As wages and transfer fees continue to rise in football, Barcelona have set a new mark by becoming the first team with an average first-team pay in excess of £10 million ($12.81 million) a year, according to the latest Global Sports Salary Survey .
This season, the Spanish giants will pay the 23-man first-team squad an average of £10.45 million ($13.39 million) before bonuses with that figure rising by 33 per cent since 2017-18.
Lionel Messi’s new contract helped boost that number, as did the signings of Philippe Coutinho, Arthur, Malcom and Arturo Vidal, each of whom helped lift the club’s wage budget.
New contracts for familiar faces also add up with Gerard Pique, Sergi Roberto, Samuel Umtiti and Sergio Busquets all signing new deals in 2018.
In second place behind their rivals are Real Madrid, whose players earn an average of £8.1 million ($10.38 million) a year, while the next six spots are all filled by teams from the NBA with the Golden State Warriors and Oklahoma City Thunder leading the charge in third and fourth with salary averages of £7.85 million ($10.06 million) and £7.82 million ($10.02 million) respectively.
The NBA remains the highest-paid league in the world with average salaries of £5.9 million ($7.56 million) this season.
Manchester United are the highest Premier League club on the list in 10th place with £6.53 million ($8.37 million) while Juventus jumped from 32nd in the world to ninth following the summer signing of Cristiano Ronaldo. Manchester City (£5.93 million/ $7.6 million) are the next highest English club in 20th, with Chelsea, Arsenal and Liverpool all occupying spots in the top 40.
The latest survey found that the Premier League remained the richest football league in the world, with first-team squad players earning £2.99 million ($3.83 million) a year on average. That figure is 36% higher than the Premier League’s nearest rival in La Liga(£2.2 million/$2.82 million) and just about double that of Italy’s Serie A (£1.5 million/$1.92 million).