Sunday 18 August 2019

The Premier League's top 10 earners and social media influencers

Alexis Sanchez is earning £350k a week
Alexis Sanchez is earning £350k a week
Kevin Palmer

Kevin Palmer

THE financial explosion in the Premier League has created a cash windfall for the top players and their agents, with players becoming brand ambassadors in an era when football became so much more than a game.

Social media followers are viewed by clubs as a vital part of a package when they sign a player, so here is your Herald guide to the biggest earners in the English game.

1. ALEXIS SANCHEZ

Club: Manchester United

Salary: £350,000-a-week (before bonuses)

Social media following: 17.7m

Sanchez has been a resounding flop since his record-breaking move from Arsenal to Manchester United in January 2018, with the contract he signed boosted by his status as a free-transfer signing that ensures he receives huge ‘loyalty bonuses' each summer on top of his £350,000-a-week salary that takes his weekly income in excess of £500,000.

Many of the bonuses built into Sanchez's deal have not been activated as he has scored just three Premier League goals for United and failed to hit appearance targets, but the money will continue to roll in for the Chilean, who also has lucrative sponsorship deals in place with Nike and Huawei.


2. MESUT OZIL

Club: Arsenal

Salary: £350,000-a-week

Social media following: 75.6m

Ozil and his advisers were clever in their branding of the former Germany midfielder, as they appreciated the power of social media early in his career and he quickly built up a following that ensured he was a commodity as a sportsman and a brand ambassador.

He has substantially more followers on Instagram, Twitter and Facebook than Arsenal FC and that helped him to secure the huge contract signed in January 2018, with his woeful performances on the field overlooked as the club invested in his commercial value.

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Mesut Ozil continues to prove a decisive character among the Arsenal fan base. (Mike Egerton/PA)

3. PAUL POGBA

Club: Manchester United

Salary: £290,000-a-week

Social media following: 50.9m

Pogba signed a 10-year sponsorship deal with Adidas reported to be worth £31m in 2016, which involves a handful of media appearances and some high profile advertising campaigns that he promotes to his huge audience on social media.

His lucrative tie-in with Adidas was a positive factor in his move to Manchester United. The sportswear giant are also United's kit manufacturer after signing a stunning £750m deal with the Old Trafford giants in 2015.


4. KEVIN DE BRUYNE

Club: Manchester City

Salary: £280,000-a-week

Social media followers: 13.8m

This Belgian attacking star was rewarded for his sparkling performances at City with a lucrative new contract in January 2018, with City announcing the deal shortly after they lost out to Manchester United in the battle to sign Alexis Sanchez.

Two Premier League titles, three League Cup wins and a first FA Cup success last May represent an impressive trophy haul for De Bruyne at City, but his influence in Pep Guardiola's side has waned since he signed his new contract as injuries and dips in form have affected his progress.

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Kevin De Bruyne is one of City’s best signings of the last decade (Martin Rickett/PA)

5. RAHEEM STERLING

Club: Manchester City

Salary: £275,000-a-week

Social media followers: 9.7m

Sterling (above) has blasted 35 Premier League goals over the last two seasons, as he has taken his career to a new level under the guidance of manager Pep Guardiola.

He signed a new contract with City last November that reflected his status as one of the star names in a City side that have dominated English football for the last couple of seasons.


6. ROMELU LUKAKU

Club: Manchester United

Salary: £250,000-a-week

Social media followers: 9.1m

Lukaku's agent was in a strong position to negotiate a bumper pay deal with United when he moved to Old Trafford in a £75m deal in the summer of 2017, but his huge wages are now believed to be one of the reasons why the club were willing to sell him this summer.

A powerhouse performer at his best, Lukaku lacks the consistency of performance to justify his lofty status as one of the Premier League's top earners.


7. ANTHONY MARTIAL

Club: Manchester United

Salary: £250,000-a-week

Social media followers: 8.4m

This French forward appeared to be close to leaving United as he fell out of favour under previous manager Jose Mourinho, but he was quickly back in the fold once Ole Gunnar Solskjaer took over and he duly signed a new contract earlier this year.

That new deal propelled Martial towards the top of the United's wages league, as he joined team-mate

Lukaku on a huge salary at Old Trafford.


8. SERGIO AGUERO

Club: Manchester City

Salary: £220,000-a-week

Social media followers: 35.3m

A striker who etched his name into City folklore as he scored the iconic goal that handed them a dramatic victory in the 2011/12 Premier League title race, he has gone on to create more history by becoming the club's all-time leading scorer.

He heads into this season with 164 Premier League goals to his credit and could overhaul Thierry Henry, Frank Lampard and Andy Cole in that all-time list this season.


9. MOHAMED SALAH

Club: Liverpool

Salary: £200,000-a-week

Social media followers: 52m

Liverpool's star man is an icon in his Egyptian homeland, with his popularity rating boosted as he scored in the Champions League final win against Tottenham in June.

He could earn a lot more money with a move to one of Europe's biggest-spending clubs, but his status as Liverpool's top earner highlights his importance to Jurgen Klopp's team and the Anfield club's commercial activities.


10. HARRY KANE

Club: Tottenham

Salary: £200,000-a-week

Social media following: 13.8m

The England captain is a dream personality for marketing and PR gurus, with his clean-cut image and emergence through the ranks at Tottenham ensuring he is a personality who commands a huge value to sponsors.

Nike, Beats By Dre, Lucozade Sport, EA Sports and Hugo Boss are among the companies that have attached their image to Kane in recent years, with his value to Tottenham impossible to calculate as he is the face of all their major promotional campaigns.

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