Gone are the days when football was just a pass-time. Football is not only a full-time job, but one of the best-paying careers for the matter.
Until recently Cameroonian forward Samuel Eto’o received a take home weekly salary of about Sh 36 million shillings minus match winning bonuses and endorsements.
Little wonder then, that the players’ Spanish wife Georggette reportedly had no qualms with the former Barcelona, Real Madrid and Inter Milan striker taking a second wife in his native West Africa.
Kenyan players may not earn as much as the Et’oos of the football world, but the country’s crème de la crème have very deep pockets by all standards. Sample this:
1. Victor Wanyama
Big Vic assumed the mantle of highest paid Kenyan footballer following his transfer from Celtic FC in Scotland to English Premier League side Southampton. The 22 year currently earns an estimated Sh 17.5 million shillings as gross monthly salary at St Mary’s.
This is, however, subject to the notoriously high tax rates in England, and doesn’t include his training allowance and match winning bonuses.
2. MacDonald Mariga
Wanyama’s elder brother is up-next, taking home an estimated Sh 14 million a month. It is, however, interesting to note that Mariga ends up taking home more than his brother considering the ‘relaxed’ tax rates in Italy compared to England.
Mariga has been consistently earning this amount for the past three years of his tenure at Italian giants Inter Milan, a figure which excludes training allowances and match winning bonuses.
Besides, the player is believed to have pocketed some Sh 60 million in 2010 as ‘dividend’ for winning the Italian Serie A, Coppa Ittalia and UEFA Champions League trophies.
3. Dennis Oliech
Dennis ‘the menace’ Oliech is third. The French based forward earned a slight increase in his one million euro (Sh 110 million) annual salary following his move from Auxerre to Ajaccio on top of a reported Sh 35 million sign-on fee.
Conservative estimates now point to Oliech’s take home close to around Sh 9 million a month.
4. Patrick Osiako
The forgotten one, Osiako has often been elbowed out in Harambee Stars midfield by Mariga and Wanyama, but has been one of the significant high earners in the country.
Osiako, who has recently plied his trade in Sweden, Romania and Israel is currently based in Azerbaijan where he takes home a reported sh. 5 million a month.
5. Jamal Mohammed
The creative playmaker whose experience and skill has seen him play in Norway and Romania currently earns close to Sh 3.5 million a month. How he uses some of this cash has been subjected of heated debate in recent times.
6. Arnold Origi
‘Kenya one’ as he is fondly known at home is placed sixth on this chart. The player’s permanent move from Norwegian’s third tier side FK Moss to First division side Ullensaker/Kisa has seen his monthly take home pay rise close to Sh 3 million.
7. Lawrence Olum
The USA-based defender plies his trade in the MLS where the competition’s administrators have waged a salary cap to 90 percent of the players. Sources confide to sporton! that Olum earns around Sh 2.5 million a month in the US.
8. David ‘Cheche’ Ochieng
Following his move to Saudi Arabia in June, the defender’s salary has shot up from Sh 60,000 a month that he used to earn at Tusker to close to Sh 1 million at Al Tawoon. This on top of a reported Sh 1.2 million the player received as sign-on fee.
9. Rama Salim
The former Gor Mahia striker now earns close to Sh 700,000 a month, at Al -Marikhya in Qatar.
10. Brian ‘Niang’ Mandela
The central defender, who previously turned out for Tusker and Posta Rangers, winds up our 10-man list with a reported monthly salary of half a million shillings at South African second tier side Sanlan Santos.