Manchester, UK. 2nd Oct, 2022. Kevin De Bruyne of Manchester City (R) is challenged by Christian Eriksen of Manchester United during the Premier League match at the Etihad Stadium, Manchester.

Ranking every Premier League club by their wage bill: Man Utd clear…

Manchester United spend more on wages than Arsenal and Tottenham combined, according to industry estimates.

The Red Devils have struggled to challenge for the title in recent years, but they’re by a considerable margin the Premier League’s biggest spenders on player wages. They spend roughly 30% more on wages than their local rivals Manchester City, who have won four of the last five league titles.

As well as assembling one of the most expensive squads in Europe in terms of net spend transfer fees, United are also spending considerably more than many clubs that have outperformed them.

Liverpool, for example, are said to spend roughly £80million less annually on wages than their historic rivals, but lifted every trophy going during a period in which United failed to win any silverware – though their barren run ended earlier this season with the League Cup.

“I can’t believe the investment that’s been put into the squad in the last five, six, seven years and you end up with that out on the pitch,” former Manchester United right-back Gary Neville said on the Gary Neville Podcast, back in January 2020.

“I saw a statistic two weeks ago that United have the second-highest wage bill in the world. And that’s the squad they’ve got. It’s unforgivable. It really is.

“I can’t change the ownership of Manchester United, no one can. But I’m struggling to understand why the ownership have persisted in trusting that management team to oversee the building of a Premier League title-winning team since Sir Alex Ferguson left because if you don’t lose your job for essentially overseeing that investment, that wage bill, and putting that team out on the pitch then I have to say something is really wrong.

“There’s real talent in that executive team, they can create revenue, they can do things with in the football club that can help to be fair, but in terms of what the club needed to do for a number of years now is put the best in class football operators into that club and they’re not doing it. They’re not doing it and it’s a mess.”

Two and a half years later, things haven’t changed a great deal even after the departure of Cristiano Ronaldo, although United now have the fifth-highest wage bill in Europe.

Ed Woodward has left his post and efforts are being made behind the scenes to build Erik ten Hag a squad capable of challenging City at the top of the table, but the progress hasn’t been especially quick.

Last season the club finished sixth, registering their lowest points tally of the Premier League era, and things are only looking marginally better this season.

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Kevin de Bruyne points during the Premier League game between Manchester City and Crystal Palace at Etihad Stadium, Manchester, August 2022.

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Chelsea have the second-highest wages in the Premier League, followed by City, followed by Liverpool, with Tottenham and Arsenal – who each pay out less than half on wages than United – in fifth and sixth respectively.

Newly-minted Newcastle only have the Premier League’s 10th highest wage bill, although you’d expect them to rise up this list in the coming years, and currently behind Leicester, Aston Villa and West Ham.

Elsewhere, it’s interesting to consider that Brighton (18th), Leeds (19th) and Brentford (20th) spend less on wages than newly-promoted trio Fulham (14th), Bournemouth (16th) and Nottingham Forest (17th).

Here’s the full rundown of how much each Premier League club pays in wages – via FBref, with estimates courtesy of Capology.

1. Manchester United – £222,984,000
2. Chelsea – £169,720,000
3. Manchester City – £163,060,000
4. Liverpool – £141,782,000
5. Tottenham – £101,344,000
6. Arsenal – £85,490,000
7. Leicester City – 78,780,000
8. Aston Villa – £75,232,000
9. West Ham – £70,160,000
10. Newcastle United – £62,610,000
11. Crystal Palace – £59,180,000
12. Everton – £43,120,000
13. Wolves – £38,310,000
14. Fulham – £37,610,000
15. Southampton – £35,380,000
16. Bournemouth – £32,044,000
17. Nottingham Forest – £28,590,000
18. Brighton – £28,340,000
19. Leeds United – £17,300,000
20. Brentford – £15,240,000

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