Now if someone tells you your pay in a new job is to be €14m a year, you’d be impressed.
No one will be too surprised to hear that is Zlatan Ibrahimovic’s deal on becoming the latest recruit for Paris Saint-Germain, a club blessed with limitless Qatari money.
It may help explain why, in the end, nothing Seb Larsson was able to say to old Zlatan – and yes, he’s pushing 31 – at Euro 2012 could persuade him his future lay in the North East. On that sort of money he’d be a shade outside the Stadium of Light wages structure. He didn’t even need to consult his Wag on whether she felt the Champs-Elysees or Galeries Lafayette had the edge over the Bridges.
But wait a moment. That €14m isn’t really his salary at all. It’s just his take-home pay.
In Britain, whether you’re a teacher, a dustman, a secretary or a Nissan employee, your wages are expressed in terms of a figure pre-tax, pre-NI deductions.
So Zlatan’s gross wages are higher. And because his new club is in France, nearly six times higher.
Having indulged the fantasy that SAFC would ever be linked with an Ibrahimovic as opposed to a Fletcher or any number of Villa or Blackburn worthies, I should flesh the extraordinary headline figure.
One of the campaign pledges of the new French president Francois Hollande was that all income above €1m a year would be taxed at a thumping 75 per cent. I dare say most of us could live with that, but Zlatan is not most of us. His pay was negotiated, as is common in France, net as opposed to brut.
Le Canard Enchaine, a close equivalent of Private Eye, did the calculations. Once you take account of that whopping tax deduction and his social security contributions, the starting figure becomes €79 million a year.
At those rates, the €20m transfer fee paid to Milan begins to look a little like small change.
And this is for man who is noted for a “questionable temperament” and doubts about his workrate, according to whoever wrote the introduction to hs Wikipedia entry (which may mean, of course, that his temperament and workrate are impeccable).
Will he produce the goals to help moneybags PSG do what Montpellier stopped them doing last season and win Ligue 1? We may all hope not, but he did manage an impressive haul of 28 in Italy last season and there is obviously more to his game than a fondness for snarling at Joe Hart or stealing his water.
And with the riches at the club’s disposal the best to be said about the chances of another welcome jolt for PSG is that much the same sort of people now predicting an inevitable title win in 2012-2013 were making the same assumptions a year ago.