The FourFourTwo Football Rich List 2011/12 brings you the 20 wealthiest players involved in British football
1. David Beckham £135m
LA Galaxy (Last year £100m, 1st)
Arab-backed arrivistes Paris St-Germain have become the latest club to express an interest in signing David Beckham when his MLS contract expires. He is by far the highest-paid player in MLS history – although not as well-paid as you might think from the hysteria generated, perhaps not without the help of his advisors, when he crossed the Atlantic in 2007. Although dwarfing some of his team-mates' remuneration, his £4m basic – down from the £6m annual contract at previous club Real Madrid – represents a small fraction of his overall annual earnings from grooming products and endorsements of about £25m from companies such as adidas, EA, Yahoo and Coty. In 2007, he was reportedly paid $13.7m to launch his fragrance line in the US. Beckham is now clearly preparing for his life after football. Beckham's own company, Footwork Productions, has paid him nearly £75m in salary and dividends from 2002 to 2009. Forbes' list of the Top 100 celebrities puts his income at £56m in the two years 2009 and 2010. With Victoria, his wife of nearly 12 years, fashion and cosmetics lines are being launched. They have their own company, Beckham Brand Limited, to exploit the Beckham name. In 2009 its profits came in at £622,000.
NOT AS RICH AS Keith Richards (musician) £175m
2. Michael Owen £40m
Manchester United (Last year £40m, 2nd)
It's now four years since Michael Owen reached 40 England goals. Sadly for him, it looks like he'll never reach 41. Long since dropped by Fabio Capello from the England squad and so far down the Manchester United pecking order that he must look forward to the Carling Cup, 31-year-old Owen is apparently ending his career with a whimper entirely unbefitting the explosive start to a career that promised to rewrite history. In truth the Michael Owen story was wrecked by the knee injury he suffered for England at the 2006 World Cup. Although he recovered from the injury, he has gone on record as saying his subsequent niggles all stem from that fateful German campaign. His £110,000-a-week Newcastle contract became a bone of contention and, although he was delighted to be picked up on a pay-as-you-play free transfer by Manchester United, his lack of regular first-team football has effectively ended his international career. Off-field he has a deal with Umbro (which has several years to run) worth a reported £2m a year, which helps keep the wolves from the door. In 2001, he was the advertising face of breakfast cereal Nestlé Sporties. He also appeared in several adverts for the washing powder Persil, in a contract worth £1m. He has been an ambassador of the Swiss watchmaker Tissot since 1998 and has a contract with car manufacturer Jaguar. His sponsorship deals lifted his earnings at his peak to north of £7.5m a year. Owen jointly owns Manor House Stables, near Malpas, Cheshire, with Betfair co-owner Andrew Black, under the stewardship of trainer Tom Dascombe. His horse Brown Panther came second in the 2011 St Leger. His company Owen Promotions showed £7.1m net assets in its most recent 2009-10 accounts. But with his limited appearances of late and the hefty cost of maintaining his horses, we keep Owen at £40m.
3. Rio Ferdinand £36m
Manchester United (Last year £34m, 3rd)
With signings like Phil Jones and Chris Smalling, Manchester United are preparing for life after Rio Ferdinand. But then, Ferdinand has long been preparing for life after football. He edits #5, an online lifestyle magazine, and has his own footwear and accessories label Fivebyrioferdinand.com. He has also embraced social media more than any other footballer and has more than 1.5m followers on Twitter. He has paid more than £220,000 into his newly-established Rio Ferdinand Live The Dream Foundation to help underprivileged children. A £1m a year pay rise took him to £120,000 a week shortly after Manchester United claimed the Premier League and Champions League double in 2008, and he seems likely despite the injuries to be offered at least a year's extension to his present deal, long before it expires in 2013. Taking his £6m+ club salary, a lucrative boot deal from Nike, and a property portfolio that takes in London, Cheshire, Morocco, and Barbados and the Turks and Caicos Islands in the Caribbean, we raise Ferdinand by £2m this year to £36m.
4. Ryan Giggs £30m
Manchester United (Last year £27m, 5th)
It's perfectly possible that, in what's left of the world after nuclear armageddon, Ryan Giggs will be representing Manchester United against a scratch side of cockroaches in the Post-Apocalyptic Premier League. The most decorated player in English football history's one-year contract extension takes him to June 2012, when he will be nearing 39. Some of his team-mates weren't even born when he made his first-team debut in March 1991. Although "loyal" might not be the first word people use to describe him after a torrid year of tabloid tittle-tattle, Giggs has been well rewarded for his dedication to Manchester United. His present £4.2m annual salary represents the minimum he has earned per season for more than a decade. He is also a mainstay of Reebok, with whom he has a lucrative endorsement contract. His company Ryan Giggs Ltd had nearly £5m net assets in its 2010 accounts.
