2010: World championship unequal salaries - June 2010

Soccer coach Bert van Marwijk enjoys a € 154,000 a month, or ten times decent to the max, the account of Matjaz Kek, coach of the Slovenian national soccer team, each month is beefed up with € 25,000. That is: almost ten times as much as his prime minister, temporary coach Sven-Göran Eriksson of Ivory Coast signed a contract for 2 million British pounds till the end of the tournament and captain Hong Yong-Jo of North Korea said two years ago that his mind is filled with soccer and the communist party.

Borut Pahor, prime minister of Slovenia cannot make ends meet with his monthly salary of € 3000, he recently at a conference. At the occasion students protested against government plans to restrict their rights to work and double their taxes. At the same time the account of Matjaz Kek, coach of the Slovenian national soccer team, each month is beefed up with € 25,000. That is: almost ten times as much as his prime minister.

Salary Dutch coach more than 'decent'

This may look like perverted lopsided growth to you, but this is fairly representative of the picture in many countries. Take Holland, where the prime minister earns € 14,500 a month, presented in the public debate as the maximum of what is considered ‘decent’. Soccer coach Bert van Marwijk enjoys a € 154,000 a month, or ten times decent to the max.

The millions of Ivory Coast

If breaking through the ceiling of decency tenfold may be the norm by now, it is peanuts compared to some other practices. Temporary coach Sven-Göran Eriksson of Ivory Coast signed a contract in March for 2 million British pounds or € 3 million till the end of the tournament. But he could only turn up in May, meaning that he receives some € 1.5 million a month. And for what? Chances are very slim that ‘his’ team will make it to the second round. But he certainly beat the Ivorian soccer player Didier Drogba, who makes a pitiful million euro a month with his employer Chelsea. We have to keep guessing as to the monthly salary of Ivorian president Guillaume Soro, but to compensate for that here is the average monthly income of Ivorians: € 60. That makes Ivory Coast a serious contender for the world championship salary inequality.

Equality in North Korea

North Korea presents a radically different picture. What the revered communist leader Kim Jong-Il earns, is anyone’s guess, but his underlings almost all live on equal footing – and a very tiny size at that. There is a lack of everything and careers are unheard of. This applies to soccer players just as much. They don’t play for advancement of self, but for that of the country. The people are soccer mad, but even those who play abroad do not personally profit. Captain Hong Yong-Jo, playing for the Russian club FC Portov, is the one exception over there who does not drive a SUV. Club officials believe that he is even unaware of his salary. Hong Yong-Jo said two years ago that his mind is filled with soccer and the communist party, leaving little room for anything else. That certainly makes North Korea world champion equal salaries.

Picture: Borut Pahor by Horasis


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