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How Mbappe’s huge wage offer from Saudi compares with stars of golf, NBA, NFL

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For starters, it is not beyond the realms of possibility that he stays at Paris Saint-Germain and signs a new contract even more lucrative than the one he is on now. Another alternative is to see that deal out and join Real Madrid as a free agent next summer and take advantage of the hefty signing-on fee that comes with such a move.

A third option is to sign for Saudi Pro League club Al Hilal, who are reportedly offering the 2018 World Cup winner and current France captain a one-year deal worth €700million (£602m; $772m), before deadline day on September 1 and then go to Madrid on a free this time next summer once that contract expires. A fourth possibility is that Madrid are tempted into paying PSG a fee for Mbappe before the end of this window.

Whatever Mbappe decides to do, his bank account is going to benefit massively.

There are no two ways about it: the numbers being bandied about here are grotesque and will take player wages to a new level of obscenity, but if we’re being honest they lost all meaning a long time ago.

Saudi’s Public Investment Fund (PIF), the sovereign wealth fund that is now the majority shareholder in Riyadh-based Al Hilal, is willing to spend €1billion (£860m; $1.1bn), of which €300m (£258m; $331m) would be paid to PSG as a transfer fee, to acquire Mbappe’s services for a single season.

The transfer fee alone would be a world record, comfortably surpassing the (£190.3m; $245.8m) PSG paid Barcelona to sign Neymar in 2017.

Lionel Messi turned down a €1.2billion (£1bn; $1.3bn) two year-contract from Al Hilal last month to instead join Inter Miami in MLS. Meanwhile, his long-time rival Cristiano Ronaldo is being paid £175m ($226m) a year by Al Hilal’s Riyadh neighbours Al Nassr.

When you consider Trevor Francis, who passed away on Monday, became the first £1million ($1.3m at current exchange rates) British player in 1979, moving from Birmingham City to Nottingham Forest, the money involved in the possible Mbappe transaction seems even more astronomical.

Kieran Maguire, the football finance expert, has worked out that Francis’ 1979 fee today, when revenue increases over time as a measure of purchasing power, would be worth £253.5million ($327.3m).

If this is taken into the current context, Al Hilal’s offer that would see £258million go to PSG does not seem so unreasonable.

Very sad to read of the passing of Trevor Francis, recall him destroying Brighton at Maine Road.

His 1979 transfer fee, adjusted for football inflation (revenue increases over time as a measure of purchasing power) would be £253.5 million today. That’s how good he was.

The fee Al Hilal are seemingly ready to pay is also roughly the same figure that Real Madrid, who Mbappe could then join as a free agent in 2024 after bolstering his bank balance with a season in the Middle East, are spending to extensively rebuild their famous Bernabeu stadium.

So, yes, the finances involved here are off the scale, especially when his potential salary is broken down and you realise Mbappe stands to earn £1.65million a day. In that sense, it is not a surprise to see the negative reaction it has generated from a general public going through a cost of living crisis.

But when you compare these figures to what other top athletes earn, is it entirely out of kilter that Mbappe, one of the biggest stars in the most popular sport in the world, could command such a salary?

Tiger Woods, for example, turned down a reported $800million (£620m) last year to join the PIF-funded LIV Golf breakaway tour. Rory McIlroy, another of golf’s biggest names, is similarly said to have turned down an astronomical signing-on fee that stretched into the hundreds of millions of pounds when he chose to stay with the PGA Tour.

The common factor in the cases of Mbappe, Woods and McIlroy is that the money on the table came from Saudi Arabia.

But lofty sums can be earned in golf away from the Gulf, too. Brian Harman of the U.S. won The Open Championship on Sunday, pocketing $3million (£2.3m) for his efforts. The winner of this year’s FedEx Cup tournament, the culmination of the full 2023 season’s events on the North American-based PGA Tour, will be rewarded with a cheque for $17m (£13.2m).

Away from golf, but sticking with North America, franchises competing in the National Football League (NFL), National Basketball Association (NBA) and Major League Baseball (MLB) are not shy when it comes to handing out big-money contracts.

