La Liga champions Barcelona became the first soccer team to spend over half a billion euros in wages after their staff costs shot up by 42 percent over the past year, according to a study by KPMG.
KPMG’s Football Benchmark study analysed the squads and finances of the respective champions of Europe’s top eight leagues.
After selling Neymar, Barcelona signed Philippe Coutinho from English Premier League side Liverpool in January 2018. They paid a club record €160 million (£142 million) for the diminutive Brazilian playmaker.
They had signed French winger Ousmane Dembele from Borussia Dortmund in August 2017 for again a mammoth 105 million euros plus a reported 40 million euros in add-ons.
Then they renewed the contract of several existing players including their highest earner and captain Lionel Messi’s.
It was reported that Messi received a 59.6 million dollar signing bonus and will earn a mind-boggling 667,000 dollars in a week.
All these costs pushed their overall expenditure to €562 million a year.
Paris St Germain have the second highest wage bill on the KPMG list at 332 million euros, an increase of 20 percent.
Expenditure on wages rose across the board with the exception of Premier League champions Manchester City, who saw their spending on wages fall five percent.
The report says Manchester City have the most valuable team, worth a total of 1.182 billion euros, while PSG duo Neymar (229 million) and Kylian Mbappe (215 million) are the most valuable players in the world, followed by Messi (203 million).