Playing in the world’s richest football league comes with serious problems according to Steve Parish, chairman and co-owner of Crystal Palace.
In an interview last week, the 51-year-old millionaire businessman said the pressure of running a top-flight team is ‘almost unbearable’.
Underpinning that stress, he said, is the need to stay in the Premier League or face ‘the financial Armageddon that is relegation’.
Parish said: ‘The curse of too much money is upon all of us.’
Premier League clubs increasingly pay a premium not just for transfer fees but for wages too. And the upshot is relatively low returns on the pitch for massive spending off it.
‘I might have the 20th biggest wage bill in the world,’ Parish told The Times. ‘Do I have the 20th best side? I very much doubt it.’
In fact, according to a new Sportsmail analysis of salaries, Palace have about the 25th biggest wage bill in the world. And Parish is correct to assume he doesn’t have the 20th best side.
Per Mail, here’s a table that ranks the leading wage spenders for the 2016-17 season that concludes with Saturday’s Champions League final.
Official financial numbers for the 2016-17 campaign won’t be revealed until later this year at the earliest and by spring 2018 for many.
Hence numbers are based on previous spending and estimated increases.
Here’s a list of the biggest wage bill in Europe:
Man Utd £265m
Real Madrid £250m
Man City £248m
B Munich £225m
AC Milan £115m
AS Roma £105m
West Ham £95m
Stoke City £92m
Swansea City £92m
Leicester City £90m
Atletico Madrid £86m
West Brom £84m
Crystal Palace £80m
Premier League spending last summer was close to £1.2bn, almost double the figure from three years earlier.
This summer it is likely to reach £1.5bn. At a time when ‘ordinary’ Premier League players could start to command fees of £20m and basic wages of £50,000 a week to play in teams who struggle to get inside the top 100 in Europe… well, maybe you can see Parish’s point.