A Look Into Red Bulls payroll, Sene/Akpan compensation

IMAGE, MATT KREMKAU FOR EMPIRE OF SOCCER

In past years, Red Bull fans waited breathlessly for the Players Union’s final September salary release to find out just how much money was being splashed by their Austrian ownership in their yearly summer shopping spree.

With little movement on the roster, the story now is just how far New York went to juggle their finances in order to do anything under their constrictive salary cap.

As far as midseason additions go, French defender Damien Perrinelle is it. The 31-year-old career Ligue 2 player joined the Red Bulls after trialing at the club for the second time in as many years. One of five central defenders, he has seen very little time on the pitch outside of a CONCACAF Champions League performance. For that, New York are paying a hefty $100k under the cap; a significant amount considering their rigid budget.

How did this come about? Some nifty maneuvering.

The only other acquisition of the summer came in the form of a trade, with the Red Bulls sending Harvard graduate Andre Akpan and allocation money to the Revolution for Saer Sene and an international slot. According to sources, the Red Bulls’ new slot was filled by Sene himself, with his hefty salary  being paid — in full — by the New England Revolution.  In turn, New York are still paying the entirety of Akpan’s wages.  Sene is slated to make $163,682.54 in 2014 while Akpan comes in at a meager $51k.

The deal proves to be the best of both worlds for both clubs.  New York needed a proven strike option off the bench and defensive depth, but had little cap space or allocation for a foreign prospect.  The Revolution sought bargaining cash and cap space for their future endeavors.  Thus, New England took their cash towards the acquisition of Jermaine Jones, while New York gained much needed cap relief, a true strike option off the bench and the ability to bolster an otherwise leaky backline.

Aside from those two areas, New York have stayed consistent in their roster, with Thierry Henry, Tim Cahill, Bradley Wright-Phillips, Jamison Olave and Richard Eckersley rounding out the top team earners.  It is worth noting, however, that TFC are on the hook for most of Eckersley’s salary as well.