If you earned £76,626 a year, you'd probably be rather content. So would your bank manager. If you earned £76,626 a week, you'd have to define a new level of personal comfort. So would the manager of the local German car dealership. Yet that really is the average financial scenario for a Chelsea FC player - only the tenth best paid sports team in the world.
The lofty title of best paid sports team in the world goes to Manchester City, who topped the Sporting Intelligence annual Global Sports Salaries Survey (GSSS) for the second year running. The average wage of the Manchester club's first team? A staggering £5,337,944 a year (that's £102,653 per week) - an increase of 265 percent from the GSSS' first survey in 2010.
Three English Premier League clubs feature in the GSSS top ten (City - 1st at £5.3mil per year; Manchester United - 8th at £4.3mil; Chelsea - 10th at £4mil), with Arsenal nestled in 11th spot (£3.9mil). Football (the spherical kind) dominates the top ten, with Real Madrid (4th, £5mil), Barcelona (5th, £4.9mil) and Bayern Munich (7th, £4.4) rounding out the European entries. Major League Baseball and Major League Basketball fill out the rest of the top ten:
Based on the average (the arithmetic mean, to be precise) of a club's first team wages, the GSSS ranks 294 clubs from 12 major global leagues (NFL, NHL, NBA, MLB, MLS, EPL, the Bundesliga, La Liga, Serie A, SPL, CSL, AFL, CFL, NPB and IPL).
Despite only posting two teams in the top ten, the world's best paid players belong to the NBA, with an average wage of £2,976,567 per year. English Premier League players belong to the fourth best paid league in the world, earning an average of £2,273,277 a week.
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Yes, all of these players will lose a considerable chunk of these wages in various forms of tax - but this list doesn't include additional earnings from sponsorship and the like. All told, it adds up to even less sympathy when your team of choice can't quite bother putting on the performance you'd expect from them.
(Images and info: Sports Intelligence)