New figures show the highest club wage bills in European football

New data from UEFA has shown which teams have the highest wage bills in European football as of the end of the financial year 2020.

Wage bills amongst the top clubs globally have grown almost exponentially over recent years. The introduction of more lucrative TV deals – best showcased in England with the start of the Premier League in 1992 – has led to clubs having more money to spend and pay their players. That is a scenario replicated primarily across the world.

Read: Who are the most expensive Premier League players by age?

According to Sporting Intelligence, the average wage for an English top division player in 1991/92 – the final season of the First Division – was £59,904 a year. A year later, that figure stood at £77,083. In 2003, the figure was £611,068, and in 2010, the average wage stood at £1,162,350.

The numbers keep on going higher and higher. Now, data has shown the average wage bills of the biggest clubs in European football – and the statistics are eyewatering.

Let’s take a look at the five clubs with the highest wage bills as of the end of the financial year in 2020 before delving further into the list:

5) Liverpool (€371 million)

Image Credit: Getty

The team with the fifth-highest wage bill in European football, according to UEFA, is six-time Champions League winners Liverpool.

Their wage bill stands at a massive total of €371 million. That represents a six per cent rise from last year’s figure, whilst the club’s wages are currently recorded at 66 per cent of their overall turnover.

4) Paris Saint-Germain (€407 million)

Image Credit: Getty

Last season’s Champions League semi-finalists Paris Saint-Germain are fourth place, with an overall wage bill of €407 million.

Much like Liverpool, that figure is increased from the previous year. PSG have the second-highest growth rate in this area out of the top 15, at 10 per cent. Meanwhile, their wages as a percentage of revenue stands at 73 per cent.

3) Real Madrid (€411 million)

Shirt sponsorship deals Real
Image Credit: Getty

Just ahead of PSG in the wage bill standings is Real Madrid. Their wage bill of €411 million increased by four per cent compared to the previous assessment.

Florentino Perez‘s side, meanwhile, were recording 78 per cent of their revenue as wages as of the financial year 2020.

2) Manchester City (€433 million)

Image Credit: Getty

In second place in the standings are last season’s Champions League finalists Manchester City.

Read: New data reveals the 10 most expensive players in world football

Although the Citizens paid less in player salaries than Real Madrid (€330 million compared to €357 million), they paid more in employee salaries (€102 million compared to €54 million).

The Premier League champions also saw their wage bill rise over the financial year, at a joint-highest percentage, alongside Crystal Palace, than any other club in the top 20, at 10 per cent. Meanwhile, their wages as a percentage of revenue stood at 78 per cent – the highest of any team in the top 15.

1) FC Barcelona (€487 million)

Barcelona players
Image Credit: Getty

Topping the list of European football wage bills for the financial year of 2020 is FC Barcelona.

The Spanish giants have endured severe financial problems over the past 18 months, with La Liga enforcing a salary cap of just €95 million for this season. That has resulted in Los Cules being forced to sell or loan out their best players, including Antoine Griezmann and Emerson Royal. They also could not afford to extend Lionel Messi‘s contract, resulting in him leaving the club.

Looking at their wage bill figure for the financial year of 2020, it is not hard to see why it has been such a struggle to reduce the financial burden. Their wage bill stood at €487 million, with €393 million of that figure being paid to players.

That figure dipped 10 per cent from the previous year, however, showing there were initial attempts to reduce the wage bill.

Who else is in the top 20?

German football writer Chaled Nahar has posted the entire top 20 list on Twitter.

A total of 10 English clubs feature in the top 20. They include seventh-placed Manchester United (€323 million), eighth-placed Chelsea (€320 million) and Arsenal (€268 million) in 10th position.

Also featured on the list are Tottenham Hotspur (€207 million), Everton (€195 million) and Leicester City (€180 million). Out of those teams, Leicester were the only side to record a wages as a percentage of revenue figure of over 100 percent. That number stands at 105 per cent.

Also in the top 20 are German giants Bayern Munich (€340 million) and Borussia Dortmund (€215 million). Juventus (€285 million lead the way for Italian clubs, with five different leagues represented in the list.

Featured Image Credit: Getty