Top 10 Highest Paid Coaches In The PSL

Football management has evolved today, and club administrators, especially elite clubs, are under more pressure to deliver on their promise now more than ever. This gives rise to a situation where astute tacticians are in hot demand. Asking clubs price them away from their current job by offering a higher pay packet and better working conditions. This situation has led to some coaches earning more and becoming the highest-paid coaches in their football divisions.

The situation is no different in the South African football division as the Premier Soccer League (PSL) has also placed a high premium on coaches and managers so much that they have become an endangered species. PSL teams pay a lot to ensure that they get the best coach in their team, and the league has produced not only some of the best coaches but also the highest-paid coaches in the continent. So, who are the coaches in the South African PSL with the biggest monthly payouts?

10. Steve Barker

Highest-Paid Coaches

  • Club: Stellenbosch F.C.
  • Age: 53 years old
  • Salary: R400,000
  • Years of Active Coaching: 2008 – present

Steven Robert Barker is currently the manager of the South African Premier Soccer League (PSL) team, Stellenbosch F.C. He is not the only “Barker” to be popular for their association with South African football. He is nephew to Clive William Barker, the legendary South African football coach who lead the country’s national team to their only African Nation’s Cup title in 1996.

Born on December 23, 1967, Steve Barker started his playing career in 1990 at Wits University F.C. and then moved to SuperSport United F.C. in 1999. He began his managerial career with the University of Pretoria Football Club, popularly called Tuks F.C., in 2008, and led them to the Premier Soccer Division in 2012 before he left in 2014 to manage the Durban-based AmaZulu F.C. His stay with Amaqhawe lasted only two years as the Maseru-born tactician moved on to sign for Stellenbosch F.C. in 2017, where he earns R400,000 in salary monthly.

9. Kaitano Tembo

  • Club: SuperSport United F.C.
  • Age: 51 years old
  • Salary: R500,000
  • Years of Active Coaching: 2014 – present

Kaitano Tembo ranks ninth in the current list of highest-paid coaches in the PSL. Having ranked higher in previous years, several big-money moves by coaches to new clubs with a better pay package offer have seen him drop down the list this year. Tembo is currently the head coach of the Pretoria-based football club, Supersport United F.C. – a job he took up for the second time in 2018. He previously coached the team for a brief stint from August 29, 2014, to September 3, 2014.

He was born in Zimbabwe on July 22, 1970, and played for his country’s national team – The Warriors – as a defender. He won 15 caps (and scored two goals) as a Zimbabwean international, appearing at the COSAFA Cup in 1999, 2000, and 2003 and the 2004 African Cup of Nations. At club level, the bulky center-back started his career with Dynamo F.C. in Zimbabwe, before moving to South Africa and playing for Seven Stars F.C. (1998–1999) and his current team, Supersport United F.C. (1999–2006).

His current contract with SuperSport United credits his account with a massive R500,000  every month, making Kaitano Tembo the third highest-paid coach in the clubs’ history.

8. Steve Komphela

Highest-Paid Coaches

  • Club: Mamelodi Sundowns F.C.
  • Age: 54 years old
  • Salary: R500,000 – R600,000
  • Years of Active Coaching: 2002 – present

Steven Mbuyi Komphela is currently the Senior Coach at Mamelodi Sundowns F.C., where he works alongside two other coaches – Rhulani Mokwena and Manqoba Mngqithi. His salary ranges between R500,000 – R600,000 and places him at the 8th spot on the premium list. Komphela, who played as a defender, began his playing career at Klerksdorp City FC and made 84 appearances between 1985 and 1989.

He earned a move to Free State Stars from Klerksdorp City in 1989 and earned 136 caps with the club, scoring 14 goals. He would leave the Free State-based team in 1993 and go on to play for Kaizer Chiefs, Gaziantepspor, and Çanakkale Dardanelspor. He made 353 appearances in his playing career while scoring 25 goals. He was also part of the national team between 1992 and 1995.

