NEW YORK: NFL commissioner Roger Goodell was paid nearly $32 million in fiscal year 2015, according to the latest tax returns filed by the league and made public on Friday (Saturday in Manila).
The 32-team American football league is the richest in sport from top to bottom, in part because of the guidance of Goodell, who has overseen record-shattering television rights deals.
Goodell’s 2015 salary of $31.74 million was a dip from $31.4 million the previous year and the $44 million he was paid in 2013, a figure that included extra bonus money plus pension and other deferred payments.
Goodell has made an average of $21.5 million a year and a total of $212.5 million in 10 years since taking the job in 2006.
Number two on the NFL salary list is league general counsel Jeff Pash, whose salary of $6.5 million was $1 million less than in 2014.
The 2015 filing marks the final tax returns and salary figures the NFL will have to make public because the league has given up its tax-exempt status based on the non-profit status of the league office becoming a “distraction.”
The NFL surrendered a corporate tax break it had enjoyed since 1942, the same given to trade groups under the logic the league office works to promote its industry, not as a for-profit business itself.
US lawmakers wondered how the league office could justify such a status as teams rake in billions in revenues.
The new move will allow the league to keep private its compensation packages to Goodell and other top executives in future years.