Manchester United pays the highest wages

What recession? Premier League footballers net £1.7bn as wages rise 4%

The UK's top footballers earned a combined £1.66bn last year - and wages could soar again after a new TV deal kicks in this summer.

by Elizabeth Anderson
Last Updated: 12 Jul 2013

The majority of UK workers are trapped in a ‘vicious spiral’ of falling real wages, the International Labour Organisation warned earlier this week. But it’s a different story if you’re a Premier League football player.

Wage bills at the Premier League's 20 clubs hit £1.66bn over the 2011/12 season – up 4% on the year before, estimates Deloitte’s Sports Business Unit.

The accountancy firm’s annual football finance report estimates that total player wages across English football have doubled in the last six years. The average annual gross salary of a Premier League player is now £1.6m, or £30,000 a week.

Manchester City was the best-paying club in 2011/12, with wages of £202m, while Swansea City was the lowest, handing its players £35 million.

Premier League players could be in line for another windfall this year. They are expected to get a £480m wage boost as a result of the new television deal that will come in this summer.

From August, clubs in the Premier League will receive an extra £25m on average each year from new TV contracts with BT. Deloitte estimates that up to 80% of the total £600m that clubs will receive after the deal will go into the pockets of players.

But if you’re not in the Premier League, life as a footballer can be pretty grim. Some 150 ex-players are currently in prison after their careers fell apart. And after the last season finished, 700 football professionals have now found themselves out of a job, according to the Daily Star.

Overall revenue at the top 20 clubs rose by 4% to almost £2.4bn following another impressive year of commercial growth. That compares to £1.58bn in Germany, £1.4bn in Spain and £1.3bn in Italy.

- Read MT’s recent interview with Premier League boss Richard Scudamore here.

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