The Ethiopian Football Federation has announced the monthly salaries of the Ethiopian Premier League (EPL) players, who signed a two-year agreement for their clubs in last transfer window. Arba Minch City midfielder, Tadelle Mengesha, is the top paid Ethiopian footballer in the EPL earning 125,000 birr per month.
Ahead of the new 2016/17 season of Ethiopian top tier league, the big guns have continued to shake the transfer market, securing deals and beefing up their squads ready to challenge for domestic honors.
The former national team skipper, Mulugeta Mihretu, who retired in 2015/16, was the top paid player earning 110,000 birr in the 2009 season on a two-year deal.
His 110,000 birr salary beat the five-day-old record held by former Commercial Bank of Ethiopia player, Bereket Addisu, who had been the first player to earn 100,000 birr. The surprising aspect is that Bereket came from a side in the lower division.
The midfielder had been prominent in helping Hawassa become the first side to win the premier league title from outside of the capital. Mulugeta had been with Saint George for two seasons winning the title for the second time before his return to his former side Hawassa City for an unsuccessful single season.
Previously, when deals were made, the players received two years payment in one single payment. Later on, the EFF drafted a new transfer rule, which is arranged on a monthly salary payment basis in order to see consistency in the performance of the players in the league.
Meanwhile, according to the announcement made by the EFF for the 2016/17 season, top rivals clubs spent over 10 million each during the transfer window. The amount also includes the extension of contracts. Tadelle is followed by his teammate Endale Kebede, who earns 104,000 birr per month.
Third on the list are Ethiopian national team striker Getaneh Kebede, who returned to his old club, Dedebit FC, and Nigerian forward Samuel Sanumi, who plays for Ethiopia Coffee. Both earn 100,000 birr. The list also includes Asrat Megersa, who left relegated side Dashen Beer to return to his old club Dedebit FC. Asrat earns 83,000 birr.
Arba Minch City teammates Teshome Tadesse and Wondwossen Milkyas earn 79,000 and 72,000 birr, respectively.
The EFF noted that although most Ethiopian Premier League teams spent close to 10 million birr each during the transfer season, the overall quality of the league and performance of most players has not improved much.
Ethiopia Coffee secured the signature of Nigerian Samuel Sanumi from Dedebit FC on a free transfer. The prolific striker, whose contract with Dedebit elapsed at the end of the previous season, was handed a two-year deal to the surprise of many fans.
Sanumi was the top scorer in the EPL during the 2014/15 season. He has previously played for Commercial Bank of Ethiopia.
In a related development, Dedebit FC announced trials for 14 players from Ghana and Cameroon. The players will be in the country at their own expense. Former Walias Coach, Yohannes Sahle, who is currently the head Coach of Dedebit will recommend those who were successful during the trials to play for Dedebit.
In the past, other EPL clubs have also been engaged transferring player from abroad. Ugandan players have been the majority of players from abroad. Robert Odongkara, Brian Umony, Issac Isinde, St. George’s new catch Yassar Mugerwa and Ethio-Electric’s Manco Kaweesa are notable mentions.
Top paid players
- Tadele Mengesha (Arba Minch City) – 125,000 birr/month
- Endale Kebede (Arba Minch City – 104,000 birr/month
- Getaneh Kebede (Dedebit FC) – 100,000 birr/month
- Samuel Sanumi (Ethiopian Coffee) – 100,000 birr/month
- Asrat Megersa (Dedebit FC) – 83,000 birr/month
- Teshome Tadesse (Arba Minch City) -79,000 birr/month
- Wondwossen Milkyas (Arba Minch FC) – 72,000 birr/month