What is FIFA president Gianni Infantino’s salary and how does it compare on the world stage?

Being the president of the biggest sport on earth makes Gianni Infantino one of the most powerful men in the world. Question is, what kind of salary comes with such prestige?

There is no question that football is the biggest and richest game on earth. For the cycle of 2019-2022 alone, FIFA is expecting to surpass its projected revenue target of $6.44billion - a number which could comfortably sit alongside the nominal GDP of some nations. 

One man who is thrilled with the numbers is current FIFA president Gianni Infantino. Speaking last week at the 72nd Congress, he said: "Our finances are great. And of course, if you want to develop you need to have resources. And you don't need to hide for that. You need to be proud of that.

"Not only in the year of Covid FIFA did not suffer any loss, not only has FIFA already reached the target of revenues of $6.4billion, but we are able to invest in football. And we're able to do that because the governance of FIFA today is right."

Despite FIFA's continued boasting about their financial situation, a quick look at the books does leave a number of question marks. With that in mind, before we look at Infantino's wages, it's important to explore some of the recent numbers behind his organisation.

For instance, in their revised 2021 budget, FIFA was expecting to make $365million from television broadcasting rights. In fact, they only made $123milllion. According to that same budget, they were also expected to bring in $174million in marketing rights. However, they only made $131million.

Qatar readying itself for 2022 World Cup

In truth, there are two areas in which FIFA over-delivered. The first was licensing rights, which saw the governing body outperform the budget by $35million.

The second area is the mysterious 'other revenue and income' box. FIFA only expected to make $58million, but ended up with $320million. So where exactly has this money come from?

A deeper dive into the accounts shows that FIFA generated $85.6million of 'other revenue' from a combination of the Club World Cup, Olympic football, FIFA museum and the FIFA Quality Programme.

That still leaves us with just under $234million to disclose, but unfortunately the details are not directly presented in FIFA's annual report.

The official match ball for the 2022 FIFA World Cup in Qatar.

We know - thanks to a separate note - that $77.5million was offset by the hosts of the 2021 Arab Cup, Qatar. We also know - from note number 8 - that the governing body received $60.4million from the US Department of Justice in remission proceeds.

But even if you take all that into account, plus the $15.5million of disposal money from operational buildings, assets under construction and land, that still leaves us with a big gaping hole of $80.6million.

That hole, according to the report, is made up of rent income and termination fees relating to contract cancellations. That must have been some contract!

Show me the money

FIFA president Gianni Infantino during the FIFA Teams Seminar

With that out of the way, it's time to delve into the salary of the man who makes FIFA tick.

According to the annual report, Gianni Infantino made a total of 2.98million Swiss Francs in 2021 ($3.19million). On top of that, the 52-year-old also enjoyed just under $20,000 in expenses.

It must, however, be noted that 1.95million Swiss Francs is Infantino's base salary, while the additional 1.03million Swiss Francs is the variable wage which will be paid in 2022.

Nevertheless, the combined figure means Infantino's salary works out at $245,384 per month, $61,346 per week, $12,269 per day, $1,533 per hour and $25.56 per minute.

Here's how he compares to world leaders, high-profile sporting bosses and personalities.

President Joe Biden

US President Joe Biden delivers remarks during a bill signing ceremony

You might not expect it, but it's true, the leader of the free world makes less per year than the president of FIFA.

According to Fox Business, President Biden earns $400,000 per year. On top of that, the 79-year-old enjoys a $50,000 expense allowance and $100,000 for travel expenses.

Thomas Bach (IOC president)

International Olympic Committee President Thomas Bach

You would think being the president of the International Olympic Committee would come with a nice paycheck. In truth, the position at the top of the organisation is a voluntary one.

That, however, doesn't mean that Thomas Bach is not paid. On the contrary, the IOC revealed that their top man earns $244,000 annually.

This might be a pittance compared to others on this list, but don't feel sorry for Bach just yet. Don't forget, the IOC already covers travel and accommodation expenses.

Gary Lineker (BBC's Match of the Day)

Gary Lineker

Despite taking a pay cut of just under £400,000, the Match of the Day presenter remains the BBC's top earner, having pocketed £1.36million in the 2020/21 financial year ($1.77million).

While that is still more than the President of the United States, it doesn't come close to the boss of world football.

Aleksander Ceferin (UEFA president)

Aleksander Ceferin

Aleksander Ceferin has faced some major challenges during his presidency. From Covid-19 to the emergence of the European Super League, it's not been an easy ride.

A big job requires a big paycheck and according to financial magazine Calcio & Finanza, Ceferin gave himself a recent bonus of 450,000 (just shy of $500,000).

During the 2019/20 financial year, the Slovenian made 2.19million - that's $2.38million. Still less than Infantino.

Daniel Levy (Tottenham Hotspur chairman)

Daniel Levy holds all the cards with Harry Kane

Despite failing to win silverware, Tottenham chairman Daniel Levy earned £2.95million ($3.84milion) in the 2019/20 campaign.

That figure is higher than Infantino, and it also makes Levy the second-highest paid director in the Premier League, according to Swiss Ramble.

Ed Woodward (former Manchester United director)

Richard Arnold (right) is set to replace Ed Woodward (left) as Man Utd CEO in February

It's fair to say that Manchester United fans won't look back at the Ed Woodward era with many happy memories. That probably won't be the case for Ed himself.

The 50-year-old made a salary of £3.08million in 2020 (around $4million) and was the highest earning director in the Premier League, again according to Swiss Ramble.

So if Infantino feels he can't get by on his current salary, it's clear what he needs to do; sidestep politics and governing bodies and bag himself a director's role at a Premier League club.

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