Born on July 1, 1967, in Kroonstad, South Africa, his career as a manager/coach began in 2002 with Manning Rangers. He has also managed top South Africa PSL clubs, including Maritzburg United (two stints), Free State Stars (two stints), Kaizer Chiefs, Golden Arrows, among others. His stint at Kaizer Chiefs (2015–2018) was the longest he had stayed in any club since he began coaching, but he left unceremoniously following his inability to win a trophy. It was a big dent in his profile, but he somehow re-jigged his career at Bloemfontein Celtic F.C. in 2018. He moved again to Golden Arrows in 2019 before signing for Mamelodi Sundowns F.C. in October 2020.

7. Jan Olde Riekerink

  • Club: Cape Town City F.C.
  • Age: 58 years old
  • Salary: R600,000
  • Years of Active Coaching: 2002 – present

Jan Olde Riekerink is a Dutch football coach who currently works in the South African Premier Soccer League (PSL)  as Cape Town City F.C. coach. He was born on February 22, 1963, in Hengelo, Netherlands, and played professional football as a midfielder. His senior career lasted for only seven years and includes appearances for clubs such as Sparta Rotterdam (1986–1991), FC Dordrecht (1990–1991), and Telstar (1991–1993) before he hung his playing boots.

His coaching resume boasts of stints with youth and reserve teams (Ajax, Jong Ajax), including working in an assistant manager’s position (Porto, Metalurh Donetsk). He was the head coach at Gent, FC Emmen, Galatasaray, and SC Heerenveen. However, his most successful job was with the Turkish side, Galatasaray, as he won the Turkish Cup and Turkish Super Cup with them in 2016. In 2019, after leaving Dutch club SC Heerenveen, Riekerink was announced as the head coach of Cape Town City F.C.

6. Benni McCarthy

  • Highest-Paid CoachesClub: Amazulu F.C.
  • Age: 43 years old
  • Salary: R600,000
  • Years of Active Coaching: 2017 – present

Benedict “Benni” McCarthy is presently the coach of the PSL club side, Amazulu F.C., and is on a monthly salary of R600,000. This makes Benni one of the highest-paid coaches in the PSL. Born on November 12, 1977, in Cape Town, South Africa, McCarthy is a well-known football icon in Mzansi. As a player, he is one of the few Mzansi football stars who can boast of having a successful club career in Europe. His professional career started at 17 when he signed for Seven Stars Football Club in 1995. After two seasons, he moved to Cape Town Spurs F.C. on loan and then became an Ajax Cape Town when Seven Stars and Cape Town Spurs merged to form Ajax.

He moved to Europe in 1997 to play for AFC Ajax, where he won the Eredivisie title in his first season, contributing nine goals. The Spanish side, Celta de Vigo, signed him from AFC Ajax in 1999, but he didn’t quite find his spark, and then Portuguese side, FC Porto, came calling – first as a loan deal in 2002, and then full purchase in 2003. He became the main man for the team who went on to win the Primeira Liga (with McCarthy leading the domestic scoring charts with 20 goals) and the UEFA Champions League in the 2003/2004 season.

He played for Blackburn Rovers F.C. in the English Premier League (EPL) between 2006 and 2010 and then moved to West Ham United F.C., where he spent one season before returning home to the PSL with Orlando Pirates F.C. in 2011. He helped the Bucs repeat their treble-winning feat of the previous season, and so Benni McCarthy also won a division title in his homeland.

His coaching career is not yet as successful as his playing career. However, it started with an assistant manager role in 2015 at Sint-Truiden in the Belgian professional football league. He left the role in 2016, and in 2017, he replaced Eric Tinkler as the new head coach of the PSL side, Cape Town City F.C. It did not turn out as planned, and he was fired after 18 games, where he recorded only two victories. Benni is currently the coach of Amazulu F.C. after he replaced Ayanda Dlamini in December 2020.

