Do Footballers in Malta Receive a Fair Salary?

Across the world, footballers have a reputation for earning huge salaries. You only need to look at two of the biggest names in the sport to see just how high earnings figures can be. In 2021, Cristiano Ronaldo earned around $70 million (€61.6 million) from salary and bonuses. In the same year, Lionel Messi earned around $55 million (€51.9 million).

However, not every footballer is fortunate enough to secure such vast salaries. In Malta, even some of the players with the top clubs have earnings that are barely enough to cover the average cost of living in the country. To indicate the salary situation in Maltese football we used data from JustGamblers together with average pay scale information.

Malta football salaries compared with other careers

The average salary for a footballer in Malta is €22,107 plus a €557 bonus. The table below puts the salary range for footballers in the country into context alongside salaries for other professions.

CareerAverage annual salary range
Footballer€16,254 – €26,859
Accountant€19,517 – €39,155
Software Developer€17,767 – €44,018
Graphic Designer€13,481 – €29,046
Marketing Executive€16,107 – €34,765
Web Developer€17,753 – €42,574
Operations Manager€24,928 – €60,200

When you consider that the average cost of living in Malta is €2,188 per month you can see footballers do not compare favorably with other professionals in terms of salary level and standard of living.

Financial issues in football in Malta

In addition to the relatively low salaries that can be earned by footballers in Malta, the sport has also attracted something of a poor financial reputation over the years.

For example, in 2017, foreign players were advised against playing in the country due to reports of poor treatment and cramped living conditions. Then, in 2021, the crisis at Sliema Wanderers was in the news. Players at the club were encountering poverty as the club had not paid them for several weeks. The Malta Football Players Association was highly critical of the club’s treatment of players and backroom staff.

Given the combination of poor salaries and historical financial issues, many footballers will look to avoid playing in Malta. However, there are some positive aspects to be aware of. The main one is that the Malta Football Association is working to improve the progression of the sport in the country.

It is investing more than €6 million to replace artificial turf pitches in the coming years. This will help to create a better playing environment. The Association is also attempting to secure foreign investment to help improve the quality of the sport in Malta.

It remains to be seen what results will come from the Malta Football Association’s efforts. The truth is that exceptionally talented players will always look elsewhere to progress their careers while footballers’ salaries in Malta remain fairly low. The salary situation may begin to change if football is developed in the country. Only time will tell if this happens but right now, in terms of standard of living, footballers in Malta do not seem to receive a fair salary.