In the Premier League, the average wage has now doubled in the last six years, and according to figures compiled by Deloitte’s Sports Business Unit, the average Premier League player earns £30,000 a week.
According to the Office of National Statistics, the average annual earnings of workers in the UK is now £26,500 – so it is now no exaggeration to suggest that the average top flight footballer earns more in a week than you do in a year.
The information on the Premier League is based on figures from the 2011/12 season, during which an astonishing £1.66bn was spent across the division on wages.
Manchester City’s wage bill was the highest – they committed £202m to wages - while Swansea by contrast were the most parsimonious, but still spent £35m paying their players.
Raheem Sterling, the 18-year-old who broke into the Liverpool team this season, is believed to have signed a new deal of around £30,000-a-week this season, making him (in one sense at least) the average Premier League footballer.
The new television rights deal kicking in this summer, which will see every club get approximately an extra £25m, is only expected to drive up wages still further.
But all is not quite so rosy for footballers as the figures above would suggest. According to the Daily Star, 150 ex-players are currently in prison after their careers fell apart after football, and 700 professionals were out of a job after last season ended.