FIFA paid Blatter $3.76 million in 2015

Joseph Blatter arrives for the world premiere of "Die Mannschaft" (The Team) at the Sony Center in Berlin November 10, 2014. REUTERS/Hannibal (Reuters)

By Brian Homewood ZURICH (Reuters) - Soccer's ruling body FIFA said it paid disgraced former president Sepp Blatter 3.63 million Swiss francs ($3.8 million) last year, publishing his salary for the first time under new governance regulations. FIFA also announced it lost $122 million in 2015, its first deficit since 2002, attributing that mainly to the costs of battling the worst graft scandal in its history. In particular, FIFA's legal fees rose from $31.29 million in 2014 to $61.49 million while its reserves dropped from $1.52 billion to $1.34 billion. "The unprecedented events that occurred in 2015 have impacted upon FIFA's financial results, however the organization's healthy reserves have allowed it to weather the storm," the Swiss-based federation said in a statement. Several dozen officials, including former members of FIFA's executive committee, have been indicted in the United States while Blatter has been banned for six years by the ruling body's ethics committee. FIFA said Blatter's former secretary general Jerome Valcke, banned for 12 years, was paid 2.12 million Swiss francs last year. The aggregate remuneration of key management personnel was $27.9 million. Blatter had been FIFA president since 1998 and his salary had long been the subject of speculation. It was finally published on Thursday under new rules which were passed in February in an attempt to make FIFA more transparent. FIFA said it calculated Blatter and Valcke's payments on the advice of an "independent, external company that specializes in HR and compensation issues." Despite the troubles, FIFA said it had revised its projected revenue for the 2015-2018 cycle upwards from $5 billion to $5.65 billion, with projected investments amounting to $5.55 billion. Last year, Valcke, while still secretary general, admitted that FIFA was having trouble in negotiating new sponsorship deals because of its battered reputation. New FIFA president Gianni Infantino, whose salary has not been revealed, made ambitious promises during his election campaign to increase spending on football development around the world. "With the recently approved reforms, I believe that we have turned a corner and that FIFA is poised to emerge stronger than ever," said Infantino. "During my presidency, I pledge to make this happen and to lead FIFA into a brighter and more sustainable future so that we can all return our full focus to football." "We saw in 2015 that FIFA's competitions – such as the FIFA Women's World Cup – remain an incredible opportunity for us to promote the game and to raise the funds we need to fulfill our core mission of football development." During the electoral campaign, two of Infantino's rivals said that his plans were not financially viable and could wipe out FIFA's reserves. Revenue from World Cup sponsors dropped from $131 million to $44.5 million in 2015 after contracts with Johnson & Johnson, Castrol and Continental expired at the end of 2014. However, revenue from FIFA's top tier partners increased from $177.1 million to $180 million. FIFA, which said it employed an average of 582 people throughout 2015, spent $92.1 million on personnel, compared to $115.28 million the year before. ($1 = 0.9663 Swiss francs) (Writing by Brian Homewood in Berne; Editing by Tony Jimenez/Ruth Pitchford)