5. Wayne Rooney £30m
Manchester United (Last year £25m, 6th)
An intriguing year for Wayne Rooney. It started last October, shortly after the publication of the FourFourTwo Football Rich List 2010/11, when reports appeared that he was unhappy at Manchester United and might even consider joining their noisy but accommodating neighbours across the city. Pundits queued to declaim the end of Sir Alex Ferguson, Manchester United and society, until quite suddenly one day Rooney happily signed a contract extension paying him £200,000 per week. Cue another league title, followed by a summer of relaxation which appears to have done him the power of good, judging by his blistering start to the 2011/12 campaign. His new five-year contract has the potential to elevate Rooney above every footballer other than David Beckham, but he will have to spend significantly more time cultivating his off-field image if his wealth is ever to match England's favourite No 7. He remains on the books of Electronic Arts and the covers of their electronic games to be found on X-Boxes and Nintendos the world over. He also has a lucrative deal with Nike. Forbes recently estimated his annual income at about £12m. Not bad for a Croxteth lad – or, for that matter, anybody at all.
6. Steven Gerrard £27m
Liverpool (Last year £22m, 7th)
In 2009 Steven Gerrard signed a four-year deal that will take him beyond his 33rd birthday and probably keep him a Liverpool player until the end of his career. At £140,000 a week, the contract made the captain the best-paid player at Anfield. With a lucrative deal with Adidas worth £1m a year, plus a tie-up with Lucozade, to add to his Liverpool wage, Gerrard is earning close to £9m a year, more than enough to allow him to invest in a friend's restaurant business as he has done with the Warehouse Kitchen & Bar, in Southport, close to his home. He has invested £5m of his millions in Merseyside and Dubai penthouse apartments. Steven Gerrard Promotions, his company showed £3.7m net assets in 2009-10.
NOT AS RICH AS Usher (musician) £29.1m
7. Frank Lampard £26m
Chelsea (Last year £22m, 7th)
Age and squad competition may be counting against him, but Frank Lampard continues to gather goals, medals and money. His five-year Chelsea contract, which expires in 2013, is maturing nicely: when it was signed in 2008, it made Lampard the best paid player in the Premier League, the incremental deal rising to £140,000 a week in its latter stages. Forbes put his annual earnings at more than £10m recently, adding about £4m to his club wages for his endorsement deals, which include Adidas and Pepsi. Lampard has five companies including Frank Lampard Promotions, with over £2.5m of net assets in total in 2009-10. His 2008 split with his fiancée Elen Rivas is likely to have hit his finances, so we cautiously value Lampard at £26m after tax.
8. John Terry £22m
Chelsea (Last year £19m, 9th)
Another season, another manager – but you can tell you're getting older when the boss is barely more experienced than you. Andre Villas-Boas is barely three years older than the Chelsea captain but it's now up to the Portuguese to get the Champions League trophy into JT's clutches. Terry is already Chelsea's most successful captain, having hoisted three Premier Leagues, three FA Cups and two League Cups since 2004. He turned down a £250,000-a-week offer from Manchester City in 2009; his decision was helped by a new Chelsea contract worth a mere £160,000 a week but he also has the right to a testimonial, worth around £2.5m. Endorsements, headed by Umbro, supplement his wages. Terry's company, Sports Market & Promotions, is surprisingly light in net assets with just £34,000 in 2010. Terry is among those to have invested heavily in property developments, some of them overseas. He'll be heading overseas again himself next summer and may already be dreaming of lifting the European Championship trophy, having been reinstated as England captain.
9. Didier Drogba £19m
Chelsea (Last year £18m, 10th)
Arguably the greatest centre-forward in the Premier League's history, considering the larger demands placed upon the modern breed who are often solo front-runners, Didier Drogba has been written off many times but refuses to be written out of the Chelsea story. So far the wrong side of 30 that he's only five months younger than his new manager, Drogba has been expected to find pastures new for a few years now, but keeps coming up with the goods. Born in Ivory Coast but largely brought up in France, Drogba started his career slowly – he wasn't in an academy and didn't play daily football until adulthood. In his mid-twenties things suddenly clicked and after an impressive single season with Marseilles, who had bought him for £3.3m, he quadrupled his £15,000 weekly wage (and earned l'OM £24.5m) by moving to Chelsea in July 2004. By November 2006 he had earned himself a 50% rise, signing a four-year deal worth £90,000 a week. The following summer that was again improved to £100,000 a week. Two summers on it was extended again, to 2012, and is now worth £105,000 a week. He has an endorsement deal with Pepsi, the proceeds from which have been diverted to build a children's hospital in Abidjan, his home city and the economic capital of the Ivory Coast. In all, Drogba is said to have put £3m towards the hospital from Pepsi and other endorsement deals which include Nike and Orange France. Charity balls held in London in each of the past two years have raised more than £800,000 for the Didier Drogba Foundation, which is building the hospital. Taking account of his charity work, Drogba should be worth £19m.
