Andriy Yarmolenko contract details, which have recently been leaked by Futbol 24 in Ukraine show that the player earns $5 million a season at Dynamo Kyiv. Andriy Yarmolenko has been linked with a move to Western Europe for the last several seasons. Yarmolenko pushed for a move abroad last summer, and there was even talk that he had spoken to Mino Raiola to help him with a move abroad.
There were several clubs that were interested in signing the highly talented winger from Dynamo Kyiv. Furthermore, Futbolgrad also learned that an agent had approached FC Bayern München to offer Yarmolenko’s services. The German club, however, signed the Brazilian winger Douglas Costa from Shakhtar Donetsk instead.
Meanwhile at Dynamo, Yarmolenko started to speak out against Dynamo Kyiv’s owner Ihor Surkis, as he claimed that he had received a promise that he could leave the club. Some fans even stepped in as they allied themselves with Yarmolenko, starting a Twitter hashtag that read #СуркісВідпустиЯрмоленко “Surkis let Yarmolenko go.”
But in the end Yarmolenko would remain at Dynamo, and even signed a new contract in October 2015 with the club that would keep him in Kyiv until 2020. Many believed that the contract extension was simply made in order to guarantee Dynamo that he would not leave as a free agent in the summer of 2016.
Then in the winter of 2016 there was no shortage of offers for the winger. Dynamo supposedly received an extraordinary offer from China, and was also in advanced talks with Borussia Dortmund. The talks with Borussia in particular seemed serious, and a deal seemed possible.
The biggest obstacle, however, was Andriy Yarmolenko’s contract. A special report by the Ukrainian football side Futbol 24 shows that Yarmolenko is the highest paid player in the Ukrainian Premier League with a contract that is worth $5 million.
This would have been a major obstacle for Borussia Dortmund, as Yarmolenko expected to earn the same salary after tax as he did in Ukraine. Ukraine’s top tax rate is 30%, but Dynamo’s corporate form as a joint-stock company means that the club can operate as a limited liability company, which in turn means that the club only has to pay a part of the salary in Ukraine.
When Andriy Shevchenko ran for parliament in Ukraine he had to lay open the salary that he received at Dynamo, which was $1.65 million per season. At Chelsea he earned £250,000 a week, and it was understood that he received a similar income at Dynamo.
Allegedly Dynamo pays most of salaries owed to players via various offshore organizations into offshore accounts held by the players and their agents in form of image rights, which, strictly speaking, is not classified as salary.
It is likely that this is also the case at Yarmolenko, which means that of the $5 million he receives; only a small piece is going to the taxman in Ukraine. This would make it extremely expensive for a foreign club to match his after-tax salary.
In Germany, for example, top players pay up to 50% taxes, which means that Yarmolenko would have to be paid close to $10 million before tax in order to match his Ukrainian salary. Futbol 24’s revelation therefore explains why Yarmolenko has remained in Ukraine, and why there was almost no interest in him from major European clubs in this summer’s transfer window.
Manuel Veth is a freelance journalist and social media junior editor at Bundesliga.com. He is also a holder of a Doctorate of Philosophy in History from King’s College London, and his thesis is titled: “Selling the People’s Game: Football’s transition from Communism to Capitalism in the Soviet Union and its Successor States,” which will be available in print soon. Originally from Munich, Manuel has lived in Amsterdam, Kyiv, Moscow, Tbilisi, London, and currently is located in Victoria BC, Canada. Follow Manuel on Twitter @ManuelVeth.