Financial gulf increases in Scottish football as wages are revealed

Photo Above: Celtic Football Club © Alasdair Middleton on Wikipedia

Celtic players earn eight times more than those playing for Hibernian and Hearts as the gulf widens in Scottish football.

The Global Sports Salaries Survey published by Sporting Intelligence revealed the huge financial gap separating Celtic – the upper echelon of Scottish football – and the rest of the division.

On average, a footballer plying his trade at Parkhead will take home £14,135 a week, whereas a Hibs or Hearts player can only expect to earn around £1600-£1800.

Annually that equates to £735,040 being dished out on wages by Celtic – whilst the Jam Tarts and Hibs give out approximately £95,514 and £87,100 a year respectively.

The two Edinburgh clubs placed fourth and fifth on Sporting Intelligence’s average first-team pay for the Scottish Premiership in the 2017-18 season’. The only club coming close to competing with Celtic is their bitter rivals Rangers, and even they only pay over half of their Glaswegian counterparts annual salary with £329,600.


The scope widens immensely when the English Premier League is taken into account. A player on English soil can expect to earn £69,540 on average a week, whereas a Scottish Premiership player can only expect around £3,911; 17 times less than a player south of the border.

Even taking the English Championship into consideration, a player there can expect to earn around £8,000 a week, doubling that of a Scottish Premiership player.

With the divide increasing as the years go on, this is perhaps the most dominant period for Celtic in Scottish history.

Their overwhelming dominance on Scottish soil is emphasised by their emphatic 65 game unbeaten run; a record that was previously held by the Hoops themselves a century ago.

The survey itself states: “The resources are spread across just as wide a range, from Celtic capable of having a total club wage bill of £40m-plus to others closer to a million.

“As Motherwell manager Steve Robinson said in an interview with The Times recently: ‘I’ve got first-team squad guys earning £250 [basic] a week. I’ve got three or four boys on that kind of money.’

“Of course that’s just a few players, and just basic pay (our metric) that will inevitably rise with appearances and results that in turn generate income that becomes performance-related pay.

“But £250 a week is still just £13,000 a year in a league where the biggest names at Celtic could gross seven figures, all told.”

The financial gulf unequivocally demonstrates the disparity between clubs on domestic soil – and with Celtic enduring their most successful period in the Scottish Premiership, there appears to be no significant signs of a change any time soon.