Soccer: Players' payments double All Blacks'

By Terry Maddaford

Some All Whites will earn more than double the $100,000 bonuses to be paid to the All Blacks should they win next year's Rugby World Cup.

Players like Tony Lochhead, Leo Bertos and Simon Elliott are likely to be paid up to $250,000 when the Cup pie is shared out later this year.

New Zealand Football chairman Frank van Hattum said the US$7 million to $8 million ($10 million -$11.5 million) his association would receive would be paid in a lump sum in September or October with a "significant portion" destined for the players' pockets.

Van Hattum said he could not reveal specific amounts for each player but suggested "if you do the maths you will realise some will receive significantly more than what the All Blacks are being offered".

While he would not confirm what the total payout would be, it has been rumoured that around $4 million will be shared by all players who played some part in the World Cup campaign.

The players were promised 40 per cent of any prize money which will be paid in accordance to a "rated points" scale drawn up by the Australian-based Professional Footballers Association according to the amount of game time played by each player and the importance of the matches.

Van Hattum has no problem with that.

"They fully deserve what they will get," he said. "It has been a huge commitment and we were always aware there would be a payout once we won through to the finals. I go along with that."

It is a far cry from van Hattum's own World Cup experience when he played at the 1982 finals in Spain.

"There was a small bonus for the two and a half years we put in," said van Hattum. "But the experience of playing in a World Cup was enough recompense for me."

It has been reported that all Australian players were set to receive A$200,000 ($245,000) even if they were eliminated in the first round. They were.

There was even more at stake for the Americans who had been promised US$895,000 each for winning the World Cup - from the Fifa payout of US$31 million to the winning country. The same players were to receive US$78,447 each even if they did not make it through the first round. They did get through but were then eliminated by Ghana.

Van Hattum said any payout to the All Whites coaching staff was a "commercially sensitive arrangement" but it was well documented that the $50,000 paid to coach Ricki Herbert was the lowest of any of the 32 coaches who went to South Africa.

- NZ Herald

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