27 June 2010

Who are the Most Over- and Under-Paid World Cup Managers?

[UPDATE: New Zealand's coach appears to have received a phantom raise in the list below.]

The table below shows the salaries (in Euros) of the managers of the 32 World Cup teams, courtesy of futelbolfinance.com. I have made one change to their data (which is from 2009, and does not include any bonuses), and that is to add Sven Goran Eriksson (to replace his much lower-paid predecessor), who picked up a cool $3 million for five weeks work, including a chance to stand on the sidelines and watch three World Cup games. Not bad work if you can get it (Poor Fulham.). Note the aggregate lack of correlation between manager salary and team performance. Maybe the coach doesn't matter in international football either.

While I expect that there might be some debates about who is the most overpaid manager (Bob Bradley anyone?), the most underpaid looks pretty unambiguous: Oscar Tabarez wins the prize.

Coaches Salaries 2010 World Cup

Annual Value

1 Fabio Capello ING € 8,800,000
2 Marcelo Lippi ITA € 3,000,000
3 Joachim Low GER € 2,500,000
4Sven Goran ErickssonCIV€ 2,400,000
5 Bert van Marwijk NED € 1,800,000
6 Ottmar Hitzfeld SUI € 1,750,000
7 Vicente Del Bosque ESP € 1,500,000
8 Carlos Queiroz POR € 1,350,000
9 Pim Verbeek AUS € 1,200,000
10 Carlos Parreira RSA € 1,200,000
11 Javier Aguirre MEX € 1,200,000
12 Carlos Dunga BRA € 800,000
13 Diego Maradona ARG € 800,000
14 Takeshi Okada JPN € 800,000
15 Ricki Herbert NZL € 800,000
16 Otto Rehhagel GRE € 750,000
17 Paul Le Guen CMR € 650,000
18 Marcelo Bielsa CHI € 575,000
19 Raymond Domenech FRA € 560,000
20 Jung Hun Moo KOR € 405,000
21 Morten Olsen DEN € 390,000
22 Milovan Rajevac GHA € 365,000
23 Radomir Antic SRB € 305,000
24 Bob Bradley USA € 275,000
25 Majtaz Kek SLO € 245,000
26 Gerardo Martino PAR € 245,000
27 Rabah Saadane ALG € 245,000
28 Reinaldo Rueda HON € 240,000
29 Vladimir Weiss SVK € 215,000
30 Oscar Tabarez URU € 205,000
31 Kim Jong Hun PRK € 170,000
32 Shaibu Amodu NGR € 125,000


  1. I'd go for numero uno.

    Roger, the formatting on this table/topic has gone horribly wrong.

  2. It is not that the coach doesn't matter. What doesn't matter is the pay. It is the same with bankers: look at the fat bonuses and salaries of those who sank their institutions in 2008/2009. And besides, the market for national coaches is highly segmented and full of imperfections, and therefore one cannot expect wages to reflect marginal productivities.

  3. The figures you reference are certainly incorrect for Ricky Herbert from NZ. He is actually on $NZ 50,000 ($US35,000) and nowhere near the 800,000 euro quoted in the futbol finance source.

    It is laughable to think this is even close to correct. (Yes I am from NZ)

    Using this source as an accurate account of coaches salaries is therefore questionable and all subsequent conclusions must also be suspect.

    Unlike your other World Cup blog posts, this is not one of your better ones.

  4. -4-Anfield

    No worries, disputes over data are a frequent occurrence here, and perfectly welcome.

    I am skeptical that it is cheaper to hire a grad student at the University of Colorado than to hire a national coach for NZ! Got source info?


  5. Roger,

    NZ Salary

    According to the newspaper, Herbert earns about NZ$50,000 (euro28,000, US$35,000) a year for coaching the All Whites, a figure which pales against the seven-figure salaries of his famous rivals...Herbert earns an additional NZ$200,000 (US$140,000) per year for coaching the Wellington Phoenix in Australian soccer's A-League.

  6. Thanks Harrywr2, this article offers some similar data, but also confirms some of the other numbers on the list:


    We might want to reconsider our grad student wages ;-)

  7. I should add, Hebert's grad student wages are indeed small, but won't change my judgment on the top line on this post ... had they gotten out of the group, then maybe . . .

  8. After watching weveral FIFA games, all I can say is that American football looks better and better.
    Any game where refs can take away significant points, assign penalties with caprice, ignore obvious goals, all the while a bunch of guys rin endlessly over a field to maybe eventually kick at a goal is one that is going to fare poorly when compared to real football.

