Sports contracts can be bumper business. With clubs vying to sign the biggest and the best, in recent years contracts for star players have been larger than ever. Bringing not just wins for teams but also fans and fame, big name players command some seriously hefty contracts. From Messi in football to Trout in baseball, here are some of the biggest sports contracts of all time, and the stories behind them…

The Biggest Sports Contracts In Football

Lionel Messi has been a huge name in football for years, so it is likely to come as no surprise that his contract is the most lucrative. However, when the Spanish newspaper El Mundo released details of his contract with Barcelona, the scale of the contract made headlines. Valued at an amazing €555,237,619 (or £492m) over four years, it means the footballer has been earning around £234 per minute. It’s worth noting, though, that Messi agreed to a salary cut in 2020 due to COVID-19.

Also pocketing a huge sum in football is Neymar, who received a five-year deal with Paris Saint-Germain worth £278m.

American Football

Until the details of Messi’s huge contract came to light, Patrick Mahomes’ 12-year contract with the Kansas City Chiefs was the biggest of all time. Signed in 2020, it is worth a whopping $503m, it means that Mahomes’ average payment per fixture is over $2m.

Boxing

In boxing, athletes often make large sums of money for a small number of fights – as can be illustrated by Floyd Mayweather’s incredible earnings of $800m over his career. In 2018, Canelo Alvarez broke boxing contract records with his deal with the streaming service DAZN. The five-year contract for just 11 fights is worth an enormous $365m.

Baseball

Far and away the sport with the highest number of big contracts is baseball. Players such as Mike Trout, Mookie Betts, Bryce Harper, Giancarlo Stanton, Gerrit Cole and Manny Manchado all have contracts worth over $300m. It is interesting to note, though, that contracts in baseball tend to be far longer than those in other sports so the individual players’ average fee per fixture will be much less (around $150,000-$200,000). Mike Trout, Mookie Betts and Bryce Harper’s contracts will all continue into the 2030s. 

How The Biggest Sports Contracts Are Negotiated

As sports contracts get bigger and bigger, it is more clear than ever that a skilled sports lawyer is a necessity for dealing with contracts – regardless of the level. The value of one contract is likely to affect negotiations for future contracts, which is why sports lawyers exist to protect both players and clubs from unfair contracts.

At Beeston Shenton, our sports lawyers are expert in handling contract negotiations, whether you are a young and aspiring athlete or an established one. No matter what sport you are in, we can deal with contractual negotiations from inception, to ensure that you are protected by law and have the very best deal. From grassroots players to international athletes, we can help everyone. Contact our team today to discuss your needs.