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Saturday 24 March 2018

Blatter got pay of €3.3m as FIFA slumped to a €122m loss

Former FIFA president Sepp Blatter
Former FIFA president Sepp Blatter

Graham Dunbar in Zurich

FIFA finally revealed Sepp Blatter's pay deal yesterday, saying he got €3.3m in 2015 even as soccer's embattled governing body reported a loss of €108m for a year marred by scandal.

After years of secrecy about presidential earnings, FIFA disclosed its disgraced former leader's pay package three weeks after his employment officially ended.

Blatter, who was suspended on full pay last October and later banned for unethical conduct, had a base salary of 2,964,379 million Swiss francs but received no performance bonus in 2015. The total included a payment of almost €400,000 in "variable compensation" - a long-service entitlement for reaching 40 years' employment at FIFA.

FIFA's loss, its first since 2002, was expected after failing to sign any new World Cup sponsors.

Despite the corruption crisis, FIFA's total income was €1bn in 2015. Expenses of €1.13bn included spending €54m on "legal matters".

That helped ensure that FIFA's reserves fund fell by €161m to €1.18bn.

FIFA spent €25m last year paying executive committee members and senior management, including Blatter. That total was €35m in the 2014 World Cup year.

FIFA's now-fired secretary general, Jerome Valcke, got 2.125 million Swiss francs (€1.95m) in 2015. Each executive committee member was paid €265,000, and senior vice president Issa Hayatou of Cameroon got an additional €440,000 for chairing the finance committee.

FIFA agreed to start publishing executive pay in modernising reforms approved last month, as a response to American and Swiss federal investigations of corruption implicating dozens of soccer officials, including Blatter.

"With the recently approved reforms, I believe that we have turned a corner and that FIFA is poised to emerge stronger than ever," said Gianni Infantino, Blatter's successor.

FIFA has acknowledged that commercial partners were put off by fallout from the scandals.

Top-tier sponsors Sony and Emirates Airlines have not been replaced since the 2014 World Cup, and 27 of 34 commercial slots remain unsold for the 2018 tournament in Russia.

New sponsor deals are likely to be announced soon, with Asian companies expected to step in. FIFA's prospects improved when member federations passed the anti-corruption reforms last month and elected Infantino as president.

FIFA wants to keep Infantino's pay package secret for one more year until the 2016 accounts are published. His salary will be less than Blatter's, and should also be less than the yet-to-be appointed secretary general who will have wider, CEO-like powers.

Irish Independent

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