Manchester United pay the highest wages in world football, according to the latest edition of the Global Sports Salaries Survey.
Average basic first-team pay at the Premier League club has been calculated at 5.77 million pounds ($7.27 million) per year or 110,962 pounds per week.
United are ranked fourth in the overall sporting pay league behind the NBA’s Cleveland Cavaliers, which pays an average annual salary of $8.7 million, baseball’s New York Yankees ($7.68 million) and another NBA team, the LA Clippers ($7.65 million).
The survey is based on the reported pay of almost 10,000 sportsmen at 333 teams in seven sports and is published on the sportingintelligence.com website.
Barcelona are the second highest football payers with an average annual salary of 5.65 million pounds, followed by Manchester City (5.4 million pounds).
Last year United were ranked below City, but United’s 145 million pound close-season transfer splurge, which saw the arrival of the world’s most expensive footballer Paul Pogba and Zlatan Ibrahimovic, has inflated their wage bill.
The two Manchester clubs are the only Premier League teams in the overall sporting top 30, with Chelsea (34), Arsenal (47) and Liverpool (60) lagging well behind American sports teams, reflecting the pound’s fall against the dollar, following Britain’s vote to leave the European Union.
The Premier League remains the most lucrative global football league, with an average first-team pay of 48,766 pounds per week. That represents a 32-fold increase on the annual figure of 77,000 pounds for 1992-93 when the league began.
Further increases are expected after the Premier League agreed domestic and global television deals worth around 8 billion pounds for 2016-19.
Elsewhere in Europe, Bayern Munich are German football’s best payers, with Juventus topping the league in Italy. But China has emerged as a financial force with the survey saying that five of the 14 best paid players in the world are contracted there.
Ronaldo remains the world’s best paid footballer on the equivalent of 365,000 pounds per week, the survey said.
Television is also having a huge impact on the salaries for NBA stars, with the league negotiating a nine-year $24 billion deal in 2014.
The NBA contains six of the world’s top 10 richest teams and 14 of the top 20.
The survey covers 17 leagues in football, baseball, basketball, NFL, cricket, ice hockey and Australian Rules football.