Inter wage bill -- now with less "WTF?"

<!--[if gte mso 9]><xml> <w:WordDocument> <w:View>Normal</w:View> <w:Zoom>0</w:Zoom> <w:PunctuationKerning /> <w:ValidateAgainstSchemas /> <w:SaveIfXMLInvalid>false</w:SaveIfXMLInvalid> <w:IgnoreMixedContent>false</w:IgnoreMixedContent> <w:AlwaysShowPlaceholderText>false</w:AlwaysShowPlaceholderText> <w:Compatibility> <w:BreakWrappedTables /> <w:SnapToGridInCell /> <w:WrapTextWithPunct /> <w:UseAsianBreakRules /> <w:DontGrowAutofit /> </w:Compatibility> <w:BrowserLevel>MicrosoftInternetExplorer4</w:BrowserLevel> </w:WordDocument> </xml><![endif]-->In case no one saw it, here’s a breakdown of our squad wages this season (in Euros, via GdS via We now have the third-highest wage bill in Serie A; last season we had the second-highest. Milan is somehow still on top, despite the transfer-market seppuku they committed this summer, with Juve in second.

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Sneijder – 6 million

Milito – 4.5 million

Cambiasso – 4 million

Cassano – 2.7 million

Stankovic – 2.7 million

Zanetti – 2.7 million

Palacio – 2.5 million

Guarin – 2.2 million

Chivu – 2.1 million

Samuel – 2 million

Handanovic – 1.8 million

Pereira – 1.7 million

Ranocchia – 1.7 million

Gargano – 1.5 million

Mudingayi – 1.5 million

Silvestre – 1.5 million

Jonathan – 1.2 million

Alvarez – 1 million

Nagatomo – 800,000

Mariga – 700,000

Coutinho – 600,000

Obi – 600,000

Juan Jesus – 550,000

Castellazzi – 500,000

Belec – 250,000

Livaja – 200,000

For me, there are very few real surprises here, with the biggest being that Coutinho makes less money than Jonathan, Alvarez and Mariga. I mean, he’s still a kid so I sort of understand it, but considering we’re giving him the No. 7 kit and all but earmarking him as our future blue-chip star, you think the club would pay him more than our backup fullback or seventh-choice midfielder. If he has even half the season I expect him to have, we won’t be able to keep paying Cou peanuts for very long.

Beyond that, while our wage bill is still high, there really aren’t any glaring over-expenditures. Sneijder is tied with Buffon and De Rossi for highest-salary in the league, but that makes sense to me. (Along with Cavani, they’re three of the four best players in the league, so shouldn’t they also be the highest-paid? If you want a world-class player, you have to pay for it.) Is Cambiasso paid more than he’s worth? Probably. Is Stankovic paid more than he’s worth? Absolutely. But there are always going to be a couple overpaid vets on any wage bill, and we did well to cut the ones that remained.

Our new, younger goalkeeper makes less than half what our old goalkeeper made. Our new, younger attacking fullback makes around half what our old attacking fullback made. Cassano makes a million less than Forlan did, and he’s already almost equaled Forlan’s entire past year contribution in his first two matches. Guarin makes roughly the same that Muntari made, despite being a wildly superior player. And then in Gargano and Mudingayi we got two defensive/holding midfielders for the same combined wages that we used to pay Thiago Motta alone, and the likelihood that they’ll both be simultaneously injured as often as Motta was seems quite unlikely.

All in all, we cut around 40 million Euro from our wage bill. And we did all of this without, in my mind, any real drop-off in quality. Considering the last time we tried to tighten our belts we ended up basically crippling the team, this is quite an improvement.

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