The average gross annual salary of a professional footballer in Belgium has climbed to an all-time high of €266,000, according to an audit by Deloitte on Belgian professional football, published on Tuesday.
The audit was based on figures for the 2020-2021 season, which was hit by the coronavirus pandemic, forcing many matches to take place behind closed doors. The average gross annual salary increased by 7% that season, compared to the previous season, and reached its highest level.
The €266,000 figure includes the cost of group insurance for professional footballers.
Professional clubs spent a total of €296 million on the salaries of their players for 2020-2021, just under a quarter more than the previous season. Due to the change in the format of the competition, more teams played in Division 1B, where the average salary is higher.
The season was, unsurprisingly, a bad financial year for clubs, mainly due to the absence of the public. Their earnings fell by 22% to €290.7 million, and they racked up a record loss of nearly €140m, a drop of €86 million.