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Premier League clubs ranked by highest average salaries

Manchester United v Newcastle United - Premier League

MANCHESTER, ENGLAND - OCTOBER 06: Anthony Martial of Manchester United celebrates after his team’s third goal during the Premier League match between Manchester United and Newcastle United at Old Trafford on October 6, 2018 in Manchester, United Kingdom. (Photo by Clive Brunskill/Getty Images)

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When it comes to who has the biggest wage bill in the Premier League, you may be a little surprised to see where some of the teams stack up.

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As part of Sporting Intel’s Global Sports Salaries Survey, a list of the average annual wage each PL club pays it players has been released.

Unlike Major League Soccer and other sports leagues in the U.S., salary information for clubs in the UK and across Europe are generally kept secret and not released. So, this list below is an estimate from Sporting Intel on what information they’ve been able to acquire.

Manchester United pay the highest average salary on annual basis, with Man City in second, and the two Manchester giants are way ahead of Chelsea in third, Liverpool in fourth and Arsenal in fifth. There is then huge drop (almost $2 million) to Tottenham, Everton and West Ham. That underlines the fantastic job Spurs are doing in consistently finishing in the top four, while the Hammers have underachieved but have to pay players a premium for living in London.

Some of the biggest surprises include Brighton, Burnley, Huddersfield and Wolves punching well above their weight, while the likes of Southampton and Crystal Palace are paying big bucks but not getting a lot in return as both clubs struggle at the wrong end of the PL table. Cardiff and Huddersfield are cut adrift at the bottom in terms of the average annual salary, with a significant drop of nearly $1 million after 11th placed Southampton to 12th placed Bournemouth.

In terms of the global sports scene, United pay the 10th highest average wage of any club on the planet as they rose from 23rd last year, Man City are up to 20th from 24th and Arsenal are up to 39th from 48th.

Tottenham, West Ham and Leicester have all remained at around the same spot globally, while Southampton have jumped a huge 27 places in the global rankings and are the biggest climbers in terms of average salary in the PL with only Bournemouth (up 24 places) close to them when it comes to a year-on-year increase.

Take a look at the list in full below.