UK Footballers paid 1500% more than 20 years ago

Ashley Cole celebrates a goal this year. Credit: Adam Davy/EMPICS Sport

Footballers have seen their wages rise by over 1500% over the past twenty years, compared to the 186% increase in the average UK wages, according to a new study.

Research from the High Pay Centre shows that top players have seen bumper pay rises, whilst those playing for lower division have seen their pay rise by significantly less - just over 200%.

The average rise in wages for the UK over the same period is 186%.

The high cost of player's wages mean that clubs are not investing in infrastructure, and many are "virtually bankrupting themselves" trying to break into the Premier league.

Premier League Wage Bills 2010-2011

  • Chelsea: £191 million

  • Manchester City: £174 million

  • Liverpool: £135 million

  • Arsenal: £124 million

The High Pay Centre research also revealed the impact of these wages on fans, saying they are the ones "paying the price" of excessive pay.

  • The lowest ticket available has increased by over 1,000% since 1989

  • The cheapest ticket to watch Liverpool has increased from £4 to £45

  • English clubs account for approximately 56% of all debt in top flight clubs across Europe - despite only representing 2% of clubs

  • Over half of English football league clubs have been insolvent in the past 20 years

English football makes a much smaller investment in coaching talent than other nations. The UK has less than 3000 qualified coaches whilst Germany has 35,000, Italy has 30,000 and Spain has over 23,000.

Nick Isles, Chair of the High Pay Centre said the figures show it is "time to put the brakes on this dramatic escalation in pay at the top."