New survey by Sportingintelligence says average first team pay has been calculated at $8.9m per year
Abu Dhabi-owned Manchester City are the best paid team in global sport, according to Sportingintelligence’s Global Sports Salaries Surveyfor 2014.
The average first-team pay at City has been calculated at £5.3m ($8.9m) per year, or £102,653 per week in the period under review.
The New York Yankees and LA Dodgers of Major League baseball were ranked second and third with Spanish football giants Real Madrid and Barcelona filling the top five.
Five Premier League sides made the top 20 on the list, with Liverpool in 20th place, earning an average of £3.4m per man per year.
Manchester United were ranked eighth on £4.3m per man per year, while Champions League semi-finalists Chelsea were 10th (nearly £4m) and Arsenal were ranked 11th (£3.9m).
The top 10 also included the Brooklyn Nets of the NBA, Bayern Munich, and the Chicago Bulls of the NBA.
Abu Dhabi's Sheikh Mansour and Russian Roman Abramovich are billionaires who have transformed City and Chelsea but England is not the only country where sugar-daddy owners are transforming teams.
The Brooklyn Nets were bought in 2010 by one of Abramovich’s fellow Russian billionaires, Mikhail Prokhorov.
Manchester City are one of 76 clubs being investigated by Uefa over a possible breach of its Financial Fair Play rules. A decision is expected in the coming days.
The survey looked solely at earnings for playing sport, not for endorsements or other extra-curricular activities.
The 2014 report considered 294 teams in 15 leagues in 12 countries across seven different sports - football, baseball, basketball, gridiron, cricket, ice hockey and Aussie Rules football.
The NBA was named the highest-paying league as a whole, with 441 players at 30 teams in the 2013-14 season earning an average of £2.98m per year each. The Premier League was the best paying football league in the world, with the average annual pay at £2.27m per player.
The eye-watering sums on offer in elite European football and in the major sports leagues of America effectively mean that a single five-year deal should provide enough money to set up a player for life.