Celtic’s financial dominance laid bare in wages survey

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The vast financial gulf between Celtic and the rest of the Scottish Premiership has been laid bare in the 2017 Global Sports Salaries Survey.

The report, produced by sportingintelligence.com, states that first team players at the reigning Scottish champions, who won the Betfred Cup on Sunday, picked up an average £14,135 weekly salary – £735,040 annually.

In comparison, Rangers pay their players £6,338 a week, which amounts to an average £329,600 over 12 months.

Aberdeen are third on the list at £2,623 (£136,382), while Hearts are fourth: £1,837 (£95,514) and Hibs fifth: £1,675 (£87,100).

(pic: sportingintelligence.com)

Hamilton are the lowest payers, with first team members on average picking up £798 per week, (£41,488) – with the report highlighting that the gap between richest and poorest is growing wider in the top-flight.

With squad sizes varying, a maximum 26 first team players from each club were counted. 

The 12 Premiership clubs will pay a total of £44,137,348 on wages this season.

However, treble winners Celtic, who are unbeaten in 65 domestic games, still lag behind some of the biggest sporting institutions in the world, coming in at 203rd on the list, down nine places from last year.

American basketball side Oklahoma City Thunder are top, with players collecting an average weekly salary of £137,507 (£7,150,388)

A total of seven NBA teams are in the top ten, with football sides Barcelona: £126,875 (£6.6m), Celtic’s Champions League rivals PSG: £124,468 (6.5m) and Real Madrid: £119,708 (£6.2m) fourth, fifth and ninth respectively.

Manchester United are the top English football club at £100,792 (£5.2m).

The survey states: “Among the leagues in this survey, the Scottish Premiership is uncompetitive.

“The difference between the average basic Celtic salary at the top of the Scottish Premiership pay list (£735,000) and the average Hamilton salary at the bottom (£41,000) is even larger than last season, when it was ‘only’ 16.9 times bigger. 

“To put this into context, there is less of a resource gulf between Celtic and their 2017-18 Champions League group stage opponents Paris Saint-Germain than between Celtic and most clubs in their domestic division. 

“Using our GSSS numbers from this report, PSG’s players earn ‘only’ 8.8 times as much as Celtic’s.

“Celtic are paying substantially more than double the amount even of their closest rivals Rangers, and almost as much by themselves as their 11 division rivals combined. So it isn’t a shock that Celtic began the season with expectations they would win a seventh league title in a row. 

“It is difficult to see how this will change any time soon, not least with Celtic increasingly locked in to the virtuous cycle that is regular Champions League football – and the extra money it brings, and the extra advantage that provides.”

The reports also shows that the total attendance in the Premiership last season was 3,184,955 – an average of 13,969 per game. 

Average Scottish Premiership weekly wages (annual)

1: Celtic: £14,135 (£735,040)

2: Rangers: £6,338 (£329,600)

3: Aberdeen: £2,623 (£136,382)

4: Hearts: £1,837 (£95,514)

5: Hibs: £1,675 (£87,100)

6: Dundee: £1,152 (£59,904)

7: Partick Thistle £1,119 (£58,175)

8: Ross County £1,085 (£56,394)

9: Kilmarnock £1,060 (£55,100)

10: St Johnstone £923 (£47,992)

11: Motherwell £820 (£42,662)

12: Hamilton £798 (£42,662)

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