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Manchester United have biggest wage bill in world football - report

Manchester United have the highest wages in world football according to a global sports salary survey, produced annually by the Sporting Intelligence website.

United's first-team squad earn £5.77 million-a-year basic salary on average, which is £110,961-per-week. That is reportedly more than double the average basic first-team pay in England's top division, which is £2,438,275-a-year or £48,766-a-week.

The club are the fourth highest paid in world sport, behind Cleveland Cavaliers of the NBA (£6.54m average), New York Yankees of the MLB (£5.81m) and LA Clippers of the NBA (£5.78m). The next highest football clubs on the list of world sports teams are fifth-placed Barcelona (£5.64m) and ninth-placed Manchester City (£5.42m).

In the Premier League, the two Manchester clubs were followed on the list of big spenders by Chelsea (£4.51m), Arsenal (£3.71m), Liverpool (£3.01m) and Tottenham Hotspur (£2.68m).

The lowest wages in the Premier League were at Burnley (£0.95m), Bournemouth (£1.1m), Hull City (£1.22m) and Middlesbrough (£1.22m). They were still higher than the average wages for Scottish champions Celtic (£0.71m).

Paul Pogba and Zlatan Ibrahimovic are two of Manchester United's highest earners.

The findings showed that United have three players in the top 10 of best-paid players in world football. Paul Pogba was fifth (£15.1m per year or £290,000 per week), Wayne Rooney was eighth (£13.5m per year or £260,000 per week) and Zlatan Ibrahimovic was 10th (£13m per year or £250,000 per week).

No other Premier League players were in the top 10 of that list, which included four from La Liga and three from China. The best-paid players were jointly Real Madrid's Cristiano Ronaldo and Barcelona's Lionel Messi, who brought in £18.98m per year or £365,000 per week.

The Premier League, though, pays more than double the average salary of their nearest competitors La Liga (£1,239,295) and Serie A (£1,105,633).

Premier League average pay has multiplied by almost 32 times in 25 seasons, from about £77,000 in 1992-93. United's first-team salaries have risen from about £140,000 per year in the first Premier League year to more than 40 times that amount.

Arindam is ESPN FC's Manchester United correspondent. Follow him on Twitter @ARejSport.

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