FIFA pay days: Infantino joins $3 million club

By David Owen

August 25 – Gianni Infantino’s pay has crashed through the $3 million barrier. FIFA’s 2019 annual report has made an appearance on the world governing body’s website, revealing the amounts that the FIFA president and his secretary general were awarded in salary and allowances last year.

In Infantino’s case, the answer is as follows: gross salary (base) CHF1.95 million; gross salary (variable) CHF1.03 million; flat-rate allowance CHF24,000.

For some reason, FIFA has decided to change the reporting currency since 2018, when the boss’s pay was denominated in US dollars and amounted to $1,982,346 in base salary, $555,000 in variable salary and $24,319 in flat-rate allowances. This made for a grand total of $2,561,665.

At the current exchange rate of CHF1 = US$1.08, Infantino’s 2019 payments add up to $3,244,320. By our calculations, this makes for a tidy year-on-year advance of 26.6%. Not bad, given that the world economy – very much including the sports economy – is now in turmoil as a consequence of Covid-19.

Secretary general Fatma Samoura has not done so well. Her 2019 payments of CHF1,574,000, which converts to $1,699,920, compare with a 2018 figure of $1,561,107, equivalent to a raise of just under 9%.

There is a bunch of small print: the gross salary (variable) for 2019 will be paid in 2020. Moreover, a “second part”, totalling CHF277,500, of Infantino’s gross salary (variable) for 2018 was paid in 2019.

It is also noted that “as with all of its employees”, FIFA contributes to the social charges, pension fund and accident insurance for both the president and the secretary general. The specific amount of these contributions for 2019 is not spelt out. In 2018, FIFA made $173,666 in social security contributions, $27,238 in pension fund contributions and $4,278 in accident/illness insurance contributions relating to Infantino and respectively $106,102, $55,610 and $5,192 for Samoura.

The 2019 report shows that payments made to both FIFA Council members and top management have also climbed appreciably year-on-year.

Including pension contributions, FIFA Council members received a total of $14,493,615 in 2019 – up from $11,400,040 a year earlier. That amounts to a 27% hike.

Compensation for FIFA management rose to $20,865,427, compared with $17,937,150 in 2018. That represents an increase of just over 16%. It appears, however, that the 2019 figure incorporates one fewer division chief officer. Both amounts also include unspecified separation costs.

The 2019 accounts show that FIFA made a net loss of just over $185 million for the first year of the new cycle, with revenues totalling $765.7 million.

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