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Page last updated at 17:44 GMT, Sunday, 28 March 2010 18:44 UK

Premier League loses out in the global sports pay race

David Beckham
Beckham earned 4m from LA Galaxy alone in 2009

Wages paid in the Premier League might be eye-popping but footballers in England do not rank at the top of the list of world sport's best-paid stars.

A new survey has revealed baseball's New York Yankees paid their first-team players on average of £90,000 a week.

Real Madrid and Barcelona are the next best payers but Chelsea in fourth were the only English team in the top 10, handing out on average £68,000 a week.

Manchester United only rated 14th on the list.

Chelsea and United were the only two Premier League teams in the top 30, although the English football figures came from the 2007-08 season, before Manchester City's spending reached its peak. Figures from 2009 were used in other sports.

First-team players at Old Trafford earned an average of £55,816 a week, while Arsenal, who rank at 31, paid £50,289, while Liverpool, 33rd on the list, paid £48,662.

Overall, the Premier League ranked as the richest football league in the world, but only fourth in all sports, with American basketball's NBA, cricket's Indian Premier League and Major League Baseball all paying more on a weekly basis.


Six of the top 10 teams play in American basketball's NBA, with the Dallas Mavericks paying the most, £68,343 on average.

The IPL ranked highly partly because their season is so short, with England's Kevin Pietersen handed the most lucrative contract in 2009, with researchers estimating his deal was worth £1m for a maximum six weeks' work.

Greater transparency in the US meant the researchers could discover that David Beckham earned £4.36m from LA Galaxy alone last year, although that pales in comparison to the £13.5m the Yankees paid Alex Rodriguez.

The data came from players' unions and officially published club accounts and does not include endorsements.

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