From the FourFourTwo.com Rich List: the wealthiest bosses in British soccer
Manchester City Age 45
It's not just the players who are benefiting from the money Manchester City have been spending under Sheikh Mansour and, before him, Thaksin Shinawatra. By moving from Blackburn to take over at City in June 2008, Mark Hughes doubled his contract to £3m a year – £60,000 a week, in footballers' terms.
It's better than his first managerial contract: in 1999, while still playing, he agreed a four-and-a-half-year deal as Wales manager, the first 18 months of which was served on a part-time basis. That was said to be worth £300,000 but in 2004 he replaced Graeme Souness at Ewood Park, signing that £1.5m-per-year contract on a three-year deal in May 2006.
Sparky has outside interests including stakes in Mark Dafydd Design and Developments and Mark Dafydd Prestige Homes, two small building companies. He also owned H2 Soccer Schools, which he ran with Eric Harrison, the legendary United youth manager who discovered all the Fergie fledglings such as David Beckham and Paul Scholes. With his luxury home in the Cheshire stockbroker belt, his share of transfers and salaries as a top player plus his current business interests, Sparky should be worth £8m.
Aston Villa Age 57
You wouldn't think Martin O'Neill was 57, judging by his irrepressible touchline antics. But like Sir Alex Ferguson, he celebrates every goal likes it's his first – or last. And he's been around a while: O'Neill was at an underachieving Nottingham Forest when a certain Brian Clough arrived to turn the club around with two European Cup wins – one of which was watched from the bench by O'Neill, perhaps forging the Ulsterman's steely will to win.
O'Neill served his managerial apprenticeship with Wycombe (whom he took into the Football League) and made a name for himself at Leicester, with whom he won two League Cups, before leading Celtic to three league titles in five years plus a UEFA Cup final. Before leaving Celtic he was given a £700,000 a year contract as a consultant.
O'Neill has outside interests, like commentating for the BBC during the World Cup finals and in August 2006 he joined Aston Villa on a 12-month rolling contract worth up to £2.5m a year. A spokesman for new Villa owner Randy Lerner said O’Neill would be offered a six-year deal, worth up to £15m.
Liverpool Age 49
Contracts don't often mean an awful lot but when Rafa Benitez signed a new four-year deal at Anfield in March 2009, it sent out a few very strong signals.
Firstly, Benitez had made it very publicly clear that he wanted the major say on transfers; chief executive Rick Parry was sacrificed to keep the manager happy. In return, the contract effectively ended any hopes that Real Madrid had of luring the Spaniard back home.
Benitez was on Madrid's books as a player and junior coach before making his name at Valencia. He took the Spanish side to a league title and enjoyed extended runs in the Champions League. In June 2004 he joined Liverpool as manager on a five-year £10m contract – since, of course, updated and improved. He should be worth around £9m right now on the back of his Liverpool money and past earnings at Valencia.
Tottenham Hotspur Age 62
That Tottenham Hotspur were happy to pay Portsmouth £5m compensation to hire Harry Redknapp may be a sign of how desperate the London club were to be bottom of the Premier League. But it is proving to be money well spent.
Redknapp was given a three-year contract by a grateful Pompey in May 2006 after keeping them from relegation. He lives on Panorama Road, in Sandbanks, one of the most expensive areas of real estate in the world, where a dilapidated bungalow was recently sold for £3m. Redknapp's house dates from 1911 and is reckoned to be worth £8m. But allowing for any mortgage, Redknapp should easily be worth £10m with his past contracts and current one.
Arsenal Age 59, last year £14m (92nd)
Arsene Wenger keeps finding gold mines. One of football's canniest
talent scouts, he consistently makes money for Arsenal by signing and
developing promising youngsters for whom the club receive huge transfer
That's good news for a club which indebted itself with a move to the
Emirates Stadium. Wenger's Arsenal contract was worth around £3m
annually but he signed a new £4m a year deal in September 2007 for four
years. A careful and abstemious man devoted to the Gunners, Wenger
should be worth £15m now.
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