Sony Norde's new contract of US$400,000 for just 6 months with Mohun Bagan in the Indian I-League hits a new milestone in the country's football history. No player has ever made so much money in the I-League. However, on the Haitian side, this contract indicates that Sony Norde outsmarts once again his Haitian rivals in the earning department while silencing his critics who believe he is being wasted in the wasteland football world of India.
For Haitian supporters, a successful player is one who is playing in Europe, preferably France, or the MLS in the USA regardless whether they can actually live on their salaries or not. They too often forget that football is the profession of the players and that like everyone else they need to earn a pretty penny to take care of themselves and their families. Fortunately, some players understand that professional football can be very treachous so they go straight for the money following its trail to the four corners of the world. Some come up disappointed but others reap handsomely the fruit of their hard work. Sony Norde is one such player.
Norde does not play in Europe, South America, North America, or the far-east side of Asia where top players make millions per season. He plays in an obscure league in India, which is from a football perspective, a wasteland. Yet, he is making far more money than many players in some better known football environments.
The pasture is certainly greener in Europe and North America, especially in term of prestige and exposure, but the numbers do not always add up! Despite having won the MLS championship with Kansas City, Soni Mustivar who also has a solid background in European football, especially in Romania, is only earning a quarter of Norde's loot. Hot prospect Derrick Etienne's yearly salary is less than what Norde pockets in one month! New England Revolution's homegrown Zachary Herivaux does not fare much better with a miserable $65,000 in the expensive Boston. With salaries like those and considering the cost of living in New York and Boston, it is likely that Derrick and Zachary still rely on their parents for support.
The European-based clan is not doing much better. We know Donald Guerrier's Azerbaijan football pays its high earners an average of just US$4000 a week which translates in around US$200,000 a years. Assuming Donald is a top earner in that league, his yearly salary is probably less than half of what Norde is making in India.
However, players like Reginald Goreux, Jeff Louis, and Romain Genevois are probably earning a very good living in Europe. According to L'Equipe, the average salary at SM Caen is around 30,000 euros per month which means those players earn roughly 360,000 euros a year. There are other Haitian players who are making far more money in Europe but those have either rejected the call to join the national team or they are waiting on France to call them up.
Sony is the only current Haitian player with a stardom status in his league. Thousands of Indian and Bangladeshi football aficionados see him as an idol. This year, Jamshedpur FC, the new club of the Indian Super League that has already signed Kervens Belfort, delivered a real bidding war versus Mohun Bagan of the I-League to acquire the service of the highly priced Haitian midfielder. In the end, Mohun Bagan ended up paying the player far more than any other clubs could afford to pay for a single player.
India is Sony Norde's own green pasture!
I am not saying that to undermine Sony's success. I am just pointing it out so that everybody understands that you are still more likely to make a lot more money in Europe than anywhere else.