A few days ago I received in my inbox a couple of photos of John Arne Riise's paystub, a professional soccer player for Liverpool FC in the English Premier Leauge. Mr. Riise is a Norway international and has been with LFC since 2001. He is a general fixture in Liverpool lineups at either outside back or midfield. While a very talented player, he certainly isn't a superstar.
It was unusual to see that a millionaire gets a regular paycheck just like every other schmoe. Currently, there is a probe being conducted in England as to how somebody got their grubby little hands onto the stubs. Judging by the dirty fingernails, I would wager to say this person probably did not get the paper through savory means. I have edited out any personal identification other than the name of the player in the photos below. I find it incredibly interesting and difficult to grasp what these depict.
The photos, below, show that Mr. Riise took home a base salary for the pay period ending in early September 2006 (I'm not sure if it is a monthly or weekly paystub) of £120,000. That's roughly $250,000.00 U.S. Some serious cheddar. Mr. Riise also received bonuses for appearances, points, appearances and the Champions League raising his gross pay to roughly £140,000 ($290,000). Out of his gross pay, £55,000 ($114,000) has been deducted for taxes and the such for a take home of £82,000 ($170,000). If Riise's paystub is for a month's pay that puts him at a yearly salary of £1.2 million ($2.5 million) or £6.2 million ($12.8 million) if it is a weekly salary. When I do the math it seems obvious that the paycheck is for one month.
These numbers are astounding to me. I've always known that professional athletes at the highest levels make gobs of money, but generally the terms of those salaries are given in yearly numbers. Not broken down into monthly or weekly salaries. When I see a paycheck like this, I think this is unbelievable. He has a six figure salary (US$) taken out of his check every month. Mr. Riise, maybe you can donate one month of taxes to my personal bank account. You won't miss it and I can certainly use it.
Although, I did some digging and it appears maybe Mr. Riise can't afford it. He has been declared bankrupt in England due to some controversy with his agent.
Think about Alex Rodriguez who is angling for a $30 million yearly salary right now. That would give him a weekly salary of $575,000.00 US. Amazing! Then, you have to think, sports fans are the people paying these salaries ultimately. I don't begrudge anybody making this money, but when you see it these terms it is almost unfathomable how much they make. After I get past this point, I just like to daydream about what I would do with that money. Cars, houses, vacations, toys, gadgets, and whatever else I could probably ever desire. It's not Bill Gates money, but it certainly isn't chump change.