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2018 EkstraLiga top earners

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After several seasons of financial crisis and lower wages, good times are returning back to the Polish EkstraLiga – reports website sports.pl.In the recent article published in Poland's top sport newspaper, its author speculates on the EkstraLiga top earners in the 2018 season.

The list looks like this.

  1. Tai Woffinden (Wrocław and England)  1.9 million PLN or around £404K ( at the current rate of exchange )

After six years spent in Wrocław, Woffinden became a symbol of this club. Promoters and supporters have become very attached to the British rider . In order to keep him at home, they have been ready to put down any money. The club and sponsors around it are spending a fortune not only for the contract, but also to fund his appearance in the Grand Prix series. In addition to Monster, all of Woffinden's biggest sponsors are the companies associated in one way or the other with the Wroclaw club . If Woffinden had changed the club, he would be left virtually with no funds for the Grand Prix. He cannot count on his compatriots with whom he has been in dispute with for a year. At the beginning of October, Woffinden had several talks with Toruń promoters. However, people in Wrocław have noticed it in time, and following their offer, talks with Toruń were completed. It is interesting to note that in Wrocław, they have quite a peculiar concept, because the earnings of the top two riders, Tai Woffinden and Maciej Janowski, are even three times higher than those of Andrzej Lebedev and Vaclav Milik. Thanks to this, their promoters are able to balance the budget. The emerging stars from other countries can only be satisfied with the prestige (i.e.riding for Wroclaw) and wait for the end of their first "incentive" contracts. When Vaclav Milik in 2014 signed a long-term contract with Wroclaw he was only an up and coming young rider in the Polish lower division. If he was now a free rider , he could even count on a two-time higher wage. That's what happened to Szymon Woźniak. In Wroclaw, even as the individual Polish champion he could count on just over half a million PLN (around £107K). When the Wroclaw promotion heard what offer he got from Gorzów, they quickly began looking for someone else.

  1. Jason Doyle (Toruń and Australia) 1.8 million PLN, or £383K

It was by far THE transfer of the season. The world champion tried to deceive Zielona Gora promotion for a long time. He wanted them to spend nearly two million PLN for a year's contract. In the new club, Torun, he got a lot of money (650,000 PLN, or £138K) just for signing. An additional amount will go to his account once Torun ] wins the League or at least a place on the rostrum . For every point he will paid as much as Chris Holder was in the previous season, that is 5.5 thousand PLN, (or £1.7K). In Toruń, they argue that he is an extremely valuable rider whose presence will positively influence the whole team. The compatriot's help may be needed especially by Chris and Jack Holders. Doyle has good reason to be satisfied, because as yet he has not earned this kind of money in Poland. Last season he earned less than 1.2 million (or £255K) from Zielona Gora. This year they offered him a small increase, plus a much smaller amount for the signature. It seems that in the new season he will be even more effective, because in the past, his priority was to win the world championship.

  1. Jarosław Hampel (Leszno and Poland) 1.75 million PLN (£372K)

As the president of Unia Leszno admitted, both sides agreed terms in 20 minutes. Negotiations took place before Zielona Gora's last league match . Hampel wanted to leave and return to his old ground (Leszno). Thanks to the huge amount for the signature (600,000 zlotys), Hampel after three years returns to the top earners. The last contract in Zielona Gora was one of the lowest in his career. All because the promotion, and he himself had doubts whether he would be able to get back in the top form after his nasty injury . Eventually, last season he managed to earn about 1.2 million PLN (£255K). This time there were no problems in the negotiations. The increase will be large enough so that the rider can confidently plan a return to the Grand Prix.

  1. Emil Sayfutdinov (Leszno & Russia) 1.7 million PLN (£361.7K)

For the first time in some years, he signed a two-year contract, and that tells a lot about his relations with Leszno promotion. As it turned out, the Grand Prix did not affect his form in the Ekstraliga . For years, his contract has been for a similar amount, with the difference that until now it was enough to be the top-earning rider in Poland. This time he found the conquerors not only in other clubs, but also in his own team. The Russian will not have any problems with this, because he is considered to be a rider that cooperates with his colleagues. A strong Unia Leszno team, similarly as in the case of Hampel, may cause his average to decrease slightly. Before this season, he had offers from Toruń and Grudziądz. From the first city he does not have very good memories, and Grudziadz offer was not able to compete with the offer that was given to him by Leszno.

  1. Leon Madsen (Częstochowa and Denmark) 1.6 million PLN (£340K)

If he maintains his form of a lifetime from the previous season, and Czestochowa are promoted to play-offs, it will be his record season. In Częstochowa, he was supposed to get a contract worth 400,000 PLN (£85K) for the signature and as much as 6,000 PLN (£1.28K) for each point scored. The club, however, deny that they spent that amount. However, it is still much less than the Dane himself wanted at the beginning of the negotiations. Every year he talks almost with all EkstraLiga clubs and puts on the tables proposals for a contract containing sums that are not real. In Zielona Góra this year, he wanted half a million PLN for the signature and six thousand PLN per point . He traveled to Tarnów with a similar offer. There, they were giving him a contract with 100,000 PLN less than the original one. The same amount he finally agreed with Czestochowa, where he can count on four additional appearances in case of the team promotion to the play-offs.

  1. Niels Kristian Iversen (Toruń and Denmark) 1.5 million PLN (£319K)

Another rider who benefited greatly from the Toruń offers. In his new club, he agreed 500,000 PLN (£106K) for the signature and 5,000 PLN (£1.06K) for each point scored. This can be topped up with bonuses for the place in the top three teams in the League and the Polish team championship. For years, the Dane has been seen as the EkstraLiga solid scorer, and the next season should be similar. Compared to the previous season, he can earn about 250,000 PLN (£53,2K) more. Gorzow tried to keep him, but did not want to top the amount from previous seasons.

  1. Bartosz Zmarzlik (Gorzów and Poland) 1.4 millionPLN (297.8K)

For the second year in a row he is the best EkstraLiga rider . And yet, he cannot count on large amounts for his signature. In spite of this, against the background of other Polish riders he has done very well. The Gorzow promotion must regard him as the apple in their eyes, because Zmarzlik is a guarantee of full terraces. After this coming season, his contract comes to an end ,and if he plays it right, he can become the best-paid rider in the EkstraLiga . For Gorzow he is worth even more than 2 million PLN (£425.5K). The only question is whether there will be a club that will afford him and whether he will want to put his own club against the wall. The increase in his wages is guaranteed anyway.

8. Janusz Kołodziej (Leszno and Poland) 1.4 million PLN (£297.8K)

He lost financially moving from Tarnów to Leszno, because in his hometown club he could count on the generous support of the most powerful sponsors. For years, he has been one of the most valuable riders in the EkstraLiga . He does not ride in foreign leagues and he devotes all his attention for the league matches in Poland. He gets about 500,000 PLN (£106K) for the signature.

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For comparison cashier at Tesco  would take home about 1500-1700 PLN a month.

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