U.K. soccer club Manchester City is the best-paid sports team in the world, beating both the New York Yankees and LA Dodgers, according to Sporting intelligence's global sports salaries survey for 2014.
The survey, which was compiled with sports publisher ESPN The Magazine, found the average first-team player at Premier League side Manchester City earned $8.1 million per year, or $155,960 per week. The soccer club was transformed into one of Europe's elite teams when it was taken over in 2008 by the Abu Dhabi United Group, owned by billionaire Sheikh Mansour bin Zayed Al Nahyan.
The New York Yankees and LA Dodgers of Major League Baseball (MLB) were the second and third best-paid teams, according to the survey, with average annual salaries for first-team players of $8.0 million and $7.8 million respectively.
Nine European soccer clubs made the top 20 for pay, ranking alongside six MLB teams and five National Basketball Association (NBA) teams.
However, while soccer dominated the top 20, the NBA ranked as the highest-paying league, with 441 players across 30 teams earning an average of $4.5 million per year in the 2013-14 season.
Sporting intelligence's key metric is "average first-team pay," which measures the salaries of the"first-team squad," or its closest equivalent.
Sporting intelligence's first survey, back in 2010, saw the Yankees out on top. However, Barcelona usurped the 27-times World Series champions in 2011 and 2012, with Manchester City claiming the title last year and retaining it in 2014.