The immediate caveat to point out here is that all three of those leagues are closed shops, where relegation or qualification to earn further prize money in a Champions League equivalent do not exist, which makes any investment safer.

Jaylen Brown has just signed the richest contract in NBA history, with the Boston Celtics agreeing to pay the 26-year-old $304million (£235m) over five years. The extension kicks in for the 2024-25 season, and means his annual salary will jump from $28.5m (£22.1m) to $60.8m (£47.1m).

This surpasses the previous NBA record — set in 2022 — that saw the Denver Nuggets, another part of Arsenal owner Stan Kroenke’s sporting empire, commit to paying Nikola Jokic $264million (£204.5m) in a five-year deal. Jokic led Denver to win the 2022-23 NBA title last month.

According to Spotrac, a website that breaks down contracts, LeBron James, who is regarded as one of the best NBA players ever, will have accumulated $530.9million (£411.2m) throughout his career if he remains at the Los Angeles Lakers until the end of the 2024-25 season.

James, now 38, reacted to the Mbappe news by posting a GIF on Twitter of Tom Hanks’ movie character Forrest Gump, implying he would run to Saudi Arabia if he was offered a similar one-year contract.

On a similar theme, Usain Bolt, still the men’s 100m world record-holder despite retiring in 2017, joked he would be ready to make a comeback at age 36 if the Saudis are throwing money on the table.

Switching to the NFL, Patrick Mahomes, quarterback of the reigning champions the Kansas City Chiefs, signed a 10-year deal worth up to $503million (£389.7m) in 2020.

Although no quarterback has signed such a long-term contract since then, the annual value of what they earn goes up each time one of the game’s top players at its most important position gets a new deal.

Earlier this summer, Lamar Jackson agreed one worth $260million (£203.3m) over five years — $52m (£40.3m) a year — with the Baltimore Ravens, only for the Los Angeles Chargers to sign their quarterback, Justin Herbert, to a $262.5million (£203.2m) extension of the same length on Tuesday.

Herbert’s annual salary is likely to be eclipsed by that of Joe Burrow, who is set to receive a new deal from the Cincinnati Bengals. The expectation in the industry is that Burrow will become the highest-earning NFL quarterback on a per-annum basis.

Shohei Ohtani, a rare baseball player who excels as both a batter and a pitcher, could secure a contract worth $500million (£387.3m) if he hits free agency. His current contract with the Los Angeles Angels expires when the 2023 MLB season ends in November.

In boxing, there are significant one-off payments to be earned.

Floyd Mayweather, who retired undefeated in August 2017, called himself “Money Mayweather” due to the vast pay-per-view earnings he generated. A single fight against Manny Pacquiao in May 2015, for example, reportedly made the American around £225million ($290.5m). There was a similar payday two years later when he faced Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) star Conor McGregor in a cross-sport bout that was the last of Mayweather’s career.

Mbappe, should he accept Al Hilal’s offer, will become the highest-paid player of any professional sport.

Athletes, more so than ever before, are becoming brands in their own right, and the Frenchman comfortably sits alongside the biggest names in football. He is one of the few players in the sport, a list which also includes Manchester City striker Erling Haaland, who can legitimately replace Ronaldo and Messi and take on the mantle of being at the forefront of the world’s most popular game.

The people running the PIF know this and can sense an opportunity to take the Saudi Pro League to another level in terms of interest. And when you take into account what other athletes get paid, even though their earnings are spread across multi-year contracts, elite sport is awash with money.

Mbappe would just be the latest in a long line to cash in on their worth as both a professional athlete and a brand.

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Barcelona’s salary limit drops massively from €648m to €270m

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Barcelona’s new salary limit for this season has been set at €270 million, a huge drop from the €648m limit set in February.

La Liga have told informed all clubs of their salary levels for the next five months, when they will be reviewed again following the close of the January transfer window.

Barca’s new limit is €270m, the third highest in La Liga, behind Real Madrid and Atletico.

