Back in 1961 when Premier League was known as English Division 1, average weekly salary of a football playing in top division was just £20 YES! £20 you read it right. Crazy as it sounds, that £20 was considered luxury in those times. However as football gained more prominence in UK and around the world, average weekly salary started to increase steadily at first. From £20 a week in 1962 to £96 in 1973. After that the jump in average weekly salary for a top division player saw rapid growth and today we take a look at historical numbers from 1962 to modern day premier league where average salary has reached as high as £70,000 and some of the top footballers are taking home over £300,000. Lets dig deep into the facts that why and how it happened ?
History of Average Weekly Salary in English Football:
So before we get into financial numbers and compare 2021 to 1962 you have to consider inflation not only in England but around the world. £20 a week in 1962 will be much more in 2021 if we take inflation and other economical factors into equation. However beside that, incredible broadcasting deals by Premier League both domestically and abroad has kind of ensured absolute top dollar for Premier League footballers.
Milestones in Weekly Salary in English Football:
Goerge Best bacame the very first footballer to sign £ 1,000 a week contract with Manchester United back in 1968. That was the biggest professional contract offered to any player at the time not only in England but in world football.
It took another 24 years before £ 10,000 a week contract was offered to a player in England. It was John Barns back in 1992 who signed his contract extension with Liverpool and signed an absolute giant of contact worth £10,000 a week.
Once the £ 10,000 a week barrier was broke and England top division was rebranded to English Premier League the financial flood gate was opened with Roy Keane signing an absolute mammoth contract with Manchester United in 1999 after winning treble. He was offered £50,000 a week salary which was insane at that time.
However it took just 2 years when £100,000 a week contract was offered to Sol Campbell by Arsenal in 2001. That was the biggest contract in English football at that time and it also allowed other players in top clubs to ask for bigger salaries and by 2002 several players in Premier League were on £100,000 a week salary.
When Carlos Tevez moved from Manchester United to City, he signed a contract of £200,000 a week becoming the highest paid player but it last just a few months with Rooney, Aguero, Lampard, Gerrard, Torres and Van Persie moving to bigger contracts.
Below is the table showing average weekly salary of premier league (division 1) footballers from 1962 and who was the highest paid player every year.
|YEAR||Average Salary (weekly)||Highest Paid Player (Milestones)|
|1968||£44||George Best (£1000 a week)|
|1992||£1755||John Barns (£10,000 a week)|
|1999||£9287||Roy Keane (£50,000 a week)|
|2001||£13,500||Sol Campbell (£100,000 a week)|
|2009||£31,300||Carlos Tevez (£200,000 a week)|
|2010||£33,450||Fernando Torres (£310,000 a week)|
|2019||£55,000||David De Gea (£375,000 a week)|
|2021||£62,000||Cristiano Ronaldo (£400,000 a week)|