Barcelona, Real Madrid Top the List of World’s Best-Paid Sports Teams.
BARCELONA has retained its position as the world’s best-paid professional sports team while National Basketball Association (NBA) sides took seven out of the top 10 places this year, a study by research body Sporting Intelligence revealed.
Data from the annual Global Sports Salary Survey shows the average basic pay at the Spanish giant this season is 9.8 million pounds ($12.75 million), dipping slightly from last year’s 10.5 million pounds.
Barcelona holding onto top spot is largely down to Argentina forward Lionel Messi’s gross basic annual pay of more than 50 million pounds including guaranteed image rights fees.
Real Madrid is second on the list with an average basic pay of around 8.9 million pounds while Serie A champion Juventus — who signed Messi’s great rival Cristiano Ronaldo in 2018 — is in third place.
English soccer champion Manchester City is 13th at 6.9 million pounds — below France’s Paris St. Germain in 12th (7.1 million pounds) — but ahead of local rivals Manchester United who are 33rd (6.1 million pounds).
The average annual salary of a Premier League player climbed over 3 million pounds for the first time — a rise of 6.1% from last year — making the competition the highest-paying soccer league, while the NBA was first overall.
Major League Baseball teams experienced mixed fortunes on the list.
The New York Yankees, who last week signed pitcher Gerrit Cole to a nine-year deal worth a reported $324 million, are 32nd while the Toronto Blue Jays, Baltimore Orioles, Kansas City Royals, and Arizona Diamondbacks were among the biggest fallers.
The biggest risers in the latest survey were the NFL’s Buffalo Bills, who climbed 60 places from No. 152 to No. 92, and the Atlanta Falcons, up 59 spots from No. 123 to No. 64.
Four of the five biggest falls were recorded by Major League Baseball teams, including the Toronto Blue Jays, who are down 123 places to No. 172. The New York Yankees were the top-ranked team in the inaugural survey in 2012.