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‘It’s A Myth That SA Footballers Earn Big Money’

Having enjoyed a stellar PSL career that spanned well over a decade, turning out for a host of clubs, former Moroka Swallows midfielder Mark Haskins has moved quickly to dispel the myth that South African footballers earn astronomical amounts of money.

Money is often a tricky subject, particularly when it comes to professional footballers, who are idolised by thousands of passionate fans. Speaking to the Siya crew, Haskins opened up on the financial side of a professional footballer and why it is not as glamorous as it is made out to be.

Read: ‘It Will Be Suicidal For PSL Teams…’

Having made a name for himself at Jomo Cosmos after returning from Florida Atlantic University in the USA in 2001,  The dynamic midfielder turned out for Bidvest Wits, Jomo Cosmos, Moroka Swallows and the then HP Silver Stars in his 12-year career.

“It is literally a myth when whenever you think that someone is playing professional football, they're earning a certain amount of money. It’s not true. 

“In the first eight years of my career, I played 12 years in total (and) when I did the math, my average salary was ± R12 500, so that was me between the age of 20 and 28. I mean that was eight years out of the 12. So, that's literally two thirds of my career.

“You cannot count that as money and when you look at it, I got married at the age of 24. I had a wife and two children. Add a house. In terms of what a minimum wage for a footballer should be, that is well well below what it should be. I mean, for the first eight years of my career, I was pretty much living hand to mouth and that's the reality. And I played for relatively high profile-teams. That period was basically split between Cosmos and Swallows

“And so I mean, that's not really any kind of money to speak of, to write home about and that is a reality for the bulk of the league. We hear about the guys who are earning really good money. But that small percentage of players in the league, if you look at the majority of the league, it's pretty much I would say the same situation I was in and some even worse,” Haskins said.

Haskins’ last appearance in professional football was during the 2013 Nedbank Cup Final when he played 120 minutes for SuperSport United against Kaizer Chiefs.

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