Comparing every Premier League club’s wage bill to its league position

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Manchester United's Cristiano Ronaldo during the Premier League match at Carrow Road, Norwich. 11 December 2021.

The Premier League is one of the best leagues in the world and that means millions of people around the world want to watch it, making it one of the richest too.

Teams then spend big money on wages to tempt the best players to come and play for them which in turn increases the popularity of the league and the cycle continues.

It means that the wage bills of Premier League clubs are often millions of pounds more than their foreign comparisons, with the wages of the ‘big six’ especially eye-watering.

Discussion on footballers’ wages seems to be a regular occurrence, with their being much discontent about the amount of money some of the top footballers earn being almost inconceivable yet annually the wages continue to rise with seemingly no ceiling as new, bigger, and better players flock to the Premier League.

This year saw one of the, if not the, world’s most notable football players return to England when Cristiano Ronaldo re-signed for Manchester United while Romelu Lukaku also made the same journey from Serie A to the Premier League.

Manchester United have long topped the wage bill and have one of the biggest payrolls in world football, but have struggled to perform in recent years while other clubs have spent less money on wages but got better results.

But how did these moves affect the wage bills of the Premier League clubs? And are those spending the most money currently competing at the level their wages suggest they should?

We’ve taken a look at the wages of all the Premier League clubs and compared their position on the list to their current position in the league to find out.

Note: the figures come via from sports finance outlet Spotrac and league positions are correct as of December 18, 2021.

1. Manchester United
League Position: 6th
Total wage bill: £227million

2. Chelsea
League Position: 3rd
Total wage bill: £162million

3. Manchester City
League Position: 1st
Total wage bill: £143million

READ: Ranking the 20 Premier League clubs by their net spend in 2021: Arsenal first

4. Liverpool
League Position: 2nd
Total wage bill: £139million

5. Arsenal
League Position: 4th
Total wage bill: £99million

6. Spurs
League Position: 7th
Total wage bill: £78million

7. Everton
League Position: 14th
Total wage bill: £70million

8. West Ham
League Position: 5th
Total wage bill: £59million

9. Leicester City
League Position: 9th
Total wage bill: £54million

10. Crystal Palace
League Position: 11th
Total wage bill: £51million

11. Aston Villa
League Position: 10th
Total wage bill: £51million

12. Newcastle United
League Position: 19th
Total wage bill: £46million

13. Wolves
League Position: 8th
Total wage bill: £45million

14. Southampton
League Position: 15th
Total wage bill: £43million

15. Brighton
League Position: 13th
Total wage bill: £37million

16. Burnley
League Position: 18th
Total wage bill: £33million

17. Watford
League position: 17th
Total wage bill: £30million

Arsenal Youngest Premier League Squad

READ: Ranking the 20 Premier League clubs by average age of their squads

18. Norwich
League position: 20th
Total wage bill: £24million

19. Leeds
League position: 16th
Total wage bill: £17million

20. Brentford
League position: 12th
Total wage bill: £12million

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