Sepp Blatter was paid a £2.6m package last year, the first for which Fifa has disclosed the salary paid to its president and secretary general. Football’s world governing body published the figure in its accounts for 2015, which showed that a year of unprecedented corruption scandals had led to it losing $122m (£84m).
Blatter’s package covers the final year of his 17 as the Fifa president, before he was banned from football for eight years in December over the £1.35m alleged “disloyal payment” he made to the former Uefa president Michel Platini in 2011. Shortly before his salary was published, the Court of Arbitration for Sport announced that Blatter has appealed against the ban, which Fifa’s appeals committee had already reduced to six years.
Fifa’s former secretary general, Jérôme Valcke, who in February was banned from football for 12 years for seven breaches of the Fifa code, including alleged personal use of a private jet and selling TV rights at an undervalue, was paid a £1.45m salary package in 2015, the accounts disclosed. Shortly after Fifa published his salary, the Swiss attorney general announced that it has now opened criminal proceedings against him relating to two criminal complaints made as part of the issues investigated by the Fifa ethics committee.
“The office of the attorney general began investigations and conducted searches and interviews on 17 March 2016,” its statement said. “No arrest has been made. The presumption of innocence applies.”
The pay for Blatter, Valcke, Fifa’s 24-person executive committee and the organisation’s other directors amounted to $27.9m (£19.26m) in the 2015 financial year.
The accounts showed that Fifa’s loss of $122m was mostly caused by costs having increased by $240m from 2011, the comparable period in the previous World Cup cycle. Fifa said that an increased budget for global football development had partly caused the increase in costs, but said it was also attributable to “unforeseen costs” such as legal fees, in a year the organisation was shaken by a series of arrests and indictments of previously high-ranking officials whom Fifa is now suing for compensation.
The loss followed substantial profits made in all four previous years including 2011, a similar period three years before the next World Cup, Fifa’s overwhelmingly largest income generator.
Fifa did not explicitly state that it has suffered financially from a withdrawal of support by sponsors following the corruption scandals, although it said the loss was partly attributable to “the slower pace of finalising revenue-generating contracts”. Of the sale of marketing rights for the 2018 World Cup in Russia, which is “still ongoing”, Fifa said it is “confident that the reforms under way will help to restore trust with commercial partners and achieve the budget goals for the 2015-18 cycle”.
Gianni Infantino, elected Fifa president last month, said 2015 was “an incredibly tough year for Fifa, and one that will take some time and collective hard work to fully recover from.”
In a series of questions and answers on its website, Fifa said that the salary packages of Blatter, Valcke and other “key management personnel” had been decided by its compensation sub-committee, which included Issa Hayatou, who has just stepped down as acting president, Domenico Scala, a key figure in the Fifa reform process, and the executive search consultant Jean-Pierre Pedrazzini.
“The compensation sub-committee conducted an independent executive benchmarking analysis in 2014 to serve as a basis for evaluating the salary level of Fifa’s senior management,” Fifa said, adding that the compensation policy is now being reviewed.
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