Steven Gerrard contract, salary: What will be Liverpool legend’s wages at Saudi Arabia side Al Ettifaq?

Liverpool legend Steven Gerrard is reportedly on the verge of making a return to coaching after almost eight months out of the game.

Gerrard was hugely successful in his first managerial job at Scottish Premiership giants Rangers but was sacked by Premier League side Aston Villa in October 2022 after less than a year in charge.

Now multiple accounts say the former England midfielder has agreed terms to move to Saudi Arabian club Al Ettifaq.

How much is Gerrard likely to earn in the Middle East? Here’s a look at his deal and the Saudi Pro League club he is joining.

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Steven Gerrard to Saudi Arabia: Why is he joining Al Ettifaq?

Gerrard appears to have been looking abroad as he ponders his next managerial move following his experiences in the English and Scottish top flights.

The four-time Liverpool Player of the Season was said to have been in talks with Poland over their managerial vacancy in January. Fernando Santos was later named their head coach.

Al Ettifaq are one of four clubs to have been taken over by Saudi Arabia’s Public Investment Fund (PIF), giving them the financial power to offer better remuneration to players and coaches than clubs and national teams in Europe. Saudi teams are also not subject to the rules around spending imposed upon those clubs.

After a difficult tenure at Villa, Gerrard may feel he wants to build his experience in a new country where he will not face the pressure and expectations that come with being a Premier League manager.


Al Ettifaq finished seventh in the table last season, 35 points off the top and nine clear of the relegation zone. Their squad is predominantly composed of Saudi Arabian players, with Sweden attacker Robin Quaison among their overseas teammates.

Managers from a wide range of countries in South America and Europe have led the club during its 78-year history, as well as Saudi Arabian coaches.

Former Uruguay midfielder Leonardo Ramos and ex-Paris Saint-Germain and Portugal defender Helder have been among the managers to take charge since 2018.

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The club’s long list of trophies includes the Saudi top flight in 1982/83 and 1986/87, the Kings Cup in 1968 and 1985, and the now-defunct Gulf Cup for Clubs Champions League in 1983, 1988 and 2006.

“Al Ettifaq made an offer to Gerrard,” Reuters reported a source as saying on June 11. “He welcomed the idea but asked for time to study the offer.”

A Twitter account dedicated to Al Ettifaq news shared a photo of Gerrard purportedly taken at King Fahd International Airport, adding: “The legend Gerrard arrives in Dammam.”

Steven Gerrard contract, salary at Al Ettifaq

Joining the Saudi Pro League is clearly lucrative. Karim Benzema’s salary at Al Ittihad, a PIF-owned club the French star will join in July, is said to be a tax-free $107 million (£85.5m) for each of the three years of his contract.

Lionel Messi was reportedly offered more than four times that amount a year by Al-Hilal before he opted to join Inter Miami from PSG.

Managers in the Saudi Pro League can’t expect to earn such stratospheric sums, but Gerrard is certain to become one of the best-paid bosses in the world if he accepts the reputed offer.

During Rudi Garcia’s time in charge of a squad including five-time Ballon d’Or winner Cristiano Ronaldo in 2022/23, the former Roma, Lyon, and Marseille head coach was widely reported to have been paid a salary of around $6m (£4.8m) by Al Nassr.

MORE: Highest-paid soccer players: Will Benzema match Messi, Ronaldo wages in Saudi Arabia?

Gerrard’s $6.2m-a-year (£5m) Villa deal made him the highest-paid manager in the club’s history, and Al Ettifaq’s supercharged wealth will allow them to eclipse that.

Diego Simeone is currently the best-paid manager in the world, earning $44.2m (£37m) a season at Atletico Madrid. UEFA Champions League winner Pep Guardiola is second on the list, pocketing $23.9m (£20m) at Manchester City, while Manchester United’s Erik ten Hag is 10th, collecting $10.75m (£9m).

Why was Steven Gerrard sacked by Aston Villa?

After rumours his job was at risk, Gerrard was officially sacked by Villa after a 3-0 loss to Fulham in the Premier League in October 2022.

That result meant Villa had won just one of eight games, scoring only four goals in the process. While Villa’s club statement gave no reasons for Gerrard’s sacking, their poor form no doubt accelerated his exit.

Getty Images

The 2022/23 season started poorly for Villa, with the side sitting 17th in the Premier League and only outside the relegation zone on goal difference when Gerrard left.

Gerrard’s first campaign with the club also failed to impress as they finished 14th in the league and showed few signs of progress on the pitch.

Villa felt they had to cut their losses with Gerrard in order to get their 2022/23 season back on track, and former Arsenal manager Unai Emery did just that, securing European qualification on the final day of the campaign after winning 15 out of 26 games.

The side’s final showing under Gerrard against Fulham was particularly poor but he had stressed he was willing to press on.

“Inconsistency has cost us, that’s the position we find ourselves in. I took over the team in a very similar situation. We’ve tried to recruit to get us out of that situation,” Gerrard told BBC Match of the Day after his final game.

“I’m a fighter — it’s in my DNA. I’ll continue to fight unless I’m told differently.”

Aston Villa Football Club can confirm that Head Coach Steven Gerrard has left the club with immediate effect.

— Aston Villa (@AVFCOfficial) October 20, 2022

Steven Gerrard managerial record at Aston Villa

After winning four of his first six games in charge, Gerrard’s record at Aston Villa took a turn for the worse.

In the middle of his reign, the club lost four straight Premier League matches and he bowed out with one win from his last eight games.

Games Wins Draws Losses Goals
40 13 8 19 49 52 -3

It’s also worth noting that Gerrard was given plenty of money to spend on transfers during his time at the club, with the likes of Diego Carlos and Philippe Coutinho signed on big deals.

Overall, Gerrard brought in nine different players during his time with Villa but was unable to get the required results with them quickly enough.

Player Fee
Diego Carlos £28m/$31.7m
Lucas Digne £27m/$30.6m
Philippe Coutinho £18m/$20.4m
Leander Dendoncker £13.5m/$15.3m
Robin Olsen £3.15m/$3.6m
Boubacar Kamara Free
Calum Chambers Free
Ludwig Augustinsson Loan
Jan Bednarek Loan

Steven Gerrard Liverpool stats, trophies, record

Gerrard won eight major trophies with Liverpool between 1998 and 2015 — most notably the Champions League in 2005. The Reds finished second in the Premier League three times during his time with them.

He appeared 504 times for the club, scoring 120 goals and providing 92 assists before ending his career at LA Galaxy in 2015/16.

Now 43, he can look back on being the Premier League Players’ Player of the Year once and Fans’ Player of the Year twice.

Steven Gerrard major trophies at Liverpool

FA Cup Carabao Cup Champions League Europa League/UEFA Cup
2 (2001, 2006) 3 (2001, 2003, 2012) 1 (2005) 1 (2001)

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