Premier League average weekly wage passes £50,000, says new study
The average weekly wage for a Premier League player has risen above £50,000 for the first time, says a new study.
Sportingintelligence's Global Sports Salaries Survey says the average annual wage in England's top flight is £2,642,508 - or £50,817 per week.
The annual survey also says NBA side Oklahoma City Thunder has become the highest-paid sports team in history.
And it looks at earnings in women's professional sport for the first time, finding an "enormous" gender pay gap.
The survey looks at average wages - not including endorsements - in elite sport. It puts seven basketball teams in the top 10 payers, with Oklahoma City Thunder topping the list. Just two years ago, there were eight football teams in the top 10.
It says a new television deal for the NBA has fuelled higher wages in the sport, with players now earning an average of £5.5m per year.
A flurry of new contracts for stars Russell Westbrook and Steven Adams in addition to big signings such as Carmelo Anthony and Paul George made Oklahoma "the best paid sports team the world has known".
Manchester United only make 23 in list
European football powerhouses Barcelona, Paris St-Germain and Real Madrid are the three football teams who make up the top 10 earners alongside the seven NBA franchises.
Manchester United and Manchester City pay the most money in the Premier League but only make 23 and 24 on the survey's list, despite both paying a basic average weekly salary of £100,000, or £5.2m a year, to their squads.
Barca's near £6.6m weekly bill includes Lionel Messi's £500,000-per-week deal, and makes them the highest payers in football. But PSG are not far behind with £6.472m - helped in part to Neymar's £40.3m salary following his world record move from Barcelona last summer.
But Premier League players top football averages
The £2.6m average for a Premier League player is more than double the equivalent figure in the German Bundesliga (£1.26m) and France's Ligue 1 (£944,4075). Players in Spain's La Liga earn an average of £1.68m annually, while the figure for Italy's Serie A is £1.33m.
Manchester United's weekly wage bill of £5.241m is followed by Manchester City's £5.235m.
Behind them come Chelsea (£4.451m), Arsenal (£4.037m), Liverpool (£3.649m) and Tottenham (£3.154m).
Gender pay gap an "abyss"
The report is in its eight year and the 2017 edition looks at elite women's sport for the first time, describing the difference between men's and women's pay as an "abyss".
"It will be little surprise to many that men earn more in sport; men's sport typically attracts bigger crowds, more sponsors and, crucially, much bigger TV deals to pay the bills. But the scale of the disparities are laid out in detail for the first time, and they are enormous," it says.
"The women who do make it earn as little as one hundredth the sums of their male counterparts - even if they are among the elite."
Average pay in the Women's Super League in England is £26,752 - around one-hundredth of the average in men's Premier League and even falling below the 2017 national average salary of £27,271.
That is despite it being one of the best-paid leagues in world elite women's sport, behind the WNBA, Super Netball in Australia and the top-flight football leagues in France and Germany.
However it is anticipated wages will rise in the WSL, which is being restructured as a fully-professional