Despite many players seeking better pay from local leagues, what do some of the top tiers in Africa pay their players?
From Bukayo Saka to N’Golo Kante and Romelu Lukaku, these are some of the players of African descent who took part in the Uefa Euro 2020 finals.
Saka was born in London to Nigerian parents but represented England, Kante was born in Paris, but his roots can be traced to Mali and he featured for France while Lukaku’s parents hail from the Congo in Central Africa, and he led the attacking line for Belgium.
Those are just three players singled out, but many of African descent were on parade at the Euros, and the widespread migration of African players who are seeking better employment opportunities, because of the poor financial state of some of the African leagues, played a role in this phenomenon.
Even though several countries in Africa have their own leagues, many clubs taking part are not financially strong enough to support their players.
For example, some clubs cannot afford a team bus or afford to own a stadium, and to make it worse, they are unable to pay monthly wages to their players.
Other clubs can afford to pay salaries and allowances, but they sometimes struggle to do so, a huge contrast to what happens in Europe, and that could be the reason why many of the players are moving in search of greener pastures.
Goal looks at some of the countries across Africa and what players earn in their respective leagues.
How much do Kenyan players earn?
Despite the top-flight attracting huge sponsorship for the 2020-21 season, Kenyan clubs pay their players an average of $800 per month and this excludes allowances for results-based bonuses.
The $800 is an increase from the previous three seasons but not all teams are capable of paying the same amount to their players. Teams like Gor Mahia and AFC Leopards can afford to pay such an amount because they have title sponsors.
With most players in the league signing for clubs as free agents, sometimes it becomes difficult for one to know the best-paid player in the Kenyan league.
Apart from Gor Mahia, cooperate clubs like Tusker, Bandari, and Ulinzi Stars also have no difficulties paying their players but the highest-paid receive an average of $500.
Last season, Gor and AFC could not afford to pay their playing unit and the technical bench, with the move igniting a mass exodus from both local giants, and for the first time in Kenya’s league history, Sony Sugar were relegated to the lower division after failing to honour three matches owing to a lack of finances.
What of South Africa and Nigeria?
In South Africa, players get salaries depending on many factors, but mostly it depends on the club one plays for and on average, players can earn between $7,000 to $8,500 per month.
For example, a big number of top players at Premier Soccer League champions Mamelodi Sundowns take home around $280,000 annually, but salary figures for players are often secret.
In Nigeria, the Premier League Club Owners Association confirmed in 2014 that players in the Premier League will earn a minimum of $365 monthly.
According to SuperSport, the minimum wage was then to be reviewed and upped by an additional $120 from the 2014-15 season in which no player in the NPFL was supposed to earn less than $1,250 per month.
However, like many leagues in Africa, Nigeria have also experienced days when players are not paid at all or are paid less of what they have signed on in their contracts, and this has led to players downing tools to protest nonpayment.
How about the rest of Africa?
In Ghana, footballers are said to earn $1,000 a month, while in Morocco players earn an average of $7,000 a month.
With one of the best leagues in Africa and top teams like Al Ahly and Zamalek, Egypt’s highest-earning player pockets $1,200,000 annually.
In Tunisia, the players earn an average of $30,000, Angola $25,000, DR Congo $20,000, Sudan $15,000, Zambia $7,000, Ethiopia $7,000, Mozambique $5000, Tanzania $5000, Botswana $3,000, Gabon $2,000, Rwanda $1,500, and Zimbabwe $1,200 per month.