Sport Administrator Salaries
For a small number of sport administrators in high profile sports, salary packages are extraordinarily high. Here's a few media reports about salaries:
- Andrew Demetrio, Australian Rules Football, $1.88 million (Herald Sun, 18 March 2013)
- John O'Neill, Australian Rugby Union, $1.2 million (the Australian, 20 April 2011)
- Ben Buckley, Football Federation Australia. $1.3 million (The Age, 23 August 2012)
Are such salaries justifiable? What is the case for and against salaries of this magnitude?
Much depends on your standpoint. If you are a board member of one these illustrious sport organisations, it is probably no big deal for someone to be paid more than a million dollars a year. Board members may be high flyers in the business world and probably rub shoulders with people who earn similar or greater salaries on a daily basis. For Board members of this stature, you will likely see the justification as the need to:
- Offer a "competitive" salary i.e. competitive with industry
- Attract someone with the right skill set e.g. charisma, leadership, management experience, good connections, ability to work with influential people, knowledge of sport
However if your standpoint is that you are CEO of a lesser profile sport, you probably see things differently. By the way, the website Sportspeople reported an average of $106,580 for Chief Executive Officer/General Manager/Executive Directors of sport organisations in Australia. (2011 Sports People Salary Survey)
A CEO of a national sport organisation who earns around the average reported by Sportspeople, probably thinks:
- Yes, CEOs in the high salary bracket have a large workforce to preside over but that means they have many more staff to assist them. CEOs at the lower end of the pay scale put in huge work hours to cope with the lack of staff to assist.
- CEO's in the high salary bracket may have a larger organisation to manage but mostly they are stepping into an organisation that is not 'mission impossible'. CEOs at the lower end of the pay scale often have a very challenging mission to promote and develop a sport that has a hugely smaller media profile, virtually no sponsorship or government funding. Arguably, CEOs at the average salary level or lower have to be far more innovative.
- CEO's at the average salary level will also possess charisma, leadership and management experience, and they may also have a distinguished sporting career. However, the curriculum vitae doesn't say "Banking", or "Law" or "Politician".
What do you think? Send your comments to Leo Isaac or further information.
The best comments in favour or not in favour of paying salaries $1-2 million will be published on this page.
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