10. Fernando Torres £18m
Chelsea (Last year £15m, 13th)
In 1961, Spurs rescued Jimmy Greaves from AC Milan for £99,999 – a pricetag designed to save Greaves the pressure of becoming English football's first £100,000 player. No such protection for Fernando Torres half a century later, when Roman Abramovich shelled an astonishing £50m to sign the Spaniard from Liverpool. Still, pricetags are quickly forgotten when strikers settle down immediately and start to score regularl... oh. Chelsea fans will hope that El Niño will soon be earning his £175,000 a week pocket money, and so will his accountants. A global name, Torres has endorsement deals with Nike and Pepsi. With his new Chelsea wage, he will be earning at least £10m a year. Taking his £110,000 a week wages at Liverpool prior to his transfer into account, plus a hefty signing-on fee at Chelsea, Torres should easily be worth £18m after tax and spending.
11. Nicolas Anelka £16m
Chelsea (Last year £14m, 14th)
Whisper it, but it seems that Nicolas Anelka has settled down. The erstwhile sulking teenager is now enjoying the longest spell of his career at one club, having moved to Chelsea from Bolton in January 2008 in a £15m deal. Despite arriving as second fiddle to Didier Drogba, frequently being played out wide to accommodate the Ivorian, watching his club pay £50m for Fernando Torres and witnessing the rise of various younger strikers, the former France international has simply done as requested by whichever manager currently sits in the spring-loaded Stamford Bridge hot-seat. Not for nothing did Anelka become the world's most expensive player by cumulative transfer fee. After rising to prominence at Arsenal, he has been bought for big money by Real Madrid, Paris St-Germain, Manchester City, Fenerbahce, Bolton and Chelsea, clocking up £85 million in transfer fees. His share of those, plus past earnings and his near-£4m Chelsea salary, take him to £16m.
NOT AS RICH AS Rupert Grint (actor) £24m
11. Petr Cech £16m
Chelsea (Last year £14m, 14th)
When the Abramovich revolution started, there were those who said they didn't need to replace the highly-regarded goalkeeper Carlo Cudicini. But Claudio Ranieri liked the look of young Petr Cech and paid Rennes £7m for him, in the process making him the world's best-paid goalkeeper. He earns around £90,000 a week from Chelsea, which ends in 2013 and should therefore be up for renewal this season – and with Cech till not yet 30 and therefore entering a goalkeeper's prime age, he may well expect a decent pay rise. He also signed a five-year endorsement deal with Samsung and Adidas in 2008 said to be worth up to £25m.
11. Joe Cole £16m
Lille (Last year £14m, 14th)
The summer 2010 move to Liverpool didn't work out for anybody except Joe Cole's bank manager. Signed by Roy Hodgson but out of favour under Kenny Dalglish, Cole has been forced abroad to seek first-team football: he is on loan at French champions Lille, although Liverpool will still be paying a large chunk of his wages. His four-year Anfield contract pays £90,000 a week, and as a free transfer he received a signing-on fee of £2m. Taking that into account alongside his Adidas endorsement deal, he may have earned £7m in the past year. A schoolboy prodigy who once scored seven goals for England Youth in an 8-1 demolition of Spain, Cole made his debut for West Ham in 1998. Five years later, his £6.5m move upped his salary from £25,000 a week to £30,000 – although a four-year extension signed in June 2006 ramped this up to £80,000 a week. He enjoys the usual footballer trappings of property in Dubai and fast cars. There is little in his company, Joe Cole Promotions, with just £181,000 of net assets in 2009-10. When Cole married model Carly Zucker in June 2009, he sold the rights to the wedding to Hello! for a reported £2m fee, which the couple pledged to give to charity.
14. Ashley Cole £14m
It's doubtful that Ashley Cole will ever live down the passage in his autobiography about his explosive outrage in 2006 when Arsenal failed to raise his pay to £60,000 a week: "When I heard '£55,000', I almost swerved off the road." Happily for Cole, Chelsea were happy to give him £90,000 a week, sending Arsene Wenger £5m and William Gallas in exchange. That year, Cole married Girls Aloud star Cheryl Tweedy; they separated in February 2010 and were divorced in September that year. Perhaps wary of amazement-activated automobile accidents, Chelsea willingly raised his contract to £120,000 a week in September 2009. His company, Kenzie Promotions, showed £1.1m of net assets in 2009-10. Cole also has a lucrative boot deal. Let's just hope he has a hands-free phone.
