New data has exposed the astronomical wage bills each top-flight football team in England pays its star players, with millions lavished on some of the beautiful game’s most influential and best. While the country experiences a cost-of-living crisis, the same cannot be said of the Premier League‘s top talent, with the likes of Manchester City, Liverpool and Manchester United breaking the bank to keep them with healthy paycheques. But splashing the cash on players, it would seem, doesn’t guarantee you success as the team who spends the most on wages is nowhere near the top of the division.
The furore over how much Premier League clubs pay its players has constantly been placed under the microscope in the years since Sky Sports brokered a deal with England’s top flight to show matches on TV.
During the coronavirus pandemic, when millions saw their wages slashed, many politicians turned on footballers, demanding their high wages be used to help the country through outbreak, calls that would fall on deaf ears.
To the surprise of many, this year also saw the Premier League spend the most amount of cash on player moves during the January Transfer Window as £815million was spent, 90 percent higher than the previous best outlay of £430million in 2018.
And research compiled by online independent casino reviewer CasinoBonusCA has laid bare how the clubs stack up when it comes to player wages, with Chelsea leading the table of outgoings to its stars.
Chelsea, who were taken over by a Todd Boehly-led consortium in May 2022, bringing to an end the reign of Russian oligarch Roman Abramovich as owner, have invested heavily in their squad with 17 players signing since the American joined the club.
It saw the likes of Raheem Sterling, Mykhailo Mudryk, Enzo Fernández and Kalidou Koulibaly join the West Londoners for huge sums, breaking records for the most transfer outlay a side in history.
In total, their average annual wage outlay for the year, CasinoBonusCA noted, was £212,090,000 – the highest in the Premier League. Surprisingly, though, Chelsea in real terms currently sits 10th in the league, way behind their place at the top of the wage charts.
Second is Manchester United, who are just behind Chelsea, spending £211,875,000 a year on its players. Among their highest-paid stars is Spanish goalkeeper David de Gea who earns around £19.5million every 12 months.
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Like Chelsea, Manchester United has splashed the cash in recent seasons, with new manager Erik ten Hag signing the likes of Casemiro, Christian Eriksen, Antony and Lisandro Martinez.
Completing the top four is Manchester City, with an annual outgoing of £182,640,000 – including £20.8million on star playmaker Kevin De Bruyne, and Liverpool (158,788,000).
Tottenham Hotspur (£110,438,000), Arsenal (£97,878,000), Aston Villa (£89,880,000) and Everton (£80,707,000) follow, with the Toffees – who are currently languishing in 15th place – spending around £6.24m annually on Abdoulaye Doucouré.
Another side struggling despite their significant outlay on wages is David Moyes’ West Ham United (£80,060,000), who are ninth on the wage list but occupy 17th spot in the league – just one spot above the dreaded relegation zone.
One of the division’s best sides at punching above their wage weight is Newcastle United, the League Cup runners-up who have lofty ambitions to gatecrash the top four this season and qualify for the Champions League.
Newcastle, who were sold by controversial businessman Mike Ashley to Saudi Arabia’s Public Investment Fund, RB Sports & Media and PCP Capital Partners in 2021, is currently spending £76,220,000 on its wages.
Next up are Leicester City (£73,190,000), who famously were crowned Premier League champions for the 2015/16 season, Crystal Palace (£67,624,000), Nottingham Forest (£67,460,000), Fulham (£56,668,000) and Wolverhampton Wanders (£52,702,000).
Southampton (£51,496,000), who find themselves rooted to the bottom of the table, place 16th in the wage league, and Leeds United (£51,496,000) follow, with the latter spending nearly 10 percent of its annual wage bill on Rodrigo.
With AFC Bournemouth (£42,276,000) 17th, what is perhaps most surprising is that the bottom two teams – Brighton and Hove Albion (£35,685,000) and Brentford (£30,170,000) find themselves way ahead of their wage bill positions.
Brighton are currently seventh in the league, aiming to gatecrash the European places, while Brentford are eighth.
Reflecting on the stats, a spokesperson for CasinoBonusCA said: “The increase of money in football has been rapid and it’s showing no sign of slowing down.
“Considering the money that teams invest in players and the potential to rely on them to carry their teams, it’s very interesting to see how different things would be if the players’ wages was actually the only factor involved.”
Research from the Professional Football Scouts Association (PFSA) claimed that on average a Premier League player will earn around £60,000 per week, with an annual income of around £3million a year.
Naturally, this drops down when you move between divisions, but incredibly the average weekly salary for a Championship player — from just one division below the Premier League – is £4,000.
The football industry and the vast expenses it gave to players was the subject of debate in 2020, when during the coronavirus pandemic, then-Health Secretary Matt Hancock said those involved in the game should take a pay cut.
The Premier League announced a plan to see players take a 30 percent pay cut, a plea that was furiously ripped apart by some of the game’s biggest stars.
This included Wayne Rooney, the Manchester United and England legend, who lashed out, demanding to know “why are footballers suddenly the scapegoats”, adding in a column for the Sunday Times: “For the Premier League to just announce the proposal, as it has done, increases the pressure on players and in my opinion it is now a no-win situation: if players come out and say they can’t agree or are not willing to cut by 30 percent, even if the real reasons are that it will financially ruin some, it will be presented as ‘Rich Players Refuse Pay Cut’.
“It seemed strange to me because every other decision in this process has been kept behind closed doors, but this had to be announced publicly.
“Why? It feels as if it’s to shame the players – to force them into a corner where they have to pick up the bill for lost revenue.”