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Fri 22 May 2015 02:17 AM

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Qatar's PSG named the best paid team in world sport

New Global Sports Salaries Survey reveals average $8.3m salary for players; Abu Dhabi's Man City are third in global list

Qatar's PSG named the best paid team in world sport
(Getty Images)

Qatar-owned Paris Saint-Germain are the best paid team in world sport according to Sportingintelligence’s new Global Sports Salaries Survey (GSSS) for 2015.

The average first-team pay at the French football club has been calculated at £5.3 million ($8.3 million) per year, or £101,898 ($159,797) per week in the period under review.

PSG have just completed a hat-trick of league titles in France’s top division, adding the 2014-15 crown to those won in 2013-14 and 2012-13 on the back of a takeover by the oil-funded Qatar Sports Investments (QSI) in 2011.

Real Madrid of La Liga rose from No 4 last year to No 2 this year, paying £5.04 million per man per year on average, with Abu Dhabi-owned Manchester City falling from the No 1 spot to No 3, fractionally behind Real but still just above £5 million per man per year.

Barcelona climbed one place to No4 and the LA Dodgers of Major League Baseball fill the last spot in the top five.

Out of the GSSS 2015 top 12, eight are football teams, including the top four, while three come from baseball and one from basketball.

Four of the 12 top payers are based in the US and four in England, with two in Spain and one each in France and Germany.

Five Premier League sides make the top 20, with City at No 3 followed by Manchester United at No 6, Chelsea at No 8, Arsenal at No 10 and Liverpool at No 14.

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 No 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 No 7).

Many of the best-paying teams have super-rich owners with multiple interests in sport but all of these mega-wealthy people look like financial small fry against the Gulf-based owners of PSG and Manchester City.

Qatar’s sovereign wealth fund, which draws from the same resources that fund PSG’s owners QSI, has an estimated $304 billion under investment. The sovereign wealth fund of Abu Dhabi, which includes City’s owner Sheikh Mansour on its board of directors, has assets estimated at $773 billion.

As well as having Qatari owners, PSG’s shirt sponsor is a Dubai airline, Emirates, which also sponsors Real Madrid and Arsenal.

Another of Real Madrid’s major sponsors is Abu Dhabi’s International Petroleum Investment company (IPIC), where Sheikh Mansour is chairman of the board.

The New York Yankees are now part of a commercial partnership with Mansour through their joint ownership of an MLS team, New York City FC.

The GSSS looks solely at earnings for playing sport, not for endorsements or other extra-curricular activities.

The 2015 report considers 333 teams in 17 leagues across 13 countries in seven sports - football, baseball, basketball, gridiron, cricket, ice hockey and Australian Rules football.

The NBA is the highest-paying league as a whole, with 448 players at 30 teams in the 2014-15 season earning an average of £2.67 million per year each, or $4.58 million each on average.

The Premier League is the best paying football league in the world, with average annual pay at £2.23 million per player.

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