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How Much Do South African Footballers Earn?


The South African Premier League (PSL) is one of the richest leagues in Africa. One of the reasons why it attracts quality players is because it pays well. Some of the richest soccer players in Africa play in the PSL. So, how much do South African footballers earn?

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What Determines Football Salaries?

Footballers’ salaries hinge on different things. The player’s value in the market, experience level, the type of league, and financial strength of a club. Additionally, the position they play, negotiation agreements, fans’ popularity, and projected merchandise sales matter.

Individual players also have brand deals that further strengthen their earning potential. Also, prize money from awards and bonuses as a result of performance contributes to that.

As we focus on the top tier of South African football, let’s find out how much they earn by looking at a few factors.

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The Market Valuation of a Club

Kaizer Chiefs players celebrating a goal. Image Source: Instagram

A club can only pay a player based on their financial capabilities. This is the reason why players in clubs with a big budget earn more than those with a smaller budget. 

The highest-paid player In the South African league plays for Kaizer Chiefs. Keagan Dolly takes home a cool R1.45 million monthly. At the time of his purchase from French club Montpellier, several clubs were on his radar, something that further hikes a player’s value hence wages.

Kaizer Chiefs ranks amongst the most valuable clubs in Africa with a net worth of €14.20 million or $15.5 million. This is why they can afford to pay players upwards of R300,000 or $16,000 monthly. The lowest-paid player at Kaizer earns R20,000 or $1 million.

Mamelodi Sundowns and Orlando Pirates can compete with Kaizer Chiefs as they also feature in the most valuable clubs in Africa. Sundowns are worth €27.30 million or $29 million and Pirates are €19.80 million or $21 million.

As of 2017, the lowest-paid player in the PSL earned about $325. The South African players union advocated for a raise in the average wage, which is now set between $7000 and $8500. The average annual gross salary is $15,709.

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The Playing Position of a Player

The highest-paid players in the South African league and soccer, in general, are forwards and midfield players. If you look at some of the highest-paid players in the league, most of them occupy these positions. That said, defenders and goalkeepers also command more, but the front players tend to overshadow them.

The highest-paid player Keagan Dolly is a midfielder.

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The Experience Level of a Player

According to Salary Expert, an entry-level footballer with between one and three years of experience earns an average of R218,521 or $11,690, And a player with over eight years of experience gets an average of R361,088 or $19,300 

The primary reason for this difference is that experienced players have more workload, have a proven value, and bring a wealth of experience compared to junior players.

It can be quite difficult to assess the potential of younger players. But a club is never certain about its future. Is it going to deliver on the promise they show?  

All in all, how much South African footballers earn depends on multiple factors. If you play at the highest level and leading clubs, you can pocket large sums of money. 

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