Why are athletes paid so much

Your question

Our reader Gudrun Schmid would like to know:

Who pays the medical, rehabilitation and absence costs for professional footballers?

Our answer

From Johannes Aumüller, sports editor at SZ:

In principle, a professional soccer player is nothing more than a normal employee on this issue. At least as soon as he earns more than 200 euros per month, which we can confidently accept for the majority of the players from the first, second and third leagues.

If a footballer injures himself during training, during a game or on the way there, this is a completely normal accident at work - and a case for statutory accident insurance. The VBG is responsible for professional sport. The clubs pay into the VBG, but the contributions are capped.

It is assumed that the maximum earnings a player can earn is 96,000 euros per year. As a rule of thumb, the clubs currently pay in around 20,000 euros per professional. In return, the player receives an injury benefit of 6,000 euros per month if he is absent for more than six weeks due to an accident at work.

But at least the players in the first and second division earn significantly more. That is why most of them take out additional insurance privately. Some insurance companies in Germany offer a daily sickness allowance or a daily allowance for athletes especially for football professionals.

A common model offers a player an additional daily rate of up to 1500 euros; the costs for this are around 2000 euros per month. It is not entirely clear how many players have taken out such supplementary insurance. Experts estimate that it is around three quarters of the players from the first and second division.

There are also a number of other options: For example, some players have individual contractual agreements with their club that the continued payment of wages in the event of illness does not take the usual six weeks, but significantly longer. Foreign professionals in particular have also taken out additional insurance policies in other countries, which often offer a higher daily rate, but a little more uncertainty as to when they are due.

A special occupational disability insurance is also popular, guaranteeing players a seven-figure sum in the worst case. However, this also costs a medium five-digit amount per season.

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