The professional sportsmen across the world will envy the Barcelona team members for the facts revealed in the Global Sports Salary Survey 2018.
The survey report by Sporting Intelligence has confirmed are paying an average salary of $13.4 million to its first team members. This makes the Spanish LaLiga giants the highest paying sports team ever in the world.
The data published by Sporting Intelligence in their annual General Sports Salary Survey shows the Spanish La Liga champions atop the list with an average salary of US$13,398,857.
The survey analysed 349 professional teams from eight sports in 18 leagues across 13 countries.
This is also the first time in the nine-year history of the General Sports Salary Survey that a team has breached the $10 million average salary mark. LaLiga rivals Barcelona are paying $ 10.38 million average salary. The numbers include players’ bonuses and signing-on fees, puts them ahead of rivals Real Madrid, who pay US$10.38 million per player on average.
Lionel Messi’s $111 million pay package has put Barcelona ahead of the NBA in average salaries. Despite the spiralling costs, the club is in rude financial health as they recently declared that they were the first in any sport to generate more than US$1 billion in annual revenue.
According to the report, “Average basic pay in the Premier League is 36 per cent higher than next-best La Liga and pretty much double the pay in Italy and
Germany’s top divisions.”
The club’s chief executive Oscar Grau had told the South China Morning Post recently that he expects that figure to rise. In conversation with the Chinese daily, Grau had also revealed that Barcelona were also open to play some of their LaLiga games in China.
“In our strategic plan, we want to reach one billion euros. We are very close. This year we presented to the assembly €960 million ($1,087.8 million), just 40 away. I think in the next year we are going to surpass this amount.”
The giant revenue for the 2017-18 fiscal year was thanks in part to their expansion into the Asia market. “If we separate our revenue by continents, Asia is the first and we try to increase,” Grau said.
Italian side Juventus, who signed Real Madrid’s previous highest earner Cristiano Ronaldo during the summer, are one of two other football clubs in the NBA-dominated top 10 at ninth spot with Manchester United, the only English Premier League representative in 10th.
NBA averages average basic salary of £ 5.9 million ($7.8 million).
The NFL as the most attended league for per match average attendance of 67,405 (total 17,255,759) has an average salary of $2.9 million, almost 5 million lower than the NBA. In terms of the average per match attendance, LaLiga is placed 7th (average – 26,987; total 10,209,924) and NBA 15th (average – 17-987; total – 22,124,559). Bundesliga with average per game attendance of 44,646 (total – 13,661,796) is the second most watched sports league, followed by the English Premier League (average – 38,297; total – 14,552,748).
“Brexit might present an opportunity for English clubs, or at the very least be a push factor for change,” states the report.
Last year’s highest paying sports team, the Oklahoma City Thunder, are third for 2018 despite their average wage increasing from US$9.3 million to pass the US$10 million mark. NBA champions Golden State Warriors and the Washington Wizards have also surpassed that figure – all three franchises doing so for the first time in US sport.
The Chinese Super League has an average pay of US$1,025,451, putting it well outside of football’s top 10, which is led by the English Premier League. England’s top flight is fourth on the list of the best paying sports leagues after the top paying NBA, Indian Premier League cricket and MLB.
Despite the outlay of Barcelona and Real Madrid, Spain’s LaLiga is only the seventh best paying sports league behind the NHL and NFL.