An indication of the level of spending which a relaxation of Uefa’s Financial Fair Play (FFP) rules may bring has been laid bare in a study which reveals Paris Saint Germain pay their first team players an average of £5.3m, or £101,898 a week, whilst operating within the governing body’s restrictions.
The Qatar-owned French side were the best paid team in global sport at the start of the season, according to the Sporting Intelligence Global Sports Salaries Survey (GSSS), soaring above both Manchester City, who have been knocked off top spot - and Real Madrid. The stratospheric spending saw Uefa judge PSG to have violated FFP rules to the same degree as Manchester City, hitting them both with fines, reduced squad sizes and orders to not to exceed their 2013/14 wage bill. They will be less fettered if, as expected, Uefa relaxes FFP regime, allowing clubs to exceed the imposed limits if they can demonstrate where the extra transfer market spending is coming from.
City are thought to have been a bigger mover than PSG in securing the more relaxed regime. But a loosening of the rules will allow PSG to continue spending which is extraordinary, considering the relatively poor TV deal for France’s Le Ligue and a commercial operation and global fan base which is so much smaller than that of the Real Madrid, Barcelona and Manchester United. The wages, taken with the £300m in transfer fees to assemble the squad, are financed by sponsorship deals such as the £167m contract with the Qatar Tourism Authority which was deemed by Uefa’s independent investigation panel to have had an unfair value. The French club have recently said that Juventus’ Paul Pogba is too expensive for them.
City have fallen from the Number 1 spot to Number 3, just behind Real Madrid. The average City wage is still over £5m per man per year. The club said when FFP was being implemented that the “accelerated spending” phase of Abu Dhabi ownership is complete, though the more liberal regime will also reveal whether they really intend to decelerate. Manchester United’s spending on wages has risen to just short of $4.7m a year, taking them from eighth to sixth in the table.
Liverpool’s wage bill is also rising, the GSSS reveals – and now stand at an average of £3.5m per year. That takes them from 20 to 14 in the table and makes them the second highest risers in the top 15, behind PSG. Yet despite that outlay, Brendan Rodgers’ squad is still only the fifth best paid in the Premier League. That fact only goes to show how aggrieved owners Fenway Sports Group will be about the anticipated relaxation of FFP.
PSG have not been listed in the table before, as the French Ligue was not included, but the size of their investment has demanded a consideration of their spend. If they had been considered for inclusion in previous years, they would have been 12 last year and around 70 place the year before.
Chelsea are at Number 8 and Arsenal at Number 10. The top 20 also includes six teams from Major League Baseball, with the Dodgers joined by the New York Yankees, Detroit Tigers, San Francisco Giants, Washington Nationals and Boston Red Sox.
There are five NBA basketball teams in the top 20. The Brooklyn Nets are the best paid among them at Number 11 and they are joined by the New York Knicks, the LA Clippers, the Sacramento Kings and the Denver Nuggets. The other four top-20 teams come from La Liga (Real and Barca), Ligue 1 (PSG) and the Bundesliga (Bayern Munich, at Number 7).
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