Yesterday, a sports survey measured whom the highest paying teams on the planet were based upon 7 pro sports, in 15 leagues, encompassing 294 total franchises. The winner is...Manchester City of the Premier League. Their average annual salary exceeds $8 million. No. 2 (and the highest paying American squad) was the New York Yankees (no shock), they're the only other team on earth who pay $8+ million on average. Coming in 294th was the Shanghai Dongya (roughly $42,000 per player) a soccer team in the Chinese Football League. Last in the U.S. was the Columbus Crew of the MLS, averaging a little over $93,000.
In addition, the highest-paying league on the globe is the NBA. The combination of an 82-game season, along with small roster sizes, allows the league to pay exorbitant salaries, even to middling talent. New owner Mikhail Prokhorov has brought the Brooklyn Nets to No. 1 in the league at $6.8 million per player. To anyone wondering the Heat are fourth, behind the Knicks (*cough* Amar'e *cough*).
The survey also squashes any myth there may be that the NFL is the highest paying league. Sure they dominate when it comes to ratings and national coverage, but 16 games per year is the only real limit on their earning power. For perspective, the NFL's highest payer ranks below all 30 NBA organizations. The top paying NFL squad last season was the Minnesota Vikings who paid slightly more than the World Champion Seattle Seahawks. Minnesota finished last in the NFC North. Over a five-year span the highest paying was the Dallas Cowboys. They've won only one playoff game in that time-frame.
Of course, this isn't intended to dispel the notion that money buys championships (many league champs are amongst the top of the chart). It's just meant to highlight that it isn't a guarantee. Be cautious and tread carefully next time your team makes that big free agent splash.
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