Sport salaries: even QPR weekly wage tops UK annual average

Manchester City crowned best-paid sports team in the world for second year running

Joey Barton of Queens Park Rangers
(Image credit: Laurence Griffiths/Getty Images)

WITH Man City facing sanctions from Uefa for breaching its Financial Fair Play regulations some light has been shed on the magnitude of the club's spending after it was revealed that the Citizens boast the highest wage bill in world sport.

The Global Sports Salaries Survey 2014, compiled by Sportingintelligence and ESPN, shows the average first-team player at City is now paid £5.3m a year, or a staggering £102,653 a week. US baseball teams the New York Yankees and LA Dodgers are second and third, ahead of Spanish football giants Real Madrid and Barcelona. The New York Nets basketball team is sixth, paying its players an average of £4.5m each. Manchester United (£4.3m) are eighth in the list, with Chelsea (£4m) and Arsenal £3.9m) tenth and 11th. Liverpool are the only other English club in the top 20 paying an average of £3.4m a year. "While Chelsea have cut their wage bill to help them comply with Uefa’s cost-control measures, new research has revealed City continue to outstrip American sporting giants such as the New York Yankees, as well as football superpowers Barcelona and Real Madrid, in terms of average salaries paid to their stars," says the Daily Telegraph. Everton, aiming for a place in the Champions League next season, limp in at 93rd on the list, but the average Toffees player still earns more in a week (£33,000) than the average Briton does in a year (£26,500). Even Aston Villa (£38,500) and QPR (£41,200) of the Championship pay their players more than the annual London average salary (£35,500) each week. It is the second year running that City have topped the list, but they only manage fourth place in the list of best paying sports teams of the last five years. Barcelona top that particular table; over the last five years the average Barca player has earned £22.6m, while City have only forked out £18.9m per player in that time. "The eye-watering sums on offer in elite European football and in the major sports leagues of America effectively mean that a single five-year deal should provide enough money to set up a player for life," notes the Daily Mail. Other highlights from the survey are picked out by The Guardian. It notes:

  • The biggest fallers from last year's top 10 were Milan of Serie A, down from sixth to 27th.
  • The average salary at Toronto FC of MLS has increased 256 per cent year-on-year to around $600,000 per player. The report claims this is largely down to the arrival of big name players such as England star Jermain Defoe and Brazil goalkeeper Julio Cesar.
  • The NBA is the highest-paying league as a whole, with 441 players at 30 teams in the 2013-14 season earning an average of £2.98m per year each.
  • The Premier League is the best paying football league in the world, with the average annual pay at £2.27m per player.

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