Tim Finchem: Mo’ Money, No Problems
By Stephanie Wei under General

While many Americans are pawning off their valuables and pouring pennies in Coinstar machines to stave off foreclosure, the PGA Tour suits are remodeling their luxury homes in the Florida suburbs.

According to SportsBusiness Journal’s Jon Show, Commissioner Tim Finchem and other executives haven’t been experiencing the negative effects of the wintry economic climate:

PGA Tour Commissioner Tim Finchem took home $5.3 million in 2008, up from $4.76 million the previous year and roughly flat with what he received in 2006.

Finchem’s salary remained constant at $1.3 million, meaning the fluctuation is due to performance bonuses paid under a plan established by the compensation committee on the PGA Tour board of directors with the help of a compensation consultant.

The second-highest-compensated executives in 2008 were co-COOs Charlie Zink and Ed Moorhouse, who each made about $1.7 million. Other executives receiving at least seven figures include CMO Tom Wade, CFO Ron Price and David Pillsbury, also president of PGA Tour Golf Course Properties.

I barfed all over my coffee table when I saw their salaries, but I looked up the compensation of other major sports league commissioners. And then I almost barfed all over the coffee table again.

According to SBJ, MLB Commissioner Bud Selig’s income jumped 22% to $18.35 million from 2007. David Stern of the NBA takes home approximately $10 million, while Gary Bettman of the NHL makes $7.1 million. In good taste, NFL Comissioner Roger Goodell froze his 2009 earnings at $11 million (despite a stipulation in his contract that entitles him to a pay raise).

So, that puts Finchem’s big-money pay in perspective. Kind of.

But let’s compare commish salaries to player salaries. Selig would rank 11th on the list of highest-paid MLB players for the 2009 season. Goodell wouldn’t make the top 25 in the NFL for 2008. Neither Stern nor Bettman would qualify in the top 30 for their respective sports.

Interestingly enough, Finchem would rank approximately 3rd on the 2009 PGA Tour money list — where Phil Mickelson, who won three times, finished. Timmy, FTW!

Here’s the full list of highest Tour executive salaries via SBJ:

[h/t Geoff Shackelford]

[Photo by Scott Halleran/Getty Images]