  9. Nigerian coach was Lars Lagerbäck, who received 1,7 million USD for 5 months of hard work according to Swedish paper Expressen:

  10. Roger - I don't think there can be much debate about the most overpaid given the wild gap between our glorious coach and the next man. And the stories I was getting from inside sources about goings-on at the England camp would appear to indicate his man-management and group skills were not up to the job, regardless of what happened (or not) on the pitch.

    As for most underpaid - Paraguay anyone? From memory a lesser footballing nation than Uruguay, and if they can squeeze past Japan as Uruguay did past Korea ......

    Also an honourable mention to the manager of North Korea for getting there at all.....

  11. The problem with petit bourgeois journalist / columnists is that they earn a living inventing theses, somewhat like academics. Einstein wasn't dyslexic, he was half witted, Beethoven was a transvestite, coffeee drinkers make better dendrochronoligists than tea drinkers, we are all going to die, because ... etc.

    The manager of a club team is the most important part of the team, and the one most vulnerable to results. Alex Ferguson was single handedly responsible for completely treansforming the three teams he managed. He has a unique personality.

    International managers are not so important, so maybe that thesis is more plausible. However, I predict numero uno will be gone pretty damned presto.The following is football journalism from a man who doesn't double as an anthropologist. Impressive vocabulary from a tabloid, too.

    Why arrogant Capello isn't worth a penny of his £6m-a-year contract

    A legend turned into a myth before our eyes at the Free State Stadium yesterday. Fabio the Tyrant, Fabio the Great Dictator, Fabio the Scourge of the Baby Bentley Brigade, Fabio Our Saviour: lost in a fetid pool of disillusion and dismay.


    P.S. I watched the build up and the whole game. Despite recent sincere protestations of mature, non partisan neutrality, I celebrated every German goal.

  12. Strange enough the English seem to think that if you pay the coach loads of cash that the World Cup is imminent. It ain't so even with an over the hill Italian coach who speaks like a cartoon character and can't wait for his farewell cheque.

    Of course everybody knows English talent is very thin seeded and only florish when talented foreign players (bought for a fortune) are beside them to feed and protect them.

    It shows how corrput the high valued Premier League is, where most teams are cracking under the mountains of debt.

  13. You have to pay the English manager a lot of money due to the fact that they know they will sooner or later (regardless of success) incur the "wrath" of the tabloids. Who in their right minds would take a job where they knew every aspect of what they do, did and didn't do would be excoriated in public.

    Now don't get me wrong the newspapers of Italy, Spain etc are harder on coaches, but only on a football competence level. They have journalist who actually understand the game. The only thing that makes an tabloid journalist look smart is Andy Townsend :)

    For an England manager you could win the world cup and not even concede a goal, but the slightest whiff of an affair would have the News of the Screws wanting you replaced/beheaded etc.

    FA needs to get Jurgen Klinsman to take over the England job. Oh what fun to watch the hypocritical tabloids squirm if he managed to win a few games :)

  14. The EPL is very profitable branch of the entertainment industry. Its success is largely down to one man, Rupert Murdoch, who owns the most successful tabloid, the Sun. No one cares how good Rooney really is, as long as he is entertaining.

    The debt is mainly held by MU and Liverpool, both owned by deeply hated American owners and was created at the time of purchase.

    I despise the effect tabloids have had on working class culture, but it is a mistake to take them too seriously.

    I arrived at a guy's house in the middle of a crisis. His family and his girlfriend's family were distraught because he had been accused of having an affair with one of the Spice Girls in a newspaper. He said it was a publicity stunt dreamed up by the management of his boy band. He had never met any of the Spice Girls and as a Tom Cruise double, was unlikely to be having an affair with one of them.

    It's all smoke and mirrors and completely Orwellian in the literal '1984' sense of the description of the prole media. I wouldn't be surprised if Murdoch had been inspired by the book.

    Journalists move between tabloid and broadsheet perfectly happily. The Guardian's media blogger Roy Greenslade, a distinguished Professor of Journalism has worked for all the tabloids including probably the lowest, the Daily Star. He was editor of the Sun. He has been responsible for some very nasty stuff.

    I haven't bought a newspaper for 20 years, and wouldn't trust a modern journalist on any subject, not even football. It's corporate journalists who have essentially created the global warming circus.

    This is a BBC post mortem. It essentially blames 'cartoon Italian', Capello, and the referee, obviously.