3 days. 4 hours. 5 minutes. The time it takes for the average English Premier League footballer to earn the average UK salary.
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3 days. 4 hours. 5 minutes. The time it takes for the average English Premier League footballer to earn the average UK salary.

28 August 2019

But where in the world has the biggest gulf between footballer and fan salary? We did some digging to find out…

Dripping in gold and stepping out of sports cars, with haircuts worth more than your house, it’s no surprise players in the Premier League make far more than the average UK citizen. But the EPL does NOT have the biggest proportional gap between players and fans. Read on to find out where does...

Yes, it’s China’s highly up and coming Chinese Super League, currently the sixth best-paid football league in the world, that has the highest gulf between players and fans - its players earn an average of $1m USD a year - its citizens an average of under $7,000. This means CSL players will earn the average Chinese salary in just 2 days and 6 hours.

Places 2 and 3 are more predictable - La Liga’s stars get $125 for every dollar earned by your average Spaniard, and the EPL’s millionaires earn 115 times what UK citizens do. Footballers in England and Spain will earn the national average salary in around 3 days. Given these leagues are the two best paid in the world, this is not surprising.

What is surprising is places 4 and 5: Russia and Turkey. Russia’s Premier League and Turkey’s Süper Lig might not be as well known as their Western European counterparts, but these leagues are booming domestically against economies that are struggling. All this means that top tier Russian and Turkish players earn 102 and 99 times more than their fans respectively. Given that their players are often earning above $800,000 a year in a country where $10,000 would put you above average, the gulf is clear.

Low Earners

Interestingly, there are 9 football leagues where the average soccer player actually makes less than the general population on average. So it’s bad luck to players in the Armenian Premier League, the Latvian Virsliga, the Finnish Veikkausliiga, the Estonian Meistriliiga, the Icelandic Urvalsdeild Karla, the Luxembourgian National Division, the Northern Ireland Football League and the Welsh Premier League. Chances are their fans earn more than they do.

In Iceland, Luxembourg, Northern Ireland and Wales, it’d take the players upwards of 4 years to earn the average annual salary in the country. Maybe it’s time for a transfer request.


The country where domestic footballers’ salary is most equitable to the general population is Armenia - fans earn just under $400 more than players on average.


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