CONFIRMED : Manchester United are officially the biggest bust of the season


According to the Global Sports Salaries Survey, Manchester United are now the best-paid football team on the planet.

The Premier League giants narrowly edge out FC Barcelona for the top spot for football teams and are ranked Fourth worldwide among all sports teams surveyed. The Red Devils have a pay roll of £5.77m a year, or £110,962 per week as compared to Barcelona’s  average annual salary of £5.65m, followed by Manchester City on £5.4m. Real Madrid, Chelsea, PSG, Bayern Munich, Juventus, Arsenal and Liverpool round off the top ten.

The survey considers the pay of almost 10,000 sportsmen at 333 teams in seven sports across 17 of the world’s richest leagues. It only analyses earnings for playing sport and not for endorsements or other extra-curricular activities.

The inflated salaries for Manchester United are due to their summer signings Zlatan Ibrahimovic, Paul Pogba and Henrikh Mkhitaryan. The first two names especially warrant a very high salary for their services. But for all their input, United have very little to show for their efforts. A dwindling league campaign and only a Europa League championship to contest for, it looks like the side have invested for the long haul, but it’s been quite some time since they have reaped the benefits.

As for the International scenario, the Cleveland Cavaliers are the highest bank-rolled team at $8.7m (£6.9m) with baseball’s New York Yankees ($7.68m) and another NBA team, the LA Clippers ($7.65m) following in second and third spot respectively. Among the top 12 teams around the world, only Manchester United, Barcelona and City come from football, while eight are from the NBA, and the New York Yankees from baseball. Eight of the 12 top payers are based in the USA, two in England, one in Spain, and one in Canada – the NBA’s Toronto Raptors.

The Cavaliers are the reigning NBA champs, with the world’s best player LeBron James on their side. Not a traditional powerhouse, the Cavs were pressured into signing and re-signing big money players by their captain James so as to compete with the growing competition around the league. This is a far cry from Manchester United’s trend, wherein its the fans and the management that have forced the investors hand.

The Premier League remains the best-paid football league in the world. Average basic first-team pay in England’s top flight is £2,438,275, or £48,766 a week. That is nearly double the average wage in La Liga, which is just more than £1.2m per player per year, or £24,786 a week. In comparison, the 449 players on the rosters of the NBA’s 30 teams earn an average £4.8m a year.

A huge new TV deal in the NBA as well as the effects of Brexit on the dollar-pound exchange rate have contributed to the rise of the NBA teams. As for English Football, further increases are expected after the Premier League agreed domestic and global television deals worth approximately £8bn for 2016-19.

Premier League average pay has multiplied by almost 32 times in 25 seasons, from about £77,000 in 1992-93 to £2.4m in the current season.

Manchester United’s first-team salaries have grown from about £140,000 per year in 1992-93 to more than 40 times as much.

On the other hand, Cristiano Ronaldo remains the world’s best paid footballer, on the equivalent of £365,000 a week, the survey said.


Do you think Manchester United will get back their lost glory this season? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below!

Photo by .sanden.