Sports contracts can big bumper business. With clubs vying to sign the best possible players and athletes they can. In recent years, the contracts for star players have been larger than ever. With these big names in sports, they create not only wins for teams but also fans and fame. This in turn means that the 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 is a huge name in football and has been for many years, So, it’s no surprise that his contract is one of the most lucrative football contracts of all time. However, when the Spanish newspaper El Mundo released the details of his contract with FC Barcelona, the sheer scale of the contract made the headlines. Valued at an amazing €555,237,619 (or £492m) over four years. This equates to £234 a minute. It’s also worth noting that although this was the contract, Messi did in fact agree to a salary cut in 2020 due to Covid-19. 

Also pocketing a huge sum in football is Neymar, who is Messi’s former Barcelona teammate. Plus, the only other footballer who is in the top 10 contracts. At 28, he received £278m for his 5-year deal with Barcelona. 


Contracts in American Football 


Until the details of Messi’s huge contract with FC Barcelona came to light, Patrick Mahomes’ 12-year contract with the Kansas City Chiefs was the biggest of all time. Signed in 2020, was worth a whopping $503m (£402m), which means that Mahomes’ average payment per fixture is over $2m.


Boxing Contracts 


In boxing, athletes often make large sums of money for a small number of fights. Which was proved by Floyd Mayweather’s incredible earnings of over $800m over his career.  In 2018, Canelo Alvarez broke boxing contract records, with his deal with the streaming service DAZN. The 5-year contract, for just 11 fights, was worth an enormous $365 (£292m). 


Contracts in Baseball


By far the sport with the highest number of big contracts is baseball. Players such as Mike Trout, and Mookie Betts have all had contracts worth over $300m. However, it’s interesting to note that contracts in baseball tend to be far longer than those in other sports such as football. This means that the individual players’ average fee per fixture is much less in comparison (around $150,000-$200,000). Mike rout, Mookie Betts, and Bryce Harper’s contracts will also all continue into the 2030s. 


How are sports contracts negotiated?


As sports contracts get bigger and bigger, it’s clearer than ever, that a skilled sports lawyer is a necessity for dealing with these complex contracts. Regardless of the level. The value of one contract is likely to affect negotiations for future contracts. This is why sports lawyers exist to protect both players and clubs from unfair contracts. 


Contact Us 


At Beeston Shenton, our sports lawyers are experts in handling contract negotiations, whether you are a young aspiring athlete or an established sportsperson. No matter what sport you are in, we can deal with contractual negotiations, from inception to ensure that you are protected by law, and receive the very best sports deal.  For more information, get in touch with us. Call us on 01782 662424 or email us at