By David Owen
December 5 – Clubs which supply squad members for next year’s FIFA World Cup in Russia can look forward to massively increased payments of around $8,530 per player per day, in recognition of their “contribution to the successful staging” of the tournament.
A letter specifying detailed procedures to get a share of the benefits, signed by FIFA secretary general Fatma Samoura, has been circulated to member associations. Besides the amount of the daily payment, an enclosed application form stipulates a) that the payment clock starts ticking on or around June 1, two weeks before the opening match between Russia and Saudi Arabia, and b) that it stops the day after each team’s elimination.
Payments will be made pro rata to all clubs that any given player was registered with during the two years prior to him exiting the competition. The daily amount is gross and may be subject to taxes and deductions.
The system is set to cost the world governing body, which has been somewhat under the cosh financially since the spectacular implosion which marked the end of the Blatter era, the small matter of $209 million – triple the $70 million made available for Brazil 2014 and five times the $40 million paid out after the 2010 competition in South Africa.
The big increase was signed off in 2015, as part of an extension of a collaboration agreement between FIFA and the European Club Association (ECA).
European clubs, as employers of most of the world’s leading players, will assuredly receive the biggest payouts, with the top earners in line to get something like $5 million in total – almost enough for a second-string defender.
In 2014, Bayern Munich, the leading club in world champions Germany, ran out as much the biggest recipient, earning $1,734,367, well over $400,000 clear of Spain’s Real Madrid in second place. All told, 396 clubs affiliated to 57 national associations were allocated a share of the benefits – very similar to the 400 clubs from 55 national associations who got money in 2010.
FIFA’s original budget for 2015-18, published in its 2013 financial report, also earmarked $120 million for Club Protection Programme (CPP) payments to the clubs of players who get injured on international duty.
The increased payments reflect how the giant European clubs have been winning the perennial club-versus-country tussle in recent times.
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