Lewis Hamilton leads the British sporting rich list, but who else is earning a pretty penny through their athleticism? Lee Davy takes a look through the ‘Times Rich List for sports players’ and breaks it down for you.
Who are the richest sportsmen, and women, in Britain?
The Times annual ‘Rich List’ series picks out whom they believe are the top 30, and here are the nuts and bolts of that analysis.
Football, golf and men dominate the list, but when it comes to the top two spots it’s Motor Racing that takes the honors with Lewis Hamilton and Jenson Button holding court with £68m and £63m respectively.
Hamilton’s drivability, and salability, have commanded a £16m salary at Mercedes, he is embroiled in an on/off relationship with a Pussycat Doll, and doesn’t even pay his UK taxes because he lives in Monaco…oh…and he has a £20m private jet.
Like Hamilton, Button also has a beautiful women on his arm in the shape of the model Jessica Michibata, and also lives in the tax exile of Monaco. That’s where the similarities end, however, with Button preferring a clapped out VW Volkswagen hippy mobile over a private jet.
Making up the top five places are two Manchester United players and an NBA basketball star who only appears on this list because of the flavor of the blood that runs through his veins.
The fate of the English national side, at this years World Cup in Brazil, lie largely at the talented feet of Wayne Rooney. The man many are tipping to become the new club captain at Old Trafford, following Nemanja Vidic’s move to Inter Milan, is football’s top dog with an estimated fortune of £60m.
The elevation to the pinnacle of football’s rich list came when Man Utd bosses shelled out an incredible £300,000 per week to keep him at the club in a deal worth a staggering £70m; and that doesn’t include his lucrative sponsorship deals with the likes of Coca-Cola, Nike and Nokia.
The other Man Utd player I refer to is Rio Ferdinand (although that title will probably end this summer as he is now a free agent). The former England captain, enters the charts in fifth place with an estimated £44m fortune, earned through a variety of diverse investments, and deals, including Mars, Nike, and #5 online magazine.
Sandwiched in between the two Red Devils is Steve Nash.
Nash is an NBA star (that’s basketball for all us Brits) who only makes the list because his mother is Welsh and his father is English. Nash was born in South Africa, grew up in Canada, and now lives in America, making him about as English as Madonna’s pre Guy Ritchie accent. He somehow manages to sneak into the charts at No.4 with an estimated fortune of £56m.
Nash isn’t the only NBA star who appears in the top 30.
Luol Deng is ranked ninth with a £36m fortune created by dribbling a ball about for the Chicago Bulls, and he makes the list because his family successfully sought political asylum after fleeing from Sudan at the height of war. Deng moved to the USA when he was 14-year old, and never returned, but he did represent the British basketball team at the 2012 Olympics.
The final NBA entry is Ben Gordon. The 31year-old London born American comes into the chart at No.18 with an estimated £25m fortune earned whilst playing for the likes of Chicago Bulls, Detroit Pistons and Charlotte.
Ryan Giggs (9th – £36m) and Robin van Persie (30th – £17m) are the other two Man Utd players who make the top 30, but it’s Chelsea and Man City that dominate the multi-millionaires list with the likes of Frank Lampard, John Terry, Fernando Torres, Petr Cech, Ashley Cole, Sergio Aguero, David Silva and Yaya Toure all making the cut.
Steven Gerrard is the lone Liverpool player pitching in at seventh place with an estimated fortune of £37m; and there are surprise entries from Joe Cole (22nd – £21m), Damien Duff (27th – £18m), and Robbie Keane (27th – £18m).
So that’s the Motor Racing, Basketball and Football out the way, what other sports like to lick caviar out of the bellybuttons of catwalk models?
Not many really.
Andy Murray became the first Brit to win a Wimbledon men’s title since 1936, when he defeated Novak Djokovic in 2013, and that sort of performance has culminated in a £40m fortune worth a ranking of sixth.
Then you have the golfers.
Padraig Harrington (£36m – 9th), Colin Montgomerie (£32m – 12th), Luke Donald (£30m – 15th), Lee Westwood (£30m – 16th) Rory McIlroy (£30m – 17th), Ian Poulter (£24m – 19th), Justin Rose (£20m – 24th) and Darren Clarke, (£17m – 29th) all proving the benefits of learning to skive from your everyday life and knock a little ball about a field, is well worth the effort.