5. Rhulani Mokwena

  • Club: Mamelodi Sundowns F.C.
  • Age: 34 years old
  • Salary: R650,000
  • Years of Active Coaching: 2014 – present

Sitting pretty at the top of the second half of this list is Rhulani Mokwena, whose job as a “joint-head coach” of the Mamelodi Sundowns F.C. earns him a largesse totaling at R650,000 per month. He comes from a footballing family as his father, Julius ‘KK’ Sono, is a football player who played for Orlando Pirates F.C. in the 80s. At the same time, his uncle is Jomo Sono, a Mzansi football legend who is the founder and coach of Jomo Cosmos F.C. Mokwena did not have a career as a player; he decided to go into the managerial aspect of the beautiful game. He started his coaching career as an understudy at Silver Stars F.C., which later became Platinum Stars F.C. under renowned coaches such as Cavin Johnson and Steve Komphela.

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Rhulani would later join veteran coach Pitso Mosimane at Mamelodi Sundowns F.C. as one of his assistants in 2014. He helped the club win the 2016 CAF Champions League before moving to Orlando Pirates F.C. in 2017 to work with Serbian coach Milutin Sredojević as his assistant. When his principal resigned in August 2019, he was handed the club’s reins for the next five months – till December – when he returned to his previous role as the club appointed the German tactician, Josef Zinnbauer.

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Three months later, he was signed on as head coach of the PSL team, Chippa United F.C. However, his time with the club was shortened by the suspension of football across South Africa, including the PSL, due to the coronavirus pandemic. Upon resumption, his contract with Chippa United had run out, and he was appointed joint-head coach alongside Manqoba Mngqithi at Mamelodi Sundowns F.C.

4. Eric Tinkler

  • Highest-Paid CoachesClub: Maritzburg United F.C.
  • Age: 50 years old
  • Salary: R650,000
  • Years of Active Coaching: 2013 – present

Born in Roodepoort on July 30, 1970, Eric Tinkler is currently Maritzburg United’s manager. Maritzburg United is a football club that competes in the South African Premier Soccer League (PSL). He has come through the ranks and was described as a ‘skillful midfielder’ in his playing days. He was an integral member of the  South African national team, where he made 45 appearances and scored a solitary goal. Eric was also a part of the Bafana Bafana squad that won the African Cup of Nations in 1996.

His club career saw him venture to Europe and playing for the Portuguese side, Vitória, from 1992 to 1996. He returned from a victorious outing in the Nations Cup and was signed by the Italian side, Cagliari, where he played for just one season (1996- 1997) before moving to England to sign for Barnsley F.C. in July 1997. After five seasons in England (1997–2002), the 6ft1 midfielder played three seasons in Portugal for Caldas before returning to South Africa to play in the PSL for Bidvest Wits F.C. in 2005.

His first job in football management came in December 2013 when he was appointed as the head coach of Orlando Pirates – a role he continued in till 2016. After that, he was named the first head coach of Cape Town City Football Club, and by June 2017, he left his role at Cape Town City to become head coach at SuperSport United F.C. His role at the latter club lasted less than a year as he left the position in March 2018. His present position as the manager of Maritzburg United F.C. – which he began in January 2019 – makes him one of the highest-paid coaches in the PSL with a pay package of R650,000.

3. Josef Zinnbauer

  • Club: Orlando Pirates F.C.
  • Age: 51 years old
  • Salary: R650,000
  • Years of Active Coaching: 1996 – present

Josef Zinnbauer is one of the highest-paid coaches in the South African football division. Born on May 1, 1970, the former German midfield player started his coaching career in 2005 at VfB Oldenburg. After five seasons at the club, he got a couple of reserve team roles before assuming the position of head coach of the German side, Hamburger SV, in 2014. He lasted only one year at the helm before he was returned to the reserve team in 2015. His next job as a head coach came the same year as he was appointed by the Swiss side, FC St. Gallen, in September 2015.

Four years later, in 2019, Josef Zinnbauer moved to the PSL to resume his role as the head coach of Orlando Pirates F.C., who was in a mid-table position at the time he took over. However, the Bucs ended that season in third place. It took the German tactician only one year to bring in his first trophy to the club as they beat Bloemfontein Celtic F.C. in the final of the 2020 MTN 8 Cup.