14. Michael Essien £14m
Chelsea (Last year £13m, 18th)
This year, opponents discovered how to stop Michael Essien running. Thing is, referees don't take kindly to giving players a ruptured anterior cruciate ligament and meniscus, as Essien suffered in pre-season. Like the World War I volunteers, he expects to be back by Christmas; don't bet against it. Hugely impressed by his indefatigable midfield work for Lyon, Chelsea kept raising their offer until £26m sealed the deal in 2005. Four summers later he signed a four-year, £80,000-a-week contract; he then signed a two-year extension which will keepi him a Blue until 2015. Endorsement deals should take him to £14m.
14. Carlos Tevez £14m
Manchester Cityish (New entry)
Van Halen singer David Lee Roth once said that "Money can't buy you happiness, but it can buy you a yacht big enough to pull up right alongside it." At the moment, most people at Manchester City seem content for Carlos Tevez to sail his own yacht down the Manchester Ship Canal and on to Buenos Aires, Bora Bora or anywhere but Eastlands. Tevez's apparent refusal to come on as a substitute at Bayern Munich has led to his suspension pending an internal investgation, with manager Roberto Mancini insisting the Argentinian will never play for him again. Whether his fault or not, controversy has followed Tevez around England: the third-party agreement by which West Ham brought him to Europe, the decision to sign for City despite a successful loan spell at Manchester United leading to a lucrative permanent contract offer, and the gleeful "Welcome to Manchester" poster erected by the Blues on his switch from the Red Devils. On the field – when he gets that far – Tevez has rarely done anything but give it all, with 93 goals in 212 appearances for English clubs. He earned around £9m all told in his three years at Upton Park and Old Trafford, but City whacked that up to a £140,000 a week. With his Nike boot deal added, Tevez should easily be worth £14m.
NOT AS RICH AS Stephen King (author) £18m
14. Yaya Toure £14m
Manchester City (New entry)
Fitting, perhaps, that the midfield general at Manchester City should be handed British football's highest salary. True, more recent signings like Sergio Aguero and Samir Nasri do more eye-catching work up at the sharp end, but it is Toure's tireless running in midfield that provides the platform on which the flair players perform. And if for some reason City's galaxy of stars fail to shine, Toure himself may step forward and do the damage – as he did in the 2011 FA Cup Final, scoring the winner to give City their first major trophy in 35 years. Joining brother Kolo at Eastlands, the Ivory Coast international signed from Barcelona in summer 2010 for £24m. He trebled his wages to upwards of £300,000 a week. After a year at City and with his earlier deals at Monaco and Barça, Toure should be worth £14m now.
18. Damien Duff £13m
Fulham (Last year £13m, 18th)
A one-year contract extension signed in August 2011 will keep him at Craven Cottage until at least the summer of 2013. He may stay longer if he's wanted, as Duff is not the type to agitate for a move for purely financial gain. In 2009 he joined Fulham from relegated Newcastle on a £45,000-a-week deal, but at St James' Park he had been on a five-year £70,000-a-week deal which didn't include a relegation reduction clause: he'd have been perfectly within his rights to stay put and earn a million or so more. Duff has invested heavily in property in Ireland, with homes also in London, Newcastle and the Caribbean. Duff also has an endorsement contract with Lucozade and his company Lightzest showed £1.1m of net assets in 2008-09. But despite his share of £22m transfers (including a £17m move from Blackburn to Chelsea in 2003 and the £5m move to Newcastle in 2006) we keep Duff at £13m this year as property prices in Ireland particularly have been hammered.
18. Robbie Keane £13m
LA Galaxy (New entry)
Robbie's gone to Hollywood. Now playing for his tenth club since he made his debut as 17-year old for Wolves, Keane moved to America in August to play alongside David Beckham at LA Galaxy. The Republic of Ireland's captain, with a record number of goals and outfield caps, has commanded more than £77m in transfer fees during his career. He was on £80,000 a week during his six-month spell at Liverpool in 2008-09 but he returned to Spurs, reportedly for £10,000 a week less. Keane signed a two-year deal believed to be worth around £3.5 million to move to America. With his share of transfers and his various contracts, Keane should be worth around £13m.
20. Craig Bellamy £12m
Liverpool (New entry)
Craig Bellamy has signed for nine different clubs and racked up £47m in transfer fees, but neither figure changed when he joined Liverpool on August's transfer deadline day: he was moving back to Anfield on a free transfer. The wandering Welsh winger started at Norwich and moved to Coventry, Newcastle, Celtic (on loan), Blackburn, Liverpool, West Ham, Manchester City and Cardiff (on loan) before he made his return to Anfield. His Manchester City salary was £90,000 a week and the Blues paid that even during his year long loan to Cardiff. His company CD Bellamy showed nearly £500,000 of net assets in 2009-10. In all, the fiery Bellamy has won 63 Wales caps and is the fifth-highest goalscorer in Wales' history. He should be worth at least £12m.