Barcelona Becomes First Team To Pay Players Over £10M On Average
The latest Global Sports Salary Survey revealed Barcelona is the first sports team in history with average first-team pay in excess of £10M ($12.8M) a year, according to Sean Ingle of the London GUARDIAN. The survey also "shows the extent" to which wages are spiraling across all sports. This season, the Spanish champion will pay its 23-man squad an average of £10.45M ($13.4M) before bonuses, a figure that has risen by a third since '17-18. Much of that is a result of signing Lionel Messi to a new deal that pays him in excess of £50M ($64.1M) a year, although signing Philippe Coutinho, Arthur, Malcom and Arturo Vidal, and handing Gerard Piqué, Sergi Roberto, Samuel Umtiti and Sergio Busquets "lucrative extensions," has also "significantly swollen the payroll." Real Madrid is second in the GSS survey -- which tracks pay for 349 teams across eight sports in 13 countries -- with its first-team players earning an average of £8.1M ($10.4M) a year. The next six spots are filled by NBA teams, with the Oklahoma City Thunder in third (£7.85M/$10.1M) and the Golden State Warriors (£7.82M/$10M) in fourth. ManU (£6.53M/$8.4M) is the highest British club in the survey at 10th, one spot behind Juventus, which "leapt" from 32nd place to ninth after signing Cristiano Ronaldo. Man City (£5.93M/$7.6M) is the next-highest Premier League club, in 20th position, with Chelsea, Arsenal and Liverpool all in the top 40 (GUARDIAN, 11/25). The BBC reported not only has Barcelona become the first sports club in the world to pay an average of more than £10M a year to first-team players, the Spanish club also broke the £200,000 ($256,200)-per-week barrier for the first time. On average, first-teamers at Camp Nou earn £10,454,259 a year, which translates to an average of £201,043 per week. Despite Barça and Real Madrid's "dominance on the pay scale," the average Premier League yearly salary remains 36% higher than that of La Liga and "almost double" the amount paid to players in Serie A (BBC, 11/26).