MADRID, Nov. 26 (Xinhua) -- FC Barcelona are the first sports team in history to pay the members of their first team and average wage of over 10 million pounds a year (1 pound =1.28 US dollars) according to the Global Sports Salary Survey, which was published on Monday.
The survey shows that Spanish club pays the members of its 23-man first team squad an average of 10.45 million pounds a year, before taking win bonuses into account.
The main reason for this is the latest contract signed by Lionel Messi, which gives him over 80 million pounds a year, but the arrival of players such as Arturo Vidal, Ousmane Dembele and Philippe Coutinho and new contracts awarded to Sergio Busquets, Samuel Umtiti and Sergi Roberto have seen Barcelona's total wage bill increase by around a third since the 2017-18 campaign.
Barcelona's bitter rivals, Real Madrid are second in the Global Sports Salary Survey with average first team wages of 8.1 million pounds a year, although the sale of Cristiano Ronaldo to Juventus has helped keep Madrid's wage bill below Barcelona's. Both Barcelona and Madrid pay well above the Spanish La Liga average of 2.2 million pounds a year.
Ronaldo's arrival at Juventus has seen the Italian champions move into ninth place in the top-10 of big payers, one place ahead of Manchester United, who have average wages of 6.53 million pounds a year, considerably higher than the average wage of 2.99 million pounds for a Premier League footballer.
The places from third to eighth in the list are filled by American NBA sides, with the Oakland Thunder in third place with average wages of 7.85 million pounds a year and the Golden State Warriors paying 7.82 million in fourth.