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While players may receive most of the attention, the best soccer teams have a world-class manager at the helm. And while his style isn’t to everyone’s tastes, Antonio Conte certainly has built up a winning resume. As you might expect, that means the Italian is able to command a pretty penny from his employers. Just as Tottenham Hotspur about that.

Although there’s room to debate the success of his reign — finishing in fourth place isn’t exactly worthy of a parade, but Spurs did make up ground in 2022 to qualify for the Champions League — one thing is (theoretically) unarguable. Antonio Conte’s salary is rather large, even by Premier League standards.

Let’s break things down.

Antonio Conte doesn’t stay long in job, but he usually wins trophies before leaving

Antonio Conte gestures on the sidelines during a Tottenham Hotspur match.
Antonio Conte reportedly makes a sizable salary managing Tottenham Hotspur. | Chris Brunskill/Fantasista/Getty Images

No matter which sort of job we’re talking about, some people feel more comfortable remaining in one place, while others prefer to jump around. Even by the tenuous standards of football management, Antonio Conte sits firmly in the latter group.

After his playing career ended, the Italian stepped into management as an assistant at Sienna. He then stepped into the top job, albeit unsuccessfully, during two spells with Arezzo before moving on to Barri. There, he led the club to a Serie B title, setting a precedent for managerial success.

Conte then suffered through an ugly spell with Atalanta before returning to Sienna and earning a promotion into Serie A. He wouldn’t be around for that campaign, though, as Juventus finally came calling. The former Juve midfielder jumped at the opportunity. He won three titles in three seasons before resigning to coach the Italian national team.

A little under two years later — are you noticing a trend here? — Conte was on the move again. He left the Italian national team, citing a desire to return to club football, and took charge of Chelsea. He’d win a Premier League title during his first season in London and an FA Cup in his second but still got the axe in July 2018.

That set the stage for the manager to return to Italy, this time with Inter Milan. He won another Serie A title but, you guessed it, left the job after his second season in charge. Conte then headed back to London and signed with Tottenham Hotspur, who he led into the 2022-23 Champions League.

On the whole, the Italian has held 10 different managerial roles since 2006 and won six league titles (plus some other silverware) during that time. Do his results justify everything else? You be the judge.

Antonio Conte salary: Spurs are paying top dollar for the Italian’s services

After a hot start to the 2021-22 campaign, Tottenham were struggling. Nuno Espirito Santo, who somewhat fell into the managerial job, seemed out of his depth. Something needed to change ASAP, and that meant bringing Antonio Conte to North London.

That reality — the club needed a new bench boss, and Conte was the biggest name available, giving him the leverage — and the Italian’s resume meant he was capable of commanding a sizable salary. Just how much money is he taking home each year? According to Sports Illustrated, who are in turn citing the Sun, £15 million per year. While exchange rates have changed since the deal was signed, that shakes out to a shade over $18 million per year at the start of 2023.

If the manager signs a new contract, which could theoretically arrive at any point in time, he’d also expect to get a raise.

Conte is a big-time investment, but clubs clearly think he’s worth the price

While about $18 million per season is a sizable outlay for a manager, it’s not that big of a commitment when you consider the amount that clubs are spending on players. Antonio Conte’s paycheck, however, isn’t the only investment he requires.

Whenever he arrives at a new club, the Italian demands a certain type of player. While that’s true for virtually every coach — you can’t execute your vision without the appropriate resources — Conte’s expectations are a bit different. He wants proven players who can step into his system, which usually means you’re buying older players with limited resale value.

Beyond that, the current Spurs’ boss is one of the few major managers to employ a three-at-the-back formation. That again complicates potential resale; a wing-back, for example, will be harder to sell since most teams don’t rely on that position. Those purchases are another form of investment.

And, beyond the financial costs, there’s also a bit of a “softer” factor. Conte is not a project manager, and, at this point in his career, that isn’t going to change. If you employ him, you’re signing up for a short-term commitment with plenty of drama. Press conferences will be full of cryptic remarks, thinly veiled statements, and the constant threat that maybe the current partnership will come to an end. If he doesn’t feel like he’s getting the support he needs, he won’t stick around.

Is trying to win a trophy worth all of that investment? Each club can make that decision, but Tottenham seem to think so.


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