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Folau banks AFL failure on rich list

By James MacSmith, James MacSmith is a Roar Guru

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    Code-hopper Israel Folau’s lucrative 13-game AFL stint has him ranked as one of Australian sport’s highest earners for 2012, according to BRW’s annual rich list, with Dynamo Moscow’s Luke Wilkshire emerging as the country’s best-paid footballer.

    Folau’s time with Greater Western Sydney was largely viewed as a failure but that didn’t stop him pocketing a cool $1.5 million this year – $115,000 a game – before the former NRL star quit the AFL to joining Super Rugby’s NSW Waratahs.

    However, it might be the one and only time Folau’s name appears on the list – there is only one rugby union player in sport’s 50, George Smith, who plies his trade in France and Japan, while no rugby league players appear.

    Folau sits at No.36 on a list topped by NBA star Andrew Bogut, whose estimated yearly earnings were $13.5 million, with three other AFL players in Gold Coast’s Gary Ablett (No.25, $2 million), Giant Tom Scully (No.34, $1.8 million) and former Carlton captain Chris Judd (No.45, $1.2 million).

    Red Bull’s Formula One driver Mark Webber is second on the list with $12 million, golfer Adam Scott is third with $10.5 million, former MotoGP rider Casey Stoner is fourth with $8 million and Australian cricket captain Michael Clarke rounds out the top five with earnings of $5.5 million a year.

    Socceroo defender Wilkshire, who has been playing in Russia since 2008, is the best-paid Australian of any football code, sitting sixth on BRW’s list with earnings of $5 million.

    Tour de France winner Cadel Evans, Major League Soccer star Tim Cahill and Australian cricket allrounder Shane Watson are all estimated to have earned $4.5 million from salaries and endorsements. Oakland’s Major League Baseball pitcher Grant Balfour rounds out the top 10 with $4 million.

    US Open tennis winner Samantha Stosur is the highest woman on the list in 20th spot with $2.5 million.

    The lowest-profile name is Olympic show-jumper Edwina Tops-Alexander, at No.38, who pocketed $1.5 million.

    Golf remains the greatest pulling sport for Australians with 10 players in the top 50, including Jason Day (11th, $4 million) and Aaron Baddeley (12th, $3.8 million).

    Golf is followed by cricket with nine representatives, including the retired Ricky Ponting (No.15, $3.5 million), with India’s IPL riches proving a boon for the likes of David Warner (16th, $3.2 million) and the Hussey brothers Michael and David (No.30 and 31, $2 million each).

    Soccer has eight players on the list, including Fulham goalkeeper Mark Schwarzer (No.13, $3.5 million) and Aston Villa’s Brett Holman (No.14, $3.5 million) and motor sport has five.

    NRL players’ calls for higher wages appear to be justified, with no league players among Australian sport’s top earners for 2012.

    © AAP 2018

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    The Crowd Says (16)

    • December 15th 2012 @ 11:22am
      Anthony said | December 15th 2012 @ 11:22am | ! Report

      Most of these people compete in competitions overseas – some don’t even live here. What about a list only of those who live & compete in Australia?

      • December 15th 2012 @ 2:30pm
        The Kebab Connoisseur said | December 15th 2012 @ 2:30pm | ! Report

        Basically pick the top players out of AFL for that list. NRL is half if you are being generous to what they earn in Australia’s biggest league.

        • December 15th 2012 @ 3:24pm
          Ian Whitchurch said | December 15th 2012 @ 3:24pm | ! Report

          As a post, this is up to your usual standards, which is to say it’s an Oikeee/Johnno/Fussball reduction in the standard of the site.

          At the top, the money is about the same between the two codes. Where the difference comes into it is the number of players earning $200-$500k.

    • December 15th 2012 @ 2:56pm
      Hoges said | December 15th 2012 @ 2:56pm | ! Report

      Surfer Julian Wilson must be pretty high on that list. After all he is the highest paid surfer on the ASP tour.

      Comment left via The Roar’s iPhone app. Download it now [].

    • December 15th 2012 @ 4:53pm
      oikee said | December 15th 2012 @ 4:53pm | ! Report

      115 thousand a game. ???? Now if that does not shout out joke, i dont know what will.
      Look, Origin players are worth 100, maybe 200 thousand a game, no other Austrlian sportsmen would come closer to putting himself through a Origin series than what these players do annually.
      Now bow, praise the gods, even thank the lord that Australia has a rivalry the likes of Origin.

      It was a series simmering beneath the surface for over 80 years. Just after the first world war this rivalry planted its routes.

