First-team players at Manchester United are earning on average half a million pounds a year more than Premier League champions and rivals Manchester City.
United players are also picking almost double what Tottenham are paying their first-team squad, says new data from the Global Sports Salaries Survey.
Meanwhile, Barcelona have become the first sports team to pay an average yearly salary of more than £10m.
Real Madrid, Juventus and Manchester United are also in the top 10 spenders.
The other six clubs in the top 10 all come from the NBA.
Clubs in the Premier League are paying, on average, more than top-flight football clubs in any other country per game, although cricket’s Indian Premier League and American football’s NFL top the spending on a per-game basis.
Premier League big spenders
Manchester City may have won the Premier League last season, but they come in behind Manchester United this term on wages with the Old Trafford club paying an average of £6,534,654 per year to first-team players.
City’s yearly bill comes in at £5,993,000, followed by Chelsea (£5,020,004), Liverpool (£4,862,963), Arsenal (£4,853,130) and Tottenham (£3,515,778).
Everton and West Ham follow closely behind Spurs, while Cardiff, Huddersfield and Burnley make up the bottom three – the Bluebirds are the only Premier League club to come in under £1m for the year.
That said, despite Burnley’s average annual first-team wage of £1,603,197 placing them third-bottom of the Premier League pile, the Clarets are still paying more than the likes of Ligue 1’s Monaco and Bundesliga side RB Leipzig.
“The two Manchester clubs, United and City, remain clear of the rest in basic pay terms according to our calculations,” say Sporting Intelligence, who conduct the survey.
“We thought last year that whichever of the pair achieved the most on the pitch would end up with the larger of the two overall wage bills (all staff) for 2017-18.
“In fact City won the league and had wages of £260m and United faltered but paid out £296m.”
City finished as champions ahead of United, but while Pep Guardiola’s side top the league again this campaign Jose Mourinho’s outfit have slipped to seventh.
Sporting Intelligence says this was largely down to United’s return to the Champions League, but do point out some of Manchester City’s wage bill appears under the City Football Group.