Wed, 30 Oct 2013 11:15:00 GMT | By MSN Money editors

How much tax do the world’s best footballers pay?

New research reveals how much Europe's biggest stars have to hand over to the taxman every year.

Frank Lampard (© Getty)

We all marvel at the amounts modern football players reportedly earn, but we rarely consider the tax bills involved. How much may a player’s transfer be influenced by how much tax they will have to pay? Financial site This is Money has published data showing how much the average player may earn in the world’s top leagues - and how much they may be taxed.

Many footballers playing for the world’s elite clubs will be earning in excess of £100,000 a week, with some earning more than double that. This is Money examined the earnings and taxes of a player earning £200,000 a week (leaving aside the fortune they would make on top of this in bonuses, sponsorships and endorsements).

England – Premier League

The top rate of tax in England is 45%, down after a brief period at 50% between 2010 and 2012. This means that a player such as the Chelsea and England midfielder Frank Lampard, who reportedly earns around £200,000 a week, could see his wages cut to £106,206 after tax. This means that Lampard alone could be contributing around £4.9 million a year in taxes.

Spain – La Liga

A player earning £200,000 a week will have to face the Spanish top tax rate of 52%, meaning they will lose £104,000 to tax, pocketing £96,000.

Cristiano Ronaldo (© Getty)

Germany – Bundesliga

For the past few years, Germany’s Bundesliga has been drawing global attention, and this year's all-German Champions League final did nothing to stop that. Germany's top tax rate is a little higher than England's and Italy's at 47.475%, meaning top earners could still take home in excess of £5.4 million a year after tax.

France – Ligue 1

The top tax band in France is the same as in England at 45%. Ligue 1 was looking like a league on the up – mostly thanks to the riches of Paris St-Germain and Monaco. But a bill currently in parliament is likely to up the top tax bracket to 75% which could see an exodus of the big names. French football clubs have even agreed to strike over the 'super-tax'.

 Monaco have managed to attract superstars such as Radamel Falcao and James Rodriguez despite only recently being promoted to the top division and not being involved in Champions League football. This comes as little surprise when you remember that Monaco is in fact its own principality – where there is no income tax, instead a 13% employee social security tax. This means that a Monaco star earning £200,000 a week, would take home £174,000 of that. Don’t be surprised to see more high earners heading to Monaco in the near future...

Radamel Falcao (© Getty)

Italy – Serie A

Italy’s rate of tax is pretty much in line with the rest of Europe, and its top band demands 46.29% of earnings. This means that a £200,000-a-week player would earn £107,420 a week after tax. (Admittedly, there are not too many examples of such players in Italy – the recent Napoli signing Gonzalo Higuaín is believed to be one of the country's highest paid stars, earning somewhere in the region of £150,000 a week.)

Russia – Russian Football Premier League

The Russian Football Premier League isn’t seen as one of Europe’s elite leagues. But that could all change. Super-rich club owners and a mere 13% top tax rate means that more and more great players are choosing to ply their trade in Russia. Samuel Eto’o’s time in Russia saw him collect around £16 million a year, after tax, playing for Anzhi Makhachkala (which has since shipped out many players owing to budget cuts). A player earning £200,000 a week in Russia will keep £174,000 of that.

arrrrr but they dont pay the max tax's. Thats the point. they have accountants to get hem to pay much lower such as the 1% tax rate as a offshore identity where the salary is paid into and the players receive a income from that offshore fund. PS they get paid way to much to cick a ball around and act like a bunch of spoiled kids.  They are all a bunch of kiddy girls ..... now rugby! thats a different matter )))))  
04/10/2013 23:34
Why dont MSN ask our political elite how much tax they pay? Do MSN really think that this is a story no body cares how much idiots kicking a ball pay in tax what the people want to know is how much tax has camorons mum & dad avoided only then will we truly have freedom of the press, all the while the media lick the bottom's of the elite filling our papers with lie's about our booming economy its all lie's & the poorest in society are getting sick of it. 
This might be relevant, if the players involved actually paid tax at the headline rate. But like overpaid individuals across the world, they invariably use a series of trick accounting dodges to reduce the actual tax payable to an almost insultingly low level. Of course, I'd hardly expect a site like MSN to pick up on that small technicality - particularly given the tax games played by its parent corporations.
All footballers and managers are Limited companies that supply services to the clubs ,this way they don't pay tax and the companies buy assets that they "borrow" against to give themselves  tax free never repaid loans
07/10/2013 11:48
Read what people are saying easy way to make sure they pay correct tax and N.I contributions take it straight from their wages like they do with me and millions like me this includes actors,singers,comedians,MPs and everyone if we are all in it together ha,ha as Cameron and others say we all should pay our fair share.If not fine them double what they have scammed and put Court Order to take money direct like they do with people who miss Council Tax etc.If they refuse then take their houses and cars to pay what they owe.Poor people are losing jobs in Council and NHS,Military cuts many working and serving for years and may end up having to pick up liter on less than minimum wages hit those who can pay and help not punish those losing jobs I know many who have worked 20plus years being told come March next year thats it goodbye not having earned in that time what these get in a fortnight.Before anyone says it they do not get Golden Handshakes and great pensions for free they pay into pension and its MPs,Councilors and Chief Exs that get these the so called ordinary workers leave with next to nothing.They recently tried to con a soldier out of his pension by finishing him 4 days early it makes you wonder why people serve to be treat like this when footballers are treat like kings.
07/10/2013 10:40
Some, not all, go through legit means by setting up a LTD company and claiming back alot of tax perks...Thats the way to do it, after all who the hell likes to pay Tax's at an extortionate rate!!
08/10/2013 13:38
who is the comic that wrote this a tory stooge,they all have accountants and offshore acounts,perhaps you could tell me how much of rooneys £250,000 a week is paid in tax??  45%???
"I bet most of their income goes offshore so they pay very little taxation."
08/10/2013 11:54

It's a shame!


Weekly salary, They should be paid monthly!


£200.000 monthly not weekly!


Some people don't make that in 4 years!

01/11/2013 12:16

Presumably if they are an 'offshore identity' then they are not able to play for England?


We need FAIR taxation in this country, so tax loopholes should be eliminated.


Wont happen I guess because the rich control whatever colour of Government we have!  Shame on them as the rich get richer while the poor get poorer!

why not check all these accountants salary and then you get a good idea of how much money . like  they are saving there clients. like SOLICITORS AND MPs I don't trust any of them... bob oardman
31/10/2013 23:03
This is incorrect. Nobody pays the top tax rate on all of their earnings. How disappointing that this should be SOOOOO wrong
04/11/2013 15:57
Reading the comments below I think there is fairly wider agreement that this is a simply dreadful article.
Perhaps we should ask for the journalist to be fired or simply resign.
Perhaps he could write children's story books instead.
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