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Home > Sports > Football > Reuters > Report


Big bonus awaits French

Robert Woodward in Lisbon | June 11, 2004 20:37 IST

French players will earn a fat bonus if they retain their European title but victory in the Euro 2004 final would earn Sweden's coaches nothing extra.

Zinedine Zidane and his team mates can pick up 230,000 euros ($276,100) each if they lift the trophy again on July 4.

There is a sting in the system, though. If Les Bleus get knocked out in the first round like they did at the 2002 World Cup they will not get a cent.

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Many federations refuse to divulge their system of bonus payments but an unofficial ranking list, based on media reports and official figures, has Denmark and France at the top, with Italy and Spain earning about the same as Portugal.

Portugal's players will earn an estimated 200,000 euros if they win the championship in front of their home fans and they will get 35,000 just for making it through the first round.

Portugal open the three-week tournament on Saturday against Greece in Porto.

Denmark, in Group C with Italy, Sweden and Bulgaria, won the title in 1992 and their incentive scheme should keep the players' bank managers happy.

Each player in the 23-man squad gets 442,000 crowns just for being in Portugal. A first-round draw earns 49,000, a victory 98,000. The most a player can earn with six wins out of six is a healthy 2.31 million Danish crowns ($373,000), more than France.

Germany's squad, European and world champions three times, would earn 100,000 euros each if they win the title but, like France and Spain, they would return home with empty wallets if they lost out in the first round.

Spanish players will earn 201,338 euros each if they win the title and their federation has taken out an insurance policy in case they have to pay up.

Russian soccer chief Vyacheslav Koloskov says his squad and staff will get half of Russia's total bonus pool of six million Swiss francs ($4.77 million) in the first round.

ADDITIONAL BONUS

They will get an additional bonus of three million if they reach the final.

"It will be divided between the players, coaching staff and support personnel, masseurs, doctors and even cooks," Koloskov said.

"Of course, if we lose all three first-round games, the players will get a lot less. There is no point in giving away huge bonuses to the players if they under-perform."

Under the French scheme only the squad's press officer of the support staff is covered by the bonus scheme.

The Czechs will hand to the players 50 percent of the country's payments from UEFA, European soccer's governing body, following the tournament. But they will deduct the cost of the squad's stays in Portugal and their training camp in Austria first.

Bulgaria's sports ministry has offered 102,300 euros to the squad if they reach the quarter-finals. They will also get undisclosed bonuses from the Bulgarian football union.

Outsiders Latvia have reached their first major soccer tournament in Portugal and they are negotiating bonuses with banking group Nordea's Latvian arm, the squad's main sponsor.

Midfielder Andrejs Rubins will get a cash bonus from Nike should he score during the tournament.

Pity Sweden coaches Lars Lagerback and Tommy Soderberg, however. While their players will pick up undisclosed bonuses, they are on a fixed salary, win or lose.


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