As the annual salaries of every Serie A player were released on Monday, there seems to be little doubt that the Italian league is falling behind Europe’s top leagues. According to Gazzetta dello Sport, Serie A clubs are now spending close to a combined £500million less on wages compared with 2011 as even the league’s highest earners collect far less than Premier League and La Liga stars.
Paul Pogba, for example, is set to earn just £23,000-per-week net this season despite being one of the most talented young midfielders in the world and a player Juventus will no doubt hope to keep hold of. Juventus, however, do lead the way in money spent on wages and are the only Italian club to increase their wage bill from the 2013/14 season with the likes of Carlos Tevez and Arturo Vidal earning upwards of £60,000-per-week.
Roma star Daniele De Rossi can boast that he is Roma’s highest earner with a contract worth £5.2m excluding any bonuses. Former Chelsea star and Roma new boy Ashley Cole decided to move to Italy after failing to agree a contract extension with the Blues and has signed up to earn around £35,000-per-week with Rudi Garcia’s side. Cole’s former England team-mate Micah Richards decided to follow in the left back’s footsteps and head to Italy in search of first-team football with Fiorentina. The 26-year-old is set to earn £26,000-per-week with his new club and becomes Fiorentina’s fourth highest earner behind Alberto Aquilani, Giuseppe Rossi and Mario Gomez.
Elswhere, former Manchester United captain Nemanja Vidic will recoup around £50,000-per-week as he shares the highest earner at Inter Milan award with Argentine forward Rodrigo Palacio, with both set to earn a minimum of £2.5m for the 2014/15 season. After a difficult three years with Chelsea, Fernando Torres has finally searched for pastures new after signing a two-year loan deal with AC Milan. The Spanish striker slips straight into the club’s highest earner spot and will collect close to £61,000 each week – nowhere near his £175,000-per-week deal in west London.
The decline in wages, and perhaps the decline is Italian football is clear to see when looking at the pay of Inter’s highest earner Samuel Eto’o during the 2009/10 season. Eto’o was earning a staggering £160,000-per-week at the San Siro compared to the £50,000-per-week of Vidic. Inter’s second highest earner Patrick Vieira was quite a way off Eto’o’s figures but still managed to collect £84,000-per-week. The figures are also a stark contrast to that of the highest earners elsewhere with the likes of Gareth Bale, Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi all earning over £200,000-per-week to ply their trade in La Liga. De Rossi’s highest-earner tag is dwarfed by the Premier League’s top earner Wayne Rooney, who can boast a stunning £300,000-per-week.