The 50 highest annual wage bills in Europe’s Big 5 leagues: Man Utd 5th…

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Manchester United's Cristiano Ronaldo looks on during their Premier League victory against Leicester City at King Power Stadium, Leicester, September 2022.

Football is the most popular sport in the world and Europe is home to most of the world’s biggest – and richest – clubs. But who is paying the most in player wages in Europe’s top five leagues?

Often known as the ‘Big five’, the top divisions in England, France, Germany, Italy and Spain are widely regarded as the most prestigious in world football.

And clubs from these nations normally dominate the Champions League and Europa League knockout rounds, creating a cycle where their efforts are rewarded financially and increases the gulf between teams in other countries.

But there’s one country that populates a list of the highest annual wage bills than any others – England. The Premier League is full of clubs that, due to lucrative television deals, can pay astronomical fees for players.

Even so, it’s still surprising to see that Aston Villa pay more on wages than Roma, West Ham spending more than AC Milan and Crystal Palace shelling out bigger sums than Napoli, Lazio and Valencia.

Towards the top of the list, PSG are miles out in front of everybody else – the wages of Kylian Mbappe, Lionel Messi and Neymar alone are worth more than many clubs – while Barcelona and Real Madrid also stand on the podium.

Manchester United are England’s highest-placed club, with their £233million wage bill ranking as the fifth highest in Europe’s top five leagues.

But what other surprises does the list contain? Take a look below for the full top 50 rankings. Note: all figures are in GBP. 

1. PSG – £351.3million
2. Barcelona – £300.1million
3. Real Madrid – £241.3million
4. Bayern Munich – £230.2million
5. Manchester United – £223million
6. Chelsea – £164.4million
7. Manchester City – £163.1million
8. Atletico Madrid – £148.4million
9. Liverpool – £141.8million
10. Juventus – £136.7million

11. Internazionale – £108.6million
12. Tottenham – £101.3million
13. Villarreal – £85.6million
14. Arsenal – £85.5million
15. Borussia Dortmund – £81.4million
16. Sevilla – £81.1million
17. RB Leipzig – £77million
18. Aston Villa – £75.2million
19. Roma – £73.2million
20. West Ham United – £70.2million
21. AC Milan – £67.6million
22. Leicester City – £65.6million
23. Newcastle United – £62.6million
24. Athletic Bilbao – £62.2million
25. Crystal Palace – £59.2million

26. Napoli – £58.5million
27. Lazio – £51million
28. Marseille – £50.4million
29. Everton – £46.8million
30. Valencia – £45.5million
31. Fiorentina – £42.6million
32. Real Betis – £39.9million
33. Bayer Leverkusen – £39.6million
34. Monaco – £38.2million
35. Fulham – £37.6million
36. Wolfsburg – £36.9million
37. Wolves – £35.7million
38. Southampton – £35.4million
39. Borussia Monchengladbach – £35.3million
40. Lyon – £35.2million
41. Hertha Berlin – £32.5million
42. Hoffenheim – £31.9million
43. Real Sociedad – £30.9million
44. Monza – £30.5million
45. Bournemouth – £29.1million

46. Schalke – £29.1million
47. Atalanta – £28.9million
48. Nottingham Forest – £28.6million
49. Brighton – £28.3million
50. Torino – £24.3million

*Figures taken from FBref.


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