      Embrace it, dont fight it, Australia has something truely specail.
      Folau will slowly desolve into highest paid history. Already the young Hoppa kid will be paid more than Folau.
      If you know rugby league you will realise that this kid at 18 and a origin player is the next superstar, against a list of young up and commers.
      Look, the under 20’s provides future superstars. AFL has a NAB comp? i dont know if this is a under 20 comp, but the rugby league under 20 comp is world class.
      This is why it gets televised.
      League fans dont watch garbage. No honest. It is why other comps in rugby league struggle.

      This is also why Origin is a religion. Every best player pitted in one ring, blood lust, gladiator type arean, tribes coming together.

      You cant manufacture this overnight, it takes decades to form. Even then it will never be replicated.
      Human endevour does not work like that. Anyhow, Isreal could never look a league fan striaght in the eyes. He would blink.

      • December 15th 2012 @ 5:19pm
        Ian Whitchurch said | December 15th 2012 @ 5:19pm | ! Report


        You summed up the problem with Origin.

        “League fans dont watch garbage. No honest. It is why other comps in rugby league struggle.”

        Origin is a cancer that is killing the NRL.

        • December 16th 2012 @ 1:35pm
          Bondy. said | December 16th 2012 @ 1:35pm | ! Report

          Ian ,

          I’m more concerned with the international element to the game, just on crowds I was watching Chelsea vs Monteray “Mexico” there were about 8-10 k there for the semi final of the world club challenge “or whatever its called ” it happens everywhere not just some sports in some areas.

    • December 16th 2012 @ 10:06am
      Fitzy said | December 16th 2012 @ 10:06am | ! Report

      Oikee – your ability to completely ignor those areas outside QLD and NSW astounds me! SOO is a specticle nothing more, it is interesting and to those states outside QLD and NSW it is a passing interest. It is not however the defining statement of courage, skill or passion. Don’t let your passion for your sport blind you to the fact that other sports: e.g. Soccers World cup, Rugby’s world cup, Coll v’s Essendon on Anzac day etc…… have the same qualities. Otherwise anything you’ve got to say is meaningless.

    • December 17th 2012 @ 9:54am
      TC said | December 17th 2012 @ 9:54am | ! Report

      AFL annual reports continue to trickle in for 2012. Latest key numbers courtesy of regular Roar correspondent, The Wookie:

      Collingwood – $69,249,166
      Essendon – $65,431,425
      Hawthorn – $57,277,620
      Geelong – $48,957,150
      Carlton – $46,637,015 (up $6 million on 2011)
      Brisbane – $43,859,151
      Melbourne – $39,517,200
      Richmond – $37,640,767
      Port Adelaide – $36,649,694
      Western Bulldogs – $32,777,251
      St Kilda – $30,846,816

      Operating Profit/Loss
      Collingwood – $4,860,000
      Richmond – $3,017,742
      North Melbourne – $1,193,080
      Hawthorn – $1,288,810
      Adelaide – $1,214,039
      St Kilda – $631,135
      Essendon – $401,429
      Geelong – $322,000
      Western Bulldogs – ($136,679)
      Carlton – ($683,799)
      Brisbane – ($2,513,262)
      Port Adelaide – ($4,120,000)

      • December 17th 2012 @ 2:12pm
        Nathan of Perth said | December 17th 2012 @ 2:12pm | ! Report

        Where did Essendon’s extra revenue come from? Football revenue or did they get an extra social club/tavern/etc?

        • Roar Guru

          December 17th 2012 @ 2:48pm
          Redb said | December 17th 2012 @ 2:48pm | ! Report

          I kicked in a few bob for some raffle tickets.

    • December 17th 2012 @ 9:59am
      TC said | December 17th 2012 @ 9:59am | ! Report

      Following on from the last post, these are the latest pre-Xmas sales of memberships for 2013, with comparisions to the same point last year in brackets:

      2012/2013 Membership Totals (as of 14/12/2012)
      Collingwood – 40,000+ (as of 29/11) – (Target 75,000)
      West Coast -42,948 [This time last year – 40,112]
      Hawthorn – 41,142 – [38,604] (Target 65,000)
      Essendon – 30,465 – [27,433]
      Richmond – 27,611 – [21,287] (Target 60,000)
      Carlton – 26,278 – [15,997] (Target – 50,000)
      St. Kilda – 20,715 [12,315]
      Melbourne – 20,145 [20,100] – (Target – 40,000)
      Fremantle – 20,000+ (as of November)
      Geelong – 19,883 [23,731 (19/12)]
      Adelaide – 17,000+ (as of 4/12) – (Target – 50,000)
      North Melb – 17,138 [13,853]
      Sydney – 16,000+ [9,215]
      Western B – 15,430 [17,303]
      Port Adel. – 13,006 [12,612]
      Brisbane – 11,806 [8,109]
      Gold Coast – 6,572 [7,396]
      Greater WS – 5,667 [2,047]

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