LONDON • La Liga giants Barcelona and Real Madrid and Italian Serie A champions Juventus are the best-paid teams in world sports, according to the 2019 Global Sports Salaries Survey conducted by website Sporting Intelligence.
Spanish champions Barcelona sit atop the list, now into its 10th year, with an average basic salary of a first-team player of US$12.8 million (S$17.4 million).
That figure is down from last year, when Barcelona was also first with an average of US$13.7 million, swelled by the basic pay cheque of captain Lionel Messi which exceeded US$65 million.
Real Madrid retain their runners-up place on the list with an average of US$11.6 million, while Juventus, ninth last year, move up to third with US$10.54 million.
The other football teams in the top 20 are French Ligue 1 champions Paris Saint-Germain at No. 12, while Premier League title holders Manchester City are 13th.
The figures used in the survey represent basic annual pay and do not include signing-on bonuses, performance bonuses and other extras.
Teams from the National Basketball Association (NBA) fill the remaining seven spots in the top 10 and occupy 15 of the top-20 places.
In 2017, the top-three teams in the survey were the Oklahoma City Thunder, Cleveland Cavaliers and Golden State Warriors, while last year, three NBA teams broke the average pay ceiling of US$10 million per player.
This year, the Portland Trail Blazers are in fourth place at just over US$10.4 million, Golden State fifth at US$10.28 million, while the Thunder have fallen to sixth at US$9.83 million.
NBA sides among the world's 20 best-paying sports teams.
Among teams ranked 21st to 30th this year, nine are from the NBA, joined by German Bundesliga champions Bayern Munich at No. 22.
The biggest risers in the latest survey are the National Football League's Buffalo Bills, who have climbed 60 places from No. 152 to 92nd, and the Atlanta Falcons, up 59 spots from 123rd to 64th.
1 Barcelona (La Liga/Spain)
2 Real Madrid (La Liga)
3 Juventus (Serie A/Italy)
4 Portland Trail Blazers (NBA/US)
5 Golden State Warriors (NBA)
6 Orlando Magic (NBA)
7 Oklahoma City Thunder (NBA)
8 Denver Nuggets (NBA)
9 Miami Heat (NBA)
10 Cleveland Cavaliers (NBA)
Four of the five biggest falls are recorded by Major League Baseball teams, including the Toronto Blue Jays, who have dropped 123 places to No. 172.