Los Blancos lead the way on €727m, while Atletico Madrid’s salary cap has been set at €296m.

Barca have been busy in the summer in a bid to reduce their wage bill. There were a host of outgoings with Jordi Alba, Sergio Busquets, Ousmane Dembele among those players to be shifted off the wage bill.

Incoming players have arrived on free transfers, or for small fees, and have had to take significant wage cuts. Marc-Andre ter Stegen has also taken a downward contract renewal in a bid to help his club during their financial difficulties.

It’s worth noting that Barcelona are still thought to be way over the limit with a current wage bill of around €404m, meaning there’s still a lot of work needed to do on the financial front.

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Meet 10 highest paid players in the Premier League

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The Premier League is one of the richest leagues in the world and a lot of the star players are on incredibly lucrative contracts.

The likes of Manchester United, Chelsea, Arsenal, Liverpool and Manchester City are all willing to offer huge pay packets to help convince players to join their clubs.

Using data from Capology, a look at the 10 Premier League players with the highest weekly wage.

Note: All figures mentioned are before tax and do not include the array of bonuses that are included in the fine print of every contract.

  1. Kai Havertz – £280,000
    Havertz spent three years at Chelsea before moving across London and joining Arsenal in a £65millon deal in the summer of 2023.

Alongside the transfer fee, the Gunners also shelled out a significant pay packet as they are giving him a reported £280,000-per-week.

The Germany international is the highest-paid player at the Emirates, earning £15,000-a-week more than teammate Gabriel Jesus.

He has faced some criticism for a slow start to life in north London but still has plenty of time to prove his doubters wrong.

9= Jack Grealish – £300,000
Grealish left boyhood club Aston Villa and completed a £100million move to Manchester City in the summer of 2021.

The England international then got a significant wage increase, going from £125,000-per-week at Villa Park to £300,000-per-week at the Etihad.

He had an underwhelming debut season at City but rediscovered his best form in 2022/23, helping Pep Guardiola’s side win the Premier League, the FA Cup and the Champions League.

Alongside his huge wages, the 28-year-old earns £10million a year from Puma and also has a lucrative endorsement contract with fashion house Gucci.

9= Marcus Rashford – £300,00
A Manchester United academy graduate, Rashford earned just £500-a-week when he broke into the first team in February 2016.

The 25-year-old has since developed into one of the best players in the Premier League and his wages have subsequently skyrocketed.

He put pen to paper on a new five-year contract ahead of the 2023/24 season and is now pocketing around £300,000-per-week.

According to The Athletic, Rashford rejected more lucrative proposals from England and abroad to remain at his boyhood club.

9= Bernardo Silva – £300,000
Since arriving from Monaco in the summer of 2017, Silva has helped Manchester City win 14 trophies, including five Premier League titles and the Champions League.

He was heavily linked with Barcelona and Paris Saint-Germain in 2023 and was also offered a £500,000-a-week contract by Saudi Pro League side Al Hilal.

But the Portugal international rejected that lucrative offer and signed a contract extension with City until the summer of 2026.

The new deal, which reportedly includes a release clause, rewarded Silva for his impressive performances and doubled his £150,000-a-week salary.

  1. Raheem Sterling – £325,000
    After spending seven seasons at Manchester City, Sterling opted for a new challenge and joined Chelsea in a £47.5million deal in 2022.

The winger signed a five-year deal which is worth £325,000-per-week, making him the highest-paid player at Stamford Bridge.

He struggled to justify that huge pay packet during a turbulent debut season, registering just nine goals and four assists across 38 appearances in all competitions.

While a lot of Chelsea players got a pay cut for missing out on the Champions League, Sterling’s wages have reportedly stayed the same.

  1. Raphael Varane – £340,000
    Varane’s move to Manchester United in the summer of 2021 saw his wage packet double after he was reportedly paid £170,000-per-week at Real Madrid.

The 30-year-old arrived at Old Trafford with some serious pedigree, having won three La Liga titles, four Champions Leagues and the World Cup.

He’s widely regarded as one of the best defenders in the Premier League and has forged a promising centre-back partnership with Lisandro Martinez.

