UK footballers could pay off Greece’s debt within a year


It’s probably no surprise that Greece failed to meet its deadline to pay back the International Monetary Fund (IMF) the €1.6bn (£1.1bn) it owes them – despite the epic crowdfunding campaign on indiegogo. Never the less, it got us thinking…how long would it take to bail out Greece if we all worked together?

So, several hours, 2 APIs and 3 cool Tableau vizzes later, we managed to work out the answer.

A few key takeaways

  1. Even though footballers make an average of 2.5 million pounds a year, it would still take them nearly a year to pay Greece’s debt.
  2. Shop assistants make on average a relatively low 10,000 pounds a year, but since there are an estimated 934,000, it would take them just over a month to pay back Greece’s debt.
  3. Production managers and directors in manufacturing are the best poised to help our friends in Greece. Each worker would only have to give away ½ a months salary to help Greece. Individually however, it would take each worker 22,137 years!
  4. If the entire working population of the UK (around 29 million) donated £37.70 we could clear the debt today.
  5. Although with his $11.5 billion a year, Bill Gates could pay off the debt himself in just 52 days! We’re looking at you Bill…

The data

To get the data on UK salaries we built APIs to reed and, and combined them into this handy dataset in Google Sheets. Why don’t you see if you can do some analysis of your own!


Um, I may have missed something, but this article is based only on the €1.6bn IMF payment that was missed. This is only a drop in the ocean of Greek debt. In the first two Greek bailouts, debt of well over €200bn. Even footballers may have a bit of a problem with that one… for more stats check out

You’re correct Gregory, this is the amount of time it’ll take to pay off the debt owed to the IFM that was valued at 1.6 bn euros (around £1.1 bn)

It’ll be quite interesting to do the same with English and American debt too don’t you think?

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