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Footy 100: How many Homes can a Footballer Buy?

By Rose Jinks

Published: 11th February 2020 Last updated: 11th February 2020
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We’re used to hearing about the people who can’t afford to buy their own homes, but what about those on the other end of the scale? Our new Footy 100 tool shows you how many houses top footballers can buy every year with their stellar salaries. 

There are many reports about how much money footballers earn each year, plus details of their high-profile endorsements, but to put this into perspective, we’ve compared their wages to house prices.

Now that the transfer window has closed, see how your favourite footballer performs...

Football’s coming home

Considering that most home buyers have to use a mortgage to purchase a property and a huge proportion of younger people struggle to even get on the housing ladder in the first place, it’s unnerving to see how many houses footballers can buy outright every year.

The tool takes the average UK house price, £235,000, to calculate how many houses a footballer could buy with their earnings in a single year. To compare your own home, simply insert the value beneath the list of players.

You can compare footballers’ earnings in different leagues to highlight the wage disparity across international clubs. The tool will show you the top five earners from each league.

The highest earning footballer in the world, Lionel Messi, can afford to buy over 412 houses outright every year (with his salary and endorsements) - this is the equivalent of more than 34 per month and 8.5 a week. He’d quickly be able to snap up a small town...

All stars

But how does the top earning footballer compare to the highest salaries in other sports? For instance, how much does the highest paid American football player make? And which other sports command astonishing wages? 

Scroll across the salary bands to see how much the biggest names in sports earn per year.

The data suggests that the sporting landscape is changing; how long will it be before eSports start overtaking other, more traditional sports? It’s already ahead of rugby!

Women in sport

We know that there’s a gender pay gap across most industries, but even the highest paid sports stars suffer.

Tennis may have produced the highest paid female athlete in the world, but Serena Williams is still miles behind her male counterpart, Roger Federer. While Federer makes over £70m a year, Williams earns over three times less.

Serena Williams is the highest paid female athlete in the world

And it’s not just her salary that’s lower - Federer’s sponsorships are worth three-and-a-half times Williams’ £19m. 

Female footballers

The picture is much starker for female footballers, however. The highest earning female player, Ada Hegerberg, earns a staggering 178 times less than the highest paid male footballer, Messi.

Football's gender pay gap

Could this be the greatest gender pay gap in the world?

Comparing Hegerberg and Messi’s salaries alone shows that he’s paid more than 200 times her wage. However, late last year, Australia joined New Zealand and Norway in placing male and female players on the same pay scale. Could this be rolled out across the world in the future? 

Ordinary people

We also wanted to showcase the wealth disparity between sports stars and other professions. The prime minister’s wage is in there, as well as more common job roles, including nurses and cleaners, alongside the average UK salary.

How do sports stars' earnings compare to your own?

See if you can spot footballers of the past, too - you may be surprised how little they earn in comparison to today’s stars, not to mention the average CEO of a FTSE 100 company!

The sponsorship

With sports becoming increasingly focused on sponsorships from big brands, the tool shows you how sports stars’ salaries compare to their annual earnings from endorsements. 

Find out who earns the most from their salary alone, whose endorsements make them the most and which athlete is paid the most overall.

Roger Federer earns the most from endorsements

Interestingly, although Lionel Messi’s £70m salary trumps Roger Federer’s £5.6m, Federer actually earns more in endorsements.

The footballer’s mortgage

While it’s fun to look into how much famous sports stars earn, mortgages are our bread and butter. We know that some footballers won’t necessarily use mortgages to buy their mansions, but you may be surprised by just how much they could borrow - especially when compared to your own maximum loan.

And, if you’re wondering how long it would take you to pay off a mortgage on a footballer-level property, then we’ve done the maths for you. Even saving up for a deposit is impossible - try it yourself here.

We often hear about how much footballers are paid, but we wanted to really highlight quite how substantial their salaries are - what were you most surprised to learn? 

Join the conversation on Twitter using #Footy100

Sources

Office for National Statistics
Forbes
BBC

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