But the former France international has struggled to stay fit for prolonged periods and has already missed 35 United matches through injury.

4= Mohamed Salah – £350,000
After months upon months of speculation about a potential Liverpool exit, Salah committed his future to the Reds in 2022 by putting pen to paper on a new three-year contract.

The deal saw his wages go from £200,000-per-week to £350,000-per-week, making him the highest-paid player in the club’s illustrious history.

According to The Athletic, various bonuses written into the contract could see that rise closer to £400,000-per-week.

That still pales in comparison to the £2.45million-a-week wage that Al-Hilal are reportedly willing to offer the Egypt international.

4= Casemiro – £350,000
Casemiro enjoyed a trophy-laden career at Real Madrid, winning five La Liga titles, a Copa del Rey and five Champions Leagues.

The midfielder subsequently raised eyebrows in 2022 when he decided to leave Real and join a Manchester United side that had failed to qualify for the Champions League.

His reported wages of £350,000-a-week led to speculation that he only signed for a massive payday, but the Brazil international insisted that the money was not part of his thinking in accepting the switch.

“Those who think that don’t know me,” he said. “I’m not like that. If it was for money, then I could have left four or five years ago. The club always acted well with me. It was my decision. It was simply the feeling that my cycle here had come to an end. This was clear to me.”

He silenced his critics and had a brilliant debut season at Old Trafford, helping United win the EFL Cup and finish third in the Premier League.

But the 31-year-old has had a difficult start to the 2023/24 season and his £350,000-a-week contract doesn’t expire until 2026.

  1. Erling Haaland – £375,000
    Manchester City won the race for Haaland’s signature in 2022 after triggering the £51.2million release clause in his Borussia Dortmund contract.

Having signed Haaland for around a third of his market value, City agreed to make him one of their highest earners and are paying the 23-year-old a base salary of £375,000-per-week.

The striker is worth every penny as he scored 52 goals in 53 appearances in all competitions during a record-breaking debut season.

According to reports, Haaland’s contract also includes a number of relatively straightforward bonuses which could take his wage up to £865,000-per-week.

  1. Kevin De Bruyne – £400,000
    After Cristiano Ronaldo’s Manchester United contract was terminated by mutual consent in November 2022, De Bruyne took his place as the Premier League’s highest earner.

The Manchester City midfielder last signed a contract extension in April 2021, which took his pay up to the £400,000-per-week mark.

He justified that wage increase by winning the Premier League Player of the Season award in 2021/22 before playing an integral role in City’s treble-winning campaign.

Culled from teamtalk.com

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NFF Budgets N14.4 Billion For 2024

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The Nigeria Football Federation (NFF) says it will spend the sum of N14,494,469,293.00 (Fourteen Billion, Four Hundred and Ninety-Four Million, Four Hundred and Sixty-Nine Thousand and Two Hundred and Ninety-Three Naira) in 2024.

This was part of the resolution passed by the Congress of the NFF which held its 79th Annual General Assembly on Sunday, 10th September 2023 at Monty Suites Hotel, Uyo, Akwa Ibom State

Sports Marketing International reports that the Congress approved the NFF’s 2024 Budget proposal of the sum of N14,494,469,293.00 even as it considered and approved the NFF Financial Statements for the Year Ended 2022 among many other agenda that were looked into during the congress.

While passing a vote of confidence on the Executive Committee of the NFF led by Ibrahim Musa Gusau, the congress approved the change of name of the Nigeria Professional Football League to the Nigeria Premier Football League and pledged full support to the Super Eagles in its quest to qualify for the FIFA World Cup USA/Mexico/Canada 2026.

The football body, after appraising the efforts, commitment and passion of the Akwa Ibom State government to the development and real growth of Nigeria Football through its support and encouragement of the NFF and the National Teams, the Congress commended Governor Umo Bassey Eno and his cabinet and encouraged them to do even more as the Super Eagles are ready to make Uyo its home for the 2026 FIFA World Cup qualifying matches.

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