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Football finances

Real Madrid, Barça and PSG top football salary list

LaLiga's Barcelona and Real Madrid, along with Ligue 1's PSG, pay most in footballing wages despite the riches of the English Premier League.

Los equipos deportivos que mejor pagan en el mundo.
(Foto de fondo) Tony GentileReuters

Barcelona, PSG and Real Madrid are the only football clubs that rub shoulders with the world's sports teams that pay their playing staff the most. The three European giants make it into the top 20 sports clubs in terms of average salary per player, a list dominated by the NBA - which has 17 franchises included - according to the latest report, Global Sports Salaries Survey 2017, published by the specialist website Sporting Intelligence.

Barça, PSG and Madrid pay for the stars

In the ranking, where on the podium stands three representatives of the NBA (Oklahoma, Cleveland and Golden State), Barcelona appear in fourth position. The players of the senior squad earn an average salary of 8 million euros per year. They are followed closely by the PSG players who, with the arrival of Neymar in the summer, have seen the club catapulted from 35th to fifth place in the ranking, with an average wage of 7.9 million euros per player per year.

Top 10 football clubs based on average salary

P1Football clubLeagueAverage salary2
4BarcelonaLaLiga8,048,950 €
5PSGLigue 17,896,273 €
9Real MadridLaLiga7,594,296 €
23Manchester UnitedPremier League6,394,246 €
24Manchester CityPremier League6,387,106 €
27Bayern MunichBundesliga6,324,526 €
32JuventusSerie A5,921,230 €
39ChelseaPremier League5,430,464 €
48ArsenalPremier League4,925,411 €
52Atlético MadridLaLiga4,695,939 €

Source: Sporting Intelligence.

Position in overall ranking of global sports clubs.
Average salary per senior squad player

Four positions below, under three other NBA squads, appears Real Madrid. Each of Zidane charges earn an average of 7.6 million euros and this has seen them climb from 19th to ninth overall, in part due to the contract improvements the club agreed to in the autumn of 2016 for Cristiano, Bale, Modric, Kroos, and Lucas Vázquez.

Premier League still the big spender

In general terms, the sports competitions that pay most for their players are, in order: NBA (basketball), MLB (baseball), IPL (Indian cricket league), Premier League, NHL (ice hockey), NFL (American football) and LaLiga. Another way of looking at this breakdown is to consider what a professional in each competition earns per game played by his team. Here the NFL wins (€158,410.90), followed by the Premier League (€84,838.80), the NBA (€81,797.34) and, in fourth place, the LaLiga footballers (€53,938.64).

Wage bill across Europe's big five football leagues

LeagueCountryWage bill €
Premier LeagueEngland1,682,854,961 €
LaLigaSpain1,002,292,541 €
Serie AItaly861,980,426 €
BundesligaGermany761,176,183 €
Ligue 1France601,434,712 €

Inequalities in LaLiga

The Sporting Intelligence report also reveals the inequalities in LaLiga's salaries, and this is despite the new centralised contract for television rights. A Barcelona player earns an average of 13.4 times more than one of Levante's. Los Granotas, with an average annual salary of 598,715 euros are the worst paid players in the top division. The third best-paying team in LaLiga, and tenth in world football, is Atlético Madrid: €4.7 million per player per year.

Average player salary of clubs in LaLiga Santander

P1R2Football clubAverage salary
14Barcelona8,048,950.00 €
29Real Madrid7,594,296.26 €
352Atlético4,695,938.60 €
496Valencia2,964,377.96 €
5104Sevilla2,859,057.80 €
6170Athletic1,731,790.00 €
7175Real Sociedad1,629,615.00 €
8176Villarreal1,617,860.30 €
9185Espanyol1,276,333.50 €
10191Betis1,193,774.88 €
11193Celta1,180,999.04 €
12196Deportivo1,075,561.76 €
13198Malaga1,044,393.20 €
14207Eibar790,785.70 €
15215Girona753,085.26 €
16222Alavés683,741.68 €
17223Getafe664,632.82 €
18225Las Palmas656,192.86 €
19228Leganés638,394.28 €
20233Levante598,715.00 €

Fuente: Sporting Intelligence.

Position in average salary of LaLiga clubs.

Position in overall ranking of global sports clubs.