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Apr 25, 2011

Barca, Real world sport's biggest payers

Barcelona and Real Madrid top an ESPN list of the world's highest-paying sporting teams, with three other football clubs featuring in the top ten.

• Man United top Forbes rich list
• How much is too much for players' wages?

A global salary survey published in ESPN The Magazine, which was conducted by Sporting Intelligence, revealed which clubs or franchises paid the most on a per-player basis in their most recently completed seasons, with the two Spanish giants coming in first and second ahead of last year's top payers, the New York Yankees.

Chelsea came in sixth behind basketball's Los Angeles Lakers and Orlando Magic, followed by Inter Milan in seventh. Manchester City were placed tenth behind baseball's Boston Red Sox and another NBA franchise, the Denver Nuggets.

Bayern Munich (12th), AC Milan (14th), Manchester United (16th), Liverpool (20th) and Arsenal (22) were the other football sides in the top 25, which was otherwise made up by more representatives from the NBA and MLB.

The survey encompassed 272 teams in 14 professional leagues, covering seven sports, spanning 10 countries, comprising 7,802 athletes making a combined US$15.2 billion per year.

Barcelona shelled out an average of $7,910,737 per player while Real forked over $7,356,632 for each of their stars. In terms of overall wage spend, the football clubs would rank even higher against their NBA cousins due to the smaller rosters required in basketball.

The stars of football, baseball and basketball rake in the vast majority of the overall spend, with only cricket's IPL the only other sport to register in the top 50.

The top 200 list can be found here.

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