Ethiopia Football: Salaries of domestic & foreign coaches show great disparity

Addis Ababa –When the Ethiopian national football team coach Iffy Onuora signed his contract, the exchange rate between the US dollars and the Ethiopian Birr was 1/13. Thus, his $13,000 a month salary was equivalent to 169,000 Ethiopian Birr a month, wrote the weekly Amharic sports tabloid, Libro.

Today, with the devaluation of the Eth. Birr from 13 to 16.6, Onuora’s monthly earning is equivalent to 215,929 Eth. Birr a month.

The tabloid noted that on the club level, EEPCO’s Bulgarian coach Yordan Stoikov is negotiating a $4,000 a month (66,440 Eth. Birr) salary. Although St. George FC, the Ethiopian Premier League champion, has not made Coach Giuseppe Dossena’s salary official, he is rumored to be making more than 100,000 Eth. Birr a month.

The situation is quite different when it comes to the salary of Ethiopian coaches. The highest paid Ethiopian coach is Ashenafi of Defence Force, who makes 12,000 Birr a month ($722).  Coaches of Ethiopian Coffee, Harar Brewery and Ethiopian Banks make between 7,000 ($421) and 8,000 Birr ($482) a month.

Coach Kemal Ahmed, who has been with Hawassa City since the start of the EPL, is by far the lowest –paid coach of all EPL teams with a monthly salary of 3,500 Eth. Birr ($211).

Surprisingly, Hawassa City is the only regional team to have won the Ethiopian Premier League tile, not once but twice in 2004 and 2007 and the Ethiopian FA Cup in 2005. Coach Kemal also led his team to two FA losing finals (2000 and 2008) and two losing Ethiopian Super Cup finals (2004 & 2005).