1. Paris Saint-Germain – £279m (Top earner: Neymar, £537,000-per-week*)
We have a new leader. Following this summer’s transfer business – and the arrival of £33m-a-year Neymar – the Parisians have taken possession of the biggest wage bill in Europe, ahead of Barcelona.
PSG have raised the bar, with the Brazilian taking home around £537,000-a-week. That works out at 88p per second. Nice work if you can get it.
2. Barcelona – £264m (Top earner: Lionel Messi, £500,000-per-week)
The giants of European football have a wage bill to match. However, the figures here have been calculated to reflect this summer’s loss of Neymar.
That said, nobody believes the Catalan club will not make a statement in the forthcoming transfer window and may soon retake top spot from their French rivals.
3. Manchester United – £264m (Top earner: Paul Pogba, £290,000-per-week)
United’s figures reflect the substantial backing given to Louis van Gaal and Jose Mourinho after the short-lived David Moyes era as the club continues to try and recapture the glory days of Sir Alex Ferguson.
Football is a complex game, and while injuries have impacted the side, it is hard to reconcile the at-times negative tactics of the current incumbent with this hefty wage bill.
4. Chelsea – £250m (Top earner: Eden Hazard, £200,000-per-week)
That said, the arrivals of the likes of Alvaro Morata and Tiermoue Bakayoko will not have come cheap.
5. Manchester City – £244m (Top earner: Sergio Aguero, £220,000-per-week)
The cost of supporting Pep Guardiola in the first part of his City project became clear earlier this month when the Premier League leaders announced their annual figures. Salaries at the Etihad Stadium rose by 25 per cent in the Catalan’s first year.
While that does not include the arrivals of the likes of Benjamin Mendy, Danilo and Kyle Walker, it should be noted that the departures of big earners such as Samir Nasri, Joe Hart, Fernando and Wilfried Bony, are also not included and so this should be a relatively accurate sum.
6. Real Madrid – £240m (Top earner: Cristiano Ronaldo, £365,000-per-week*)
These are testing times in the Spanish capital for Zinedine Zidane and Co. The departures of Alvaro Morata to Chelsea and Danilo to Manchester City, with no high-profile arrivals, has sent them down the pecking order.
And that is reflected in their struggles in La Liga. They are third and eight points behind rivals Barcelona.
7. Bayern – £235m (Top earner: Robert Lewandowski, £160,000-per-week)
A summer of astute but costly acquisitions puts the Bavarians next on the list. The loan arrival of James Rodriguez from Real was notable.
Adding the likes of Corentin Tolisso, from Lyon, and Kingsley Coman, from Juventus, add to the sense that there is a desire to improve Champions League performance, something underlined by the departure of Carlo Ancelotti.
8. Arsenal – £210m (Top earners: Mesut Ozil, Alexis Sanchez, £150,000-per-week)
Arsenal announced their figures at the end of September, with a wage bill of about £199m.
This will have risen slightly following this summer’s transfer business, with the addition of Alexandre Lacazette the highest-profile arrival, but their wage bill is still a long way short of clubs that the Gunners support see as key rivals.
9. Liverpool – £210m (Top earner: Philippe Coutinho, £200,000-per-week)
A sign of how quickly things can change in the crazy world of English football comes with Liverpool’s drop down the list. Last year, their wage bill was bigger than that of Manchester City.
However, a cautious period of activity has seen them be overtaken on the salary front and the departure of Philippe Coutinho, should it come to pass, will see costs drop again. Expect investment.
10. Juventus – £150m (Top earner: Gonzalo Higuain, £130,000-per-week)
Another sign of the incredible sums floating around the Premier League comes with the arrival of Juventus in tenth place.
The Italians dominate domestically and reached the Champions League final, but their wage bill is nowhere near that of some of England’s top clubs. Juve’s nearest rival? AC Milan on a distant £107m.