With the transfer window open and high profile moves like Alexander Kristoff to UAE Team Emirates and Warren Barguil to Fortuneo-Oscaro, it’s somewhat surprising that cycling’s transfer market is getting overshadowed by some footballer who was only the ninth best striker in Spain last season.
I’m talking, of course, about Neymar, who looks set to join Paris St Germain from Barcelona for a world-record fee of £198m, getting paid nearly £800,000 a week at his new club, the sort of astronomical figures that put professional cycling into context in the wider world of sport.
Let’s take that £198m fee for starters. The biggest-budget team in cycling, Team Sky‘s annual budget for the 2015 season was £24.4m, meaning that you could run Team Sky for more than eight years just with the fee that PSG are paying Barcelona.
The average budget for a WorldTour team is around £16m, meaning that £198m could provide the running costs for 12 of cycling’s 18 top-level teams for an entire year.
That amount of cash could also help to provide some of the prize money in cycling. For example the 2017 Tour de France saw £2,045,130 given out in prize money, and if that level of prize money was maintained, then Neymar’s transfer fee could pay for the prize money for the next 97 years! Yes, until the 201st edition of the race in 2,114!
Moving on to Neymar’s £775,477 per week (or £40.3m per annum) salary, a figure far beyond the dreams of most Premier League footballers, let alone your top Tour de France star.
That means that you could pay Peter Sagan’s annual salary with less than a month of Neymar’s wages, and pay for 13.4 Chris Froomes for an entire year. That’s quite a Tour de France team!
An average domestique will earn around £200,000, while at the bottom end of the scale, the minimum wage for a WorldTour rider is slightly over £31,000,
That means that Neymar’s annual salary would cover the wage bills of an entire 198-rider Tour de France peloton of strong domestiques, or staggering 1,288 riders on minimum wage.