“There will be results, we will talk about money.” The former head of the Polish Football Association reveals the backstage of the talks

"There will be results, we will talk about money." The former head of the Polish Football Association reveals the backstage of the talks

A coach’s job is not only about a few training sessions a year and then parading around in a beautiful suit during a match – says Michał Listkiewicz to “Wprost”. The former president of the Polish Football Association employed four coaches during his term of office. He tells us what the discussions about remuneration looked like behind the scenes and how much the coaches paid. they were making money.

The “Finance Football” website has published a list of the earnings of national team coaches taking part in Euro 2024. England coach Gareth Southgate is at the top of the ranking. His annual earnings are estimated at EUR 5.8 million. The second place in the ranking goes to the coach of this year’s Euro 2024 hosts. 36 German coach Julian Nagelsmann earns approximately EUR 4.8 million per year. The podium is finished by the coach of Portugal, the winners of the Euro in 2016. Roberto Martinez earns approximately EUR 4 million per year.

Selectors’ earnings. How does Michał Probierz fare?

How does the coach of the Polish national team fare in the ranking? The salary of Michał Probierz, who has been training our team since last autumn, is approximately PLN 560,000. euro per year, i.e. approx. 200 thousand PLN per month. This places it in 17th position on the ranking (24 teams are taking part in this year’s Euro).

– Of course, if we look at salaries in Poland, the salary of coach Michał Probierz seems to be high. However, compared to his fellow coaches around the world, it is not that much. And in our country there would probably be a club coach who earns more. However, let us remember that this is the only such position in Poland, just as there is one president, one prime minister, there is one coach of the Polish national team – Michał Listkiewicz, former president of the Polish Football Association, comments in an interview with “Wprost”.

There are many opinions that the salaries of coaches are too high compared to those of the prime minister or president. Our interlocutor emphasizes that many of us wrongly perceive the work of a trainer, which is limited to conducting several training sessions a year.

– The coach and his staff actually work all the time. I saw it with coaches from my time, I saw it later, for example with Adam Nawałka, in whose room the lights were on until 1 a.m. Laptops were working, streaming was running, and a player was being analyzed for hours. A coach’s job is not just a few training sessions a year and then parading around in a beautiful suit during a match – explains the former head of the Polish Football Association.

Beenhakker was sponsored

When he headed the Polish Football Association (1999-2008), Michal Listkiewicz employed four coaches, including the first foreign coach in history, Leo Beenhakker. It is no secret that the Dutchman earned the most. It was – as Listkiewicz revealed in his memoirs – 75,000. euro per month. The financial expectations of the former coach include: Real Madrid or the Dutch national team, as Listkiewicz admits, were “cosmic” for the association at that time (Beenhakker took over the team in the summer of 2006). It was therefore agreed that Kompania Piwowarska, one of the team’s sponsors, would pay more than half of the remuneration.

– Today, the PZPN has a budget of approximately PLN 400 million, and when I headed the association it was approximately PLN 60 million. Today, President Kulesza could accept Beenhakker’s expectations without blinking an eye. The situation was different then, the sponsor paid half of the salary – Listkiewicz tells us.

However, the sponsor had a condition. – Beenhakker had to appear in their advertisements, which means that apart from his job as a coach, he also had other duties. He agreed to this, he was very fair, because he could have said that if I have to provide other services, please pay me more – says the former president of the Polish Football Association.

Beenhakker’s employment paid off, because at the end of 2007 he won the first promotion to the Euro with the Polish national team. Then, unfortunately, things got worse, first the Poles’ unsuccessful performance at the championships, then the lost qualifying round for the World Cup in South Africa in 2010. Listkiewicz admits today that extending the contract with the Dutchman before Euro 2008 was a mistake.

When asked about the talks regarding money with Polish coaches, Listkiewicz admits that what impressed him most was the attitude of Paweł Janas, coach in 2003-2006, who led the Polish national team at the World Cup in Germany 18 years ago.

– When he accepted the position of coach, I offered him a conversation about a bonus after a possible promotion to the tournament. Paweł then said: “there will be results, then we will talk about money.” His earnings were relatively low, about PLN 40,000 a month – reveals Listkiewicz.

The former head of the Polish Football Association does not remember the exact amounts that Jerzy Engel (the coach in 2000-2002) and his successor Zbigniew Boniek (the future president of the Polish Football Association was a coach for only five months) earned, but as he recalls, “Zbyszek never reached out for union money” , and Engel focused more on granting decent salaries to the coaching staff.

Why don’t the selectors have a job?

An argument for high earnings for Polish selectors may be the fact that after completing their mission, most of them have problems finding a job.

– Clubs are a bit afraid to employ former coaches. After all, until recently he was the most important coach in Poland. Such a person can overwhelm the players and cause greater expectations among the fans. The club’s budget certainly plays an important role here, but also various arrangements, something the coach does not have to worry about on a daily basis. There are situations where the squad is decided by the sports director and the president, and we also have a club in the Premier League where the shareholders have an influence on the squad. The coach of such a club has no comfort – explains Listkiewicz.

I regret that it is difficult for former coaches to come back. There are exceptions, like Waldemar Fornalik, a man who is famous for working quietly. I regret that Adam Nawałka, a great coach and a great person, did not return to his profession. You must remember that working in the national team means that you lose the practical skills of everyday work in the club.– he adds.

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