Wednesday, July 11, 2007
This really puts the 'massive' All Blacks in perspective. Imagine if word got out around the sporting world what they were paid. People would shit their pants laughing.
Nelsen top Kiwi scorer on pay ladder
By COEN LAMMERS - The Press Tuesday, 10 July 2007
Ryan Nelsen's new five-year deal with Blackburn Rovers has anchored his place as the highest-paid New Zealand sportsperson.
Blackburn Rovers insiders believe the new contract puts the Rovers captain on 55,000 to 60,000 a week, which equates to about $NZ8 million a year.
With the average All Black contract thought to be worth about $250,000, the Christchurch footballer could be earning more than an entire All Blacks squad of 22 players.
Other top Kiwi earners are Indy car driver Scott Dixon on $4.5m and NBA bench-warmer Sean Marks on $1.7m, while golf caddie Steve Williams is believed to have picked up 5 per cent of Tiger Woods's $US9.9m winnings on last year's United States PGA Tour, which adds up to $NZ630,000.
Nelsen's new contract vindicates his decision to leave a promising cricket career and focus on football.
"They thought I was mad," Nelsen told The Press in 1999. "Their reaction was, 'What's the future in soccer?"'
Eight years later, the "mad" footballer earns considerably more than the entire Black Caps squad or the best-paid cricketers in the world.