The game of football is a great leveller. For centuries the sport has brought together people from all ends of the spectrum. Kings play with paupers, friends with enemies, giants with minnows. In 19th century Britain, for example, football was one of the only mediums through which the well-oiled upper classes would even agree to associate with the working man. This uniting spirit is undoubtedly part of the game’s enduring appeal and also a significant ingredient to the charm and success of the World Cup. The fact that an economically poorer nation like Honduras can face up against a powerhouse like Spain on ostensibly a level playing field is almost unique to sport, and a defining reason why so many love it.
Just as well really, because if matters of finance ever became the overriding factor in deciding a football match the World Cup would automatically be rendered a pretty lifeless, dull spectacle.
Argentinian sports daily Olé did some digging last week, collating and publishing the salaries of all 32 managers who led their side to the 2010 World Cup. Their results reveal a chasm so wide even the First Gorge would turn away, shaking it’s head in visible disgust. First the figures. These are approximate annual salaries in US dollars:
– Fabio Capello (England): 9,900,000 USD/year
– Marcelo Lippi (Italy): 4,100,000
– Javier Aguirre (Mexico): 4,000,000
– Joachim Löw (Germany): 3,300,000
– Berter van Marwijk (Netherlands): 2,700,000
– Ottmar Hitzfeld (Switzerland): 2,600,000
– Vicente del Bosque (Spain): 2,200,000
– Carlos Queiroz (Portugal): 2,000,000
– Pim Verbeek (Australia): 1,820,000
– Carlos Parreira (South Africa): 1,800,000
– Dunga (Brazil): 1,250,000
– Diego Maradona (Argentina): 1,200,000
– Takeshi Okada (Japan): 1,200,000
– Ricki Herbert (New Zealand): 1,200,000
– Otto Rehhagel (Greece): 1,150,000
– Paul Le Guen (Cameroon): 960,000
– Marcelo Bielsa (Chile): 850,000
– Vahdi Halilhodzic (Cote d’Ivoire): 740,000
– Raymond Domenech (France): 720,000
– Hun Jung Moo (South Korea): 600,000
– Morten Olsen (Denmark): 570,000
– Milovan Rajevac (Ghana): 540,000
– Bob Bradley (USA): 400,000
– Radomir Antic (Serbia): 447,000
– Matjaz Kek (Slovenia): 360,000
– Gerardo Martino (Paraguay): 360,000
– Rabah Saadane (Algeria): 360,000
– Reinaldo Rueda (Honduras): 350,000
– Vladimir Weiss (Slovakia): 312,000
– Oscar Washington Tabárez (Uruguay): 300,000
– Kim Jong Hun (North Korea): 250,000
– Shaibu Amodu (Nigeria): 180,000
Now a few facts
and observations about the figures:
1) The phrase ‘I make more in a week than you do in a year’ is readily and freely applicable for Fabio Capello should he ever wish to wind up Nigeria coach Shaibu Amodu. It would be whole and true.
2) South Africa coach Carlos Alberto Parreira earns the same in one month as the nation’s president Thabo Mbeki in a year, a cause of some quite understandable recent furore in the Rainbow Nation.
3) Looking at the figures earnt by the other major Western European nations, Raymond Domenech might consider employing himself a new agent as soon as possible. Or, depending on your opinion of Domenech’s coaching abilities, one might argue his agent has done a stellar job keeping the guy in a job at all.
4) If you need to borrow a fiver, Fabio Capello is your man.
5) The English FA knows a bargain when it sees one / should be ashamed and ridiculed for it’s preposterous overspending (delete as appropriate).
So there you have it. In a World Cup of managerial salaries the final is England vs Italy. And England are world champions!
Comments, observations, shock and awe welcome below.