Barcelona remain the best paid team in global sport measured by average first-team wages, with Real Madrid in second place. However, Premier League arrivistes Manchester City continue to close the gap on the Spanish pair according to the latest Sportingintelligence Global Sports Salaries Survey.
Details of the top 278 earners can be found here, but the most striking aspect of the survey is that the best paid sportsmen (on average) can now be found in the major football leagues of Europe.
When the survey was first published in 2010, baseball’s New York Yankees were No 1, and the top 10 included seven American sports teams, six of them from the NBA. A lot has changed in just 2 years, nowhere more so than at Manchester City, where at their current rate of progress (26 per cent salary increase on 2011), the Sheikh Mansour-fuelled spending spree will soon transform the club into the best paid sporting institution in the world.
The NBA remains the best-paid league overall per man, with average annual salaries of £2.65m a year, or £50,883 per player per week on average. Interestingly, the gap between the best and worst paid is tiny. The LA Lakers are the highest paying team in the NBA and the Indian Pacers the lowest, and the difference between the two is a ratio of 1.86 to 1. For all their free market instincts, Americans do, by and large, prefer the sporting arena to be largely egalitarian.
In contrast, and for those of you who’ve ever wondered why Spanish football is always a two-horse race, the ratio between the best paid and worst paid clubs in Spain is an astonishing 22.81 to 1.
Here’s the TOP 10
Rank (last year) – Team – League – Ave player pay, £ per year (week)
1 (1) Barcelona – La Liga £5,260,313 (£101,160)
2 (2) Real Madrid – La Liga £4,724,662 (£90,859)
3 (10) Manchester City – EPL £4,486,580 (£86,280)
4 (6) Chelsea – EPL £4,118,227 (£79,197)
5 (4) LA Lakers – NBA £3,804,441 (£73,162)
6 (3) New York Yankees – MLB £3,748,831 (£72,093)
7 (14) Milan – Serie A £3,699,411 (£71,143)
8 (12) Bayern Munich – Bundesliga £3,579,961 (£68,845)
9 (13) Philadelphia Phillies – MLB £3,525,612 (£67,800)
10 (7) Internazionale – Serie A £3,454,681 (£66,436)
Other English clubs in the top 20 included ManUnited [11th, up from 16th last year], Arsenal [16th from 22nd] and Liverpool in 18th.