Cesc Fabregas, 18th highest paid player in Ligue 1 with 600,000 euros monthly. A very nice remuneration when you know that the Spaniard, at the end of his career and often injured, has only set foot on French lawns for 36 minutes this season. Freed calculated: that’s 120,000 euros per minute of play so far. Nobody does it better. Of course, not all salaries are so high: half of French football’s elite players earn less than 40,000 euros per month.
Lens and Strasbourg super-managers, Lyon, Bordeaux and Saint-Etienne struggle
Money and football, football and money: the two terms are inseparable in the collective imagination. Certainly, impossible to evolve in Ligue 1 without a budget of several million euros. But multiplying the six-figure payslips is not enough to have good results. Strasbourg is the perfect example. Eleventh payroll in the championship, with an average salary of 55,000 euros per month, the Alsatian club is currently in fifth place in the standings, just four points from the podium. Other good managers include Lens (14th average salary, eighth in Ligue 1) or Montpellier (17th salary, eleventh in Ligue 1).
Conversely, despite a correct or even substantial budget, some are struggling. Last in the standings this season, Bordeaux, for example, has the 13th payroll in the French championship, with some very large salaries (240,000 euros monthly for midfielder Josuha Guilavogui or 200,000 for his goalkeeper Benoît Costil). We also find among the bad students Saint-Etienne (9th in the ranking of average salaries, 18th in Ligue 1) and Lyon (5th in salaries, 10th in Ligue 1).
Among the coaches, Pochettino and the others
Mauricio Pochettino, the PSG coach, is unsurprisingly the highest paid coach in the French championship. And from afar. With 1.1 million euros gross per month, he earns three times more than his runner-up (and compatriot) the Argentinian Jorge Sampaoli, who officiates on the Marseille bench. The Team also notes that the first deputy of PSG, Jesus Perez, receives 80,000 euros per month. That’s more than the head coaches of nine L1 teams.
Very large gap among women
At first sight, when we look at the highest salaries of the female D1, we can say that the elite players, certainly much less paid than their male counterparts, have nothing to complain about. All the players in the top 20 earn more than 10,000 euros per month, which ranks them among the wealthiest 1% of French men and women, with a monthly peak of 37,000 euros for Kadidiatou Diani from PSG and Wendie Renard from France. Olympique Lyonnais.
But these twenty highest paid players, who are all from Paris or Lyon, are an exception. “The vast majority of elite players have salaries below 2,000 euros… for those who are paid, because not all of them are”Explain the team, which nevertheless underlines a general increase in wages from year to year. In D1, several types of contracts exist, and some still have semi-professional or amateur status. In Issy-les-Moulineaux for example, only eleven players are totally professional. The others have a job on the side “and are paid for each meeting” at the rate of 120 euros per game. These pay gaps between PSG, OL and the others are obviously reflected on the pitch: the two clubs have made a habit of crushing the competition in recent years.