Berlin (AFP) – Veteran striker Vedad Ibisevic joined Schalke on a free transfer from Hertha Berlin on Thursday and then announced he would donate his salary to charity.
The 36-year-old Bosnia and Herzegovina forward signed a one-year contract, boosting David Wagner’s Schalke squad having scored 127 goals in 340 Bundesliga appearances for Hertha, Hoffenheim, Stuttgart and Aachen.
Ibisevic said reports that he will only earn 100,000 euros a year at cash-strapped Schalke are “wrong” but explained why he still wants to donate his basic salary, most likely to a charity in Gelsenkirchen.
“The sums that are circling are wrong, but I talked to my agent and wanted to make a nice story out of this,” Ibisevic told the Schalke website.
“Of course, Schalke finds itself in a difficult financial situation, but that didn’t bother me as I am not here to earn money, but to play in the Bundesliga.
“So we agreed that I won’t get a basic salary, only what I need to cover insurance, that will be donated to charity and I will play for bonuses.”
After the resignation of their billionaire former chairman Clemens Toennies in June, Schalke admit needing “massive savings” to survive.
They kick-off the new Bundesliga season away to holders Bayern Munich on September 18.
Ibisevic has made it clear his main motivation to join the Royal Blues is to extend his Bundesliga career.
“Schalke 04 is a really cool club, you don’t have to think twice about joining them,” insisted Ibisevic, who captained Hertha last season.
Schalke finished last season in miserable form with 16 straight defeats.
On Saturday, they loaned US midfielder Weston McKennie, 22, one of their brightest prospects, to Juventus for an initial fee of 4.5 million euros ($5.4 million).
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