The exploding popularity of soccer comes at a cost for both the country and club owners. Those on the gaining end of that growing cost are the soccer players.
Whenever two or three soccer fans are engrossed in a heated argument, it is either they are comparing the skills of their favorite soccer players or comparing their wages. The latter always elicits a feeling of wonder.
- In most leagues, soccer players are paid once every four weeks
- Lower-tier leagues often use the weekly payment to save money
- British media often break down the wages of soccer players to weeks to emphasize how huge they are
In most establishments, people are either paid monthly or hourly. However, whenever soccer players’ wages are mentioned, the reference is always about weekly wages. This has left many people asking if soccer players get paid weekly.
The answer to that question is a little complex because of the nature of the sport. For example, sometimes soccer players are loaned from one team to another which makes it harder to determine who pays them and how they are paid.
The way soccer players are paid is an insider club arrangement that is watertight from the media. Whatever you see in the media is likely mere speculation. In other words, there is no standard way by which soccer players are paid.
The decision to pay soccer players either weekly or monthly is solely determined by the club and the provisions of the contract of the soccer player—and we are going to tell you all about it.
Do soccer players get paid weekly? And Why?
The simple answer to that question is YES! Soccer players can be paid weekly, bi-weekly, or monthly. The choice will depend primarily on the club and secondarily on the player.
But it is highly unlikely that most clubs will hand out pay slips to soccer players at the end of every week. Yet, we don’t have enough evidence to prove that this doesn’t happen in some clubs and among certain tiers of soccer players.
Whether soccer players will be paid weekly or at the end of every four weeks will depend on how the club’s wage bill is structured as well as the terms of the soccer player’s contract. In most cases, payments are made monthly or fortnightly.
There are suggestions that as you move to the fifth tier of the soccer pyramid, it becomes more realistic for soccer players to be paid in weeks. Yet, that will only happen during the playing season and not throughout the year.
Even in instances where it is clearly known that soccer players are paid monthly, the presentation on paper across several media will still be in weeks. So, even though it is clear that most soccer players are paid monthly, why do media houses prefer to report soccer players’ wages in weeks rather than monthly or annually?
Below are some of the reasons why the presentation of soccer players’ wages in weeks has become almost a norm.
British media’s way of drawing attention
The breaking down of the wages of soccer players into weeks mostly happens in British media. However, since they have one of the best leagues in the world (the Premier League), their way of presenting the wages of soccer players soon spread to other parts of the world.
It is believed that the breaking down of the wages of soccer players into weeks on the pages of British newspapers is simply to make it weightier.
In a country where the average hourly earnings of full-time employees in 2021 were around £16, saying that someone earns £200,000 a week brings the feeling of wonder closer home to the layman.
For example, it sounds more eye-popping to say that someone earns £300,000 a week than saying they earn £15.6 million a year—you can call that their own form of clickbait. Although the figures are the same (when you do the math), showing how much they earn in a short time makes the difference.
An attempt to maximize space
Another logical reason why the British media will always break down the wages of soccer players into weeks is to make the numbers present better in print and on screen. The print media usually have limited space to say a lot.
If they are to present the wages of soccer players annually and are forced to write out all the zeros, it will take up useful spaces. Also, readers may be forced to pause for longer on a paragraph to count the zeros.
Here is a practical example. Which would you prefer to see on the page of a newspaper, $200,000 or $10,400,000?
So, why don’t they report it in months rather than in weeks? Well, due to the fat salaries that soccer players earn, their monthly wage, in most cases, will run into millions which will present the same problem as reporting the annual wage.
Breaking it into weeks makes it shorter and presents better on the pages of newspapers. This also improves the readability of their newspapers.
Our guess is that if a time should come when the weekly wage bill of soccer players runs into millions, media houses may be forced to adjust their meters and start reporting in days. How will it feel to say a soccer player earns $200,000 a day? Insane, right?
Breaking soccer player wages into weeks makes analysis easier
In the United States, the breaking down of soccer players’ wages into weeks is usually for statistical analysis. It is easier to analyze smaller data than work with bigger data.
For example, the average weekly earnings of soccer players in the United States were reported to be $879 as of 17 November 2022. However, there are soccer players that earn weekly wages as high as $1,971 while others earn as low as $279.
However, across the United States, the majority of soccer players have a wage range between $932 (75th percentile) and $586 (25th percentile). Across the United States, the variation in wage range for soccer players is as high as $346.
While this disparity is alarming it also shows that there is so much opportunity to earn more depending on their location, skill, and experience. Since the figures are smaller, it is easier to work with them.
Those who are good with numbers can easily work out the difference. However, as the number of zeros starts to grow, it makes it harder to work with the numbers.
So much can change within a short time
Reporting the wages of soccer players in weeks also makes sense when you consider how so much can change in the life of a soccer player within a few months.
For example, there are two transfer windows in the world of soccer (August and January). Imagine a scenario where a player was bought by a club in August and a stipulated wage was agreed but for one reason or another, the club decides to sell or loan the player to another club in the January transfer window.
Whether the player was sold or loaned, the wage is likely to change. When that happens every previous estimate or publication becomes void.
Reporting the wages of soccer players in weeks is a more cautious approach for media houses. Using this method, any change in the salary of a soccer player can easily be captured.
Are Premier League players paid weekly?
Since the reporting of soccer players’ wages in weeks is popular in British media, many have often wondered if Premier League players are paid weekly. As we mentioned earlier, that is highly unlikely.
Most clubs will pay their players once every four weeks rather than weekly. However, as you go down the league system to the 5th-tier leagues, there is an increasing chance that clubs would pay their players weekly.
The payment of weekly bills helps the lower-tier clubs to save money. By making the soccer players sign a ‘seasonal contract’ and paying them weekly, lower-tier clubs can skip paying their players during the off-season.
That is not the case with the Premier League where the players are paid on and off the league season. In fact, Premier League players will continue to receive payment even when they are injured or sick.
While the payment of players once every four weeks is preferred by most clubs, there are often few exceptions where the club would prefer to pay a player per week.
For example, when a soccer player is old (above 35 years) or prone to injuries, most clubs will prefer the player to sign a pay-as-you-play agreement which implies that they will only get paid when they play.
Since such players are usually considered high-risk, the club will want to avoid spending money on the player when they don’t contribute to the club.
However, in most cases, soccer players will get their full wages whether they play or not. Nevertheless, they will miss out on any bonus for wins or goals if they don’t play.
In most cases, soccer players will get paid only once per week. However, there are a few exceptions where players get paid weekly.
Weekly pay is usually reserved for older players or players that are prone to injuries. Some lower-tier clubs will likely adopt the weekly pay to save money.
But, when you hear the media break down the pay of soccer players into weeks, it is not because they are paid weekly. They do so because of the reasons that we highlighted earlier.
One thing we do know is that whether soccer players play or not, they will definitely receive their wages. Whether soccer players are paid weekly is up to the club and the player’s contract to decide.
Hi there, I’m Jay.
Soccer is everything in my life! My friends and I have created this blog with all our enthusiasm, passion, and understanding after years of playing pro soccer. Hope you will enjoy it!