Want your kid to become a soccer star? Odds are he’ll make less than $12000 – Forbes
Want your kid to become a professional soccer player?
More than 45% bring home less than $12,000 and 21% netted less than $300 a month. Only 2% of professional soccer players make more than $720,000 a year.
That’s according to a survey of 14,000 male soccer players in 54 countries (except England, Spain and Germany) conducted by the World Players’ Union FIFPro.
“It’s one of the best jobs in the world, but people should also know that it’s difficult to reach a high level and only very few make it to the top,” an anonymous defender from Italy said in the report.
Those lucky enough to have made the cut and play professionally are likely to have a short career and an even shorter contract that averages about 22.6 months.
About 41% of players said they didn’t get paid on time. That’s because of the “jackpot economics” model so loved by clubs nowadays: hire players at the beginning of the season without knowing whether they will be able to pay their salary.
“The football industry is a people business, driven by the same economic factors as the entertainment sector,” FIFPro said.
“Supply and demand allow the most talented players to maximize their rewards, while the majority of players compete for a limited numbers of jobs. This makes their market position weak and their employment conditions often precarious,” FIFPro added.
And then there is the abuse players have to deal with, with 10% saying they had experienced physical violence on the job.
That means soccer players are five times more likely to experience violence at work compared to workers in other industries, according to FIFPro.
In 23% of those cases, the club management, coaching staff or third parties acting allegedly on behalf of the club were responsible for the violent acts, FIFPro said.
The findings come a week after English soccer was rocked by allegations of child sexual abuse.
England’s Football Association said it was investigating claims after a growing number of players came forward in the past week saying they had been sexually abused by their coaches as children.
— BBC News (UK) (@BBCNews) November 25, 2016
FIFPro called on the FA and soccer’s global governing body, FIFA, and other stakeholders to act and work together to help improve working conditions for young soccer players.
“There are a lot of lies in football,” one Irish defender said. “A lot of promises about contracts and salaries don’t come true.”
Don’t say you haven’t been warned.