Tuesday 27th February 2024


The latest analysis by finance experts, RIFT, has revealed that as an underwhelming January transfer window comes to a close, the Premier League’s top 20 best paid players earn a staggering £298.8m per year, contributing an estimated £140.3m in tax.

RIFT analysed the salary bill and estimated tax paid by each Premier League outfit and the league’s top 20 best players.

As the January transfer window draws to a close, it’s looking like 2024 will be a notoriously poor year for business with just an estimated £55m spent so far. The current spend comes in even lower than the Covid stricken year of 2020/21 and to put this into perspective, RIFT’s analysis shows that since the 2016/17 season, the average spend during the January transfer window sits at £315.6m.

But while there may be a lack of movement with regard to new players joining the league, the wage bills of existing players remains astronomical. 

RIFT estimates that the total salary bill of all 20 Premier League clubs currently sits at £1.761bn, with the average Premier League player making £2.8m per year. However, RIFT estimates that after tax, the average player’s take home wage is just shy of £1.5m, paying around £1.3m in tax. 

As a result, RIFT estimates that the total annual tax bill of the Premier League’s 20 clubs comes in at a hefty £822m.

Manchester City boasts the largest wage sheet, paying out almost £199m per year, with the team’s players contributing £93.2m in tax in the process. Hardly surprising given that 25% of the league's top 20 best paid players play for City. 

Despite his time away due to injury, Kevin De Bruyne sits top of the table for player earnings netting £20.8m a year and paying an estimated £9.8m in tax. Erling Haaland sits second in the table, netting £19.5m a year and contributing an estimated £9.2m in tax. 

Jack Grealish (£15.6m), John Stones (£13m) and Phil Foden (£11.7m) also feature within the top 20 best paid players in the league. 

However, Man United players are the most prominently featured, accounting for 30% of the top 20 best paid players. Casemiro sits third overall, earning £18.2m and contributing £8.5m in tax, with Varane (£17.7m), Rashford (£15.6m), Martial (£13m), Mount (£13m) and Bruno Fernandes (£12.5m) also making the list. 

The club also sits second in terms of total salary bill, paying out an estimated £181.7m a year, with United’s squad contributing an estimated £85.1m in tax. 

Arsenal (£166.1m), Chelsea (£149.3m) and Liverpool (£135m) also rank in the top five Premier League clubs with the highest wage bills, contributing a combined £210.9m per year in tax between them. 

They are also the only other clubs to have players feature in the top 20 best paid.