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Salary of French football players: Still a story of ‘one heaven – one abyss’

Spring is the season of swallows flying, cherry blossoms in full bloom and also the season when, according to tradition, l’Equipe newspaper publishes the salaries of players and coaches of French football clubs. Not much different than every year, if you look at the numbers dancing in front of you, fans will be stunned by the income of some top players. But then you will also feel sorry for the female players who only receive meager monthly salaries in the hexagonal-shaped country.

According to the Vietnam News Agency correspondent in France, in the middle of the 2021 season, the Spanish TV channel Mediapro briefly mentioned the Ligue 1 tournament: “Farewell to the lucrative contracts and welcome the tight budget policy. book of French football!”. This comment is completely consistent with the context of the COVID-19 pandemic, which has caused a serious decline in the club’s revenue. However, in the current 2021-2022 season, wages in Ligue 1 continue to increase rapidly.

According to l’Equipe, the total wages of France’s number one league have fallen from 1.38 billion euros in the pre-pandemic period (season 2018-2019) to 1.73 billion in the current financial year. But not all clubs are in the same boat. The rich guy PSG is mainly responsible for the state of the budget team, because the total salary paid to the club’s players has nearly doubled during this period.

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Mbappe, Messi and Neymar. Photo:

In fact, the story does not surprise anyone, because Neymar, Messi and Mbappé of the capital team naturally have the three highest salaries in French football. Only calculating the net salary per month (excluding bonuses), the Brazilian player is paid more than 4 million euros (equivalent to nearly 50 million euros/year), compared with 3.4 million euros for the Argentine striker and 2, 2 million euros of the French striker. However, the “hegemony” of PSG does not stop there, because the 14 highest-paid players in Ligue 1 are simply from the team of the light capital.

PSG is clearly not in the same playing field as its rivals. This club alone accounts for 37% of the total salary of the French championship. On average, each PSG player earns 990,000 euros per month… compared to 67,000 euros for the rest of the clubs. Behind the capital team, Olympique Marseille, AS Monaco, Nice and Lyon are the most generous clubs, although the amount spent is far from comparable to PSG.

Regarding AS Monaco, the most notable is the case of midfielder Cesc Fabregas, the 18th highest-paid player in Ligue 1 with 600,000 euros/month. This is a very generous treatment if you know that the Spaniard is at the end of his career and often injured, having only set foot on the French pitch for only 36 minutes this season. . Calculated, the former Arsenal player has earned 120,000 euros per minute played! The world of football really has no one to do it better than him. Of course, not all players are so rich. According to statistics, only half of the stars of French football receive a salary of less than 40,000 euros/month.

Money and football, football and money are inseparable words in the collective imagination. It is certainly not possible to progress in Ligue 1 without a multi-million euro budget. However, simply multiplying the payments by 6 numbers is not necessarily a good achievement. Strasbourg is a perfect example of a low-cost but still successful business. Although the total payroll ranks 11th in the French national championship, with an average monthly salary paid per player of 55,000 euros, the Alsace club is currently in 5th place in Ligue 1. Other well-managed but well-managed are Lens, whose total payroll is 14th but 8th, or Montpellier 17th but 11th in the Ligue 1 rankings.

On the contrary, despite having a better budget, some teams still have difficulties. Such is the case of Bordeaux, currently in the position of “the team” in Ligue 1, with a total salary of 13th but very willing to spend on some players. For example, midfielder Josuha Guilavogui is paid 240,000 euros, or goalkeeper Benoît Costil 200,000 euros a month. Similarly, the Saint-Etienne club, ranked 9th in terms of total wages but only won 18th place in Ligue 1, and Lyon, ranked 5th in salary but only 10th in terms of achievements.

For coaches, it’s also no surprise that PSG’s Mauricio Pochettino is the highest-paid in the French league. Each month, the Argentinian military leader regularly pocketes a net salary of 1.1 million euros, three times higher than that of the second-placed compatriot Jorge Sampaoli, who now coaches the Marseille team. It should also be known that PSG’s first assistant, Jesus Perez, is being paid 80,000 euros per month, higher than the salary of nine other head coaches in Ligue 1.

The picture of women’s football in France is not so colorful. At first glance the highest salary of the Division 1 (D1) women’s football league, many people might think that female stars, of course, cannot compare with their male counterparts, have nothing to complain about. All the female players in the Top 20 earn more than 10,000 euros a month, helping them to enter the class of 1% of French people with the most prosperous life. Among these are PSG striker Kadidiatou Diani and Olympique Lyonnais (OL) defender Wendie Renard, with the same top monthly salary of 37,000 euros.

But it must be said that the 20 highest-paid players mentioned above, both from Paris or Lyon, are an exception. Although the overall amount received has increased over the years, most star players have a salary of less than 2,000 euros. At D1, there are still some types of contracts and for the rest, the players have to play as semi-professional or amateur.

At the Issy-les-Moulineaux club, for example, only 11 players are fully professional. The rest of the sisters work in a “foot in and out” style and are only paid 120 euros for each appearance. The disparity in the amount of money paid to female players explains why PSG and OL have easily crushed opponents as a habit in recent years.

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