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Manchester City's wage bill biggest in sport

ESPN staff
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Manchester City have been revealed as the best-paid team in world sport in a survey conducted by Sporting Intelligence and ESPN the Magazine.

City's first-team players earn on average $8.1 million (£5.3m) per year, putting them just ahead of two baseball teams, the New York Yankees and the Los Angeles Dodgers.

City's overall team payroll, of $202m, is the third highest, behind the Yankees and the Dodgers, who spent $241m on salaries, but the 2012 Premier League champions' average income is the highest.

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It represents a 256% increase in salaries over the last five years at the Etihad Stadium, although the mean wage for a first-team player only rose 0.6% in the 2012-13 season.

Their biggest earners that year, when they were runners-up in the Premier League and the FA Cup and failed to get out of the Champions League group stages, included Carlos Tevez, Sergio Aguero, Mario Balotelli, David Silva and Yaya Toure.

The survey comes at a time when City's finances are under scrutiny amid reports they will fail UEFA's financial fair play (FFP) regulations, although the club are confident they will pass the test.

After City, the football clubs with the highest average salaries are Real Madrid and Barcelona, where players' incomes of $7.58m and $7.44m respectively put them fourth and fifth in the sporting world, while Bayern Munich are seventh.

Manchester United are the second Premier League club to feature on the list. They stood eighth after the average wage went up to $6.56m per year when they acquired Robin van Persie.

However, Chelsea dropped two places to 10th on the list after a 3% reduction in the average wage to $6.05m.

Arsenal, at $5.92m per player, were ranked 11th while the current league leaders Liverpool, at $5.17m, were only 20th.

Wigan, who won the FA Cup and were relegated last season, had the lowest average payroll of any Premier League club in 2012-13, with wages of $1.75m per player putting them 166th in the table.

The survey took into account 294 teams in seven sports, across 15 leagues and 12 countries, and covered 8,663 sportsmen who earned a total of $16.15 billion between them.

All figures for English, Spanish, Italian and German football clubs relate to the 2012-13 season.

© ESPN Sports Media Ltd

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