Highest paid soccer player – it is a sport loved and watched by millions of people in South Africa. This sport is the most widely played sport in South Africa with its traditional support base in the black community. Soccer is not only loved but it has become a rich business sector.
Currently, South Africa’s premier soccer league is the seventh biggest earner of sponsorship revenue among football leagues worldwide. It is therefore not surprising that local players are some of the best paid on the continent. Below is a list of some of the best paid soccer players in South Africa.
- Teko Modise – from very humble beginnings at club stints at SuperSport United and Orlando Pirates, Teko Modise who now plays for Mamelodi Sundowns is among the highest paid with a salary worth around R450,000.
- Siphiwe Tshabalala – Famously remembered around the world for having scored the first goal at the 2010 FIFA world cup, this Kaizer Chiefs midfielder is reportedly earning between R350000 to R450000.
- Itumeleng Khune – Working his way through the Kaizer Chiefs ranks to become the clubs and country’s number one shot stopper,”Itu”as he is popularly known is reportedly earning around R300,000 per month.
- Elias Pelembe – Elias Gaspar Pelembe, also known simply as Domingues, is a Mozambican footballer who currently plays for Mamelodi Sundowns.His monthly salary is said to be around R400,000.
- Anthony Laffor – Having established a strong reputation at Jomo Cosmos, Liberian international footballer Anthony Laffor commands a salary of around R350,000 a month.
- Katlego Mphela – Kathlego Mphela or “Killer”as he is affectionately nicknamed by fans is a product of local club Jomo Cosmos but also played in France.After playing for SuperSport United and Mamelodi Sundowns, this player is now on the books of Kaizer Chiefs with a whopping salary of R4.2 million per year.
PSL salaries a crying shame
It’s ironic that less than a month after the soccer scene was abuzz with news that Mamelodi Sundowns midfielder Teko Modise earned a monthly salary of around R450 000 (which he said was not enough to save for comfortable retirement), it has emerged that there are PSL players who get as little as R5 000.
This is an insult!
Just the other day, AmaZulu were prepared to part with R82 million to acquire the status of Mpumalanga Black Aces after being relegated to the National First Division (NFD).
This at least, gives an indication of how much a PSL club is worth.
So, how on earth can a business that is worth a whopping R82 million or more, pay some of its employees a paltry R5 000 monthly salary? If that is not slavery or daylight robbery, then I don’t know what is.
About 10 years ago, I wrote an article about Lungisani Ndlela who earned R5 000 at Moroka Swallows at the time. The article caused such a stir and led to the player – who was a prolific goal-scorer at the time – being snatched by Sundowns who reportedly started him on R20 000 per month.
To find out that there are still clubs such as Ajax Cape Town and Polokwane City who are still paying their players this amount at this day and age, is more than appalling or disgusting.
It shows that after that shock those years ago – maybe some just faked being shocked – people are still paying lip service to players’ welfare.
Somebody – more especially those who claim to have players interest at heart – need to do something drastic to eliminate this scourge of exploitation of youngsters who are trying to make a living out of the talent that God gave them.
And then in the midst of all this, there was the circus called The King’s Cup that was staged at Swaziland’s Somhlolo National Stadium on Saturday.
The shindig – featuring two South African giants Kaizer Chiefs and Orlando Pirates against their Swazi counterparts Mbabane Swallows and Royal Leopards – carried a R1 million prize money.
The eager organisers had the temerity to charge R250 per head at the gate. Now, where they got that figure, boggles the mind.
I mean, the normal fee for a PSL match is R40. Maybe R80 or R100 would have been fair. But in their eagerness to make a fast buck, the organisers decided to take soccer lovers for a ride and charge them this exorbitant fee.
And what did the fans do? They voted with their feet and stayed away. Less than half the expected capacity crowd of 20 000 turned up as only around 8 000 made it to the hallowed cauldron.
This was a plan that backfired badly for the organisers.
But it did not end there. The anticipated Soweto Derby final did not materialise either as Chiefs and Pirates were knocked out in the semi-finals by the less fancied Swallows and Leopards, respectively.
The dour affair had all three matches decided on penalties with Swallows taking home the first prize.
But I like it when soccer fans show their might and this was one instance where they did.
I hope it serves as a lesson to those serving football and those who want to take chances that you can’t fool all the people all the time.