2. Manqoba Mngqithi

  • Highest-Paid CoachesClub: Mamelodi Sundowns F.C.
  • Age: 50 years old
  • Salary: R750,000
  • Years of Active Coaching: 2007 (Officially recorded date; but has been coaching earlier than that) – present

Born April 25, 1971, Manqoba Mngqithi is currently the joint-head coach of the richest club in the PSL, Mamelodi Sundowns F.C., and also the second-highest-paid coach in the division. Formerly a school teacher, the Umzimkhulu-born tactician has earned his place in the game and is still proving himself. He has coached several clubs in the PSL, including the Golden Arrows F.C., whom he led to victory over Ajax Cape Town in the 2009 MTN 8 – where they walloped the latter 6-0 – in his first stint with the club.

Mngqithi has a cache of experience in the bag, thanks to his more than 15 years in football as a coach/manager. His first officially recorded coaching job was with Golden Arrows in 2007. He coached the side to win their first-ever cup – the MTN 8 trophy – in 2009. He had one-year stints with AmaZulu F.C. (2010-2011), Chippa United F.C. (2012), Golden Arrows F.C. (a second stint; 2012–2013) before serving as one of Pitso Mosimane assistants at Mamelodi Sundowns from 2013 to 2020.

During that seven years, Mngqithi won several PSL titles with the team, including the 2016 Telkom Knockout Cup, the 2016 CAF Champions League, and the 2017 CAF Super Cup. In September 2020, following the departure of the legendary Pitso Mosimane to the Egyptian side, Al Alhy F.C., he was appointed joint-head coach of The Brazilians, alongside Rhulani Mokwena and Steve Komphela.

1. Gavin Hunt

  • Club: Kaizer Chiefs F.C.
  • Age: 57 years old
  • Salary: R800,000
  • Years of Active Coaching: 1995 – present

Gavin John Hunt was born in Cape Town, South Africa, on July 11, 1964. He played for the South African national team, and his playing position was as a defender (right-back). His professional club career saw him play his entire career at South African club side, Hellenic F.C., between 1981–1994 (except for one loan spell ate Cape Town City in 1993). Hunt retired on July 1, 1994, following an Achilles tendon injury he suffered. As a lover of the game, his next port of call was management, and he has since managed notable PSL teams, including Seven Stars (1995–1998), Hellenic FC (1998–2001), Black Leopards (2001–2002), Moroka Swallows (2002–2007), SuperSports United (2007–2013), and Bidvest Wits (2013–2020).

He is a very successful coach, and he has several honors to prove his worth. Perhaps, he biggest scalp came in his time in charge of SuperSport United F.C., where he won three back-to-back PSL titles in 2008, 2009, and 2010. He has also won the Telkom Knockout Cup, Nedbank Cup, and MTN8 and different times with different clubs – no wonder he sits at the top of the pile among the highest-paid coaches in the PSL.

Here is a list of club honors won by Gavin Hunt

  • First Division Coastal Stream (Seven Stars, 1997/1998)
  • ABSA Cup (Moroka Swallows, 2004)
  • Premier Soccer League Title (Supersport United, 2008)
  • Premier Soccer League Title (Supersport United, 2009)
  • Premier Soccer League Title (Supersport United, 2010)
  • Nedbank Cup (Supersport United, 2012)
  • MTN8 (Bidvest Wits, 2016)
  • Premier Soccer League Title (Bidvest Wits, 2016/2017)
  • Telkom Knockout Cup (Bidvest Wits, 2017)

Recap

Here’s a quick look at the top 10 highest-paid coaches in South Africa’s Premier Soccer League (PSL):

  1. Gavin Hunt
  2. Manqoba Mngqithi
  3. Josef Zinnbauer
  4. Eric Tinkler
  5. Rhulani Mokwena
  6. Benni McCarthy
  7. Jan Olde Riekerink
  8. Steve Komphela
  9. Kaitano Tembo
  10. Steve Barker

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Romeo Ndlovu
Romeo's secret talent is taking the ordinary and making it extraordinary content. At work, he is thinking about how best to provide the most unique, original content that provides utmost satisfaction to the user. Away from work, he is a football addict who loves to catch up on his favorite pastimes
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