Southampton are the club punching heaviest above their weight in the Premier League in terms of performance compared with wages paid to players while Chelsea are also over-achieving, latest figures have revealed.
Saints are only ranked 15th in the top flight in terms of their wage bill - £55.2m - and yet are currently seventh in the Premier League.
Chelsea are 10 points clear at the top of the table but are only the third-highest payers with a wage bill of £192.7m behind Manchester United (£215.8) and Manchester City (£205m). Bottom-club Burnley's wage bill is just £21.5m ncluding £6m in promotion bonuses, one-tenth the size of United's.
The biggest under-achievers are QPR, with a £75m wage bill even from a season when they were in the Championship making them the eighth-highest payers yet they are down at 19th in the table. QPR's salary bill was almost twice what the club earned in total last season.
The wages costs and profits or losses of all top-flight clubs for 2013/14 have now been confirmed via annual accounts posted at Companies House and overall there is a close correlation between total salary bill and league position, with the current top four in the Premier League also the four biggest payers.
The combined accounts of the 20 clubs shows over overall turnover rose to £3.07bn from £2.3bn in 2012/13 with wages increasing too but at a slower rate and totalling £1.84bn compared with £1.65bn. The latest figure shows salaries account for 59.9 per cent of turnover compared with 71.7 per cent for the same 20 clubs a year before.
The increase in income is mainly down to the Premier League's lucrative television deal that came into effect for the first time last season. The cash injection has led to six clubs who were in the red in 2012/13 now being in the black.
Apart from those clubs who were promoted from the Championship last season, only Manchester City, Aston Villa and Sunderland ended the 2013/14 season having made a financial loss.
Premier League director of communications Dan Johnson said the clubs' decision two years ago to introduce spending controls had also contributed to a positive financial outlook
Johnson said: "There are two reasons for this. The first is increasing revenues and the second is the financial criteria the clubs have voted in two seasons ago which put financial sustainability at the heart of how they want to go forward."
The measures introduced by the clubs capped the amount they could use television money to pay for player costs. It also put a long-term limit on a club's overall losses.
CLUBS WHO PAY MOST IN WAGES
- 1) Manchester United: wages £215.8m (£180.5m); turnover £433.2m (363.1m); wages to turnover ratio 50 per cent (50 per cent); profit after tax £23.8m (£146.4m).
- 2) Manchester City: wages £205m (£233.1m); turnover £346.5m (£271m); wages to turnover ratio 59 per cent (86 per cent); loss after tax -£22.9m (-£51.6m loss).
- 3) Chelsea: wages £192.7m (£172.6m); turnover £319.8m (£255.8); wages to turnover ratio 60 per cent (67 per cent); profit after tax £18.4m (-£49.4m loss).
- 4) Arsenal: wages £166.4m (£154.5m); turnover £298.7m (£242.8m); wages to turnover ratio 56 per cent (64 per cent); profit after tax £7.3m (£5.8m).
- 5) Liverpool: wages £144m (£131m); turnover £256m (£206m); wages to turnover ratio 56 per cent (63 per cent); profit after tax £0.4m (-£49.9m loss).
- 6) Tottenham: wages £100.4m (£96.1m); turnover £180.5m (£147.4m); wages to turnover ratio 56 per cent (65 per cent); profit after tax £65.3m (£1.5m).
- 7) Newcastle: wages £78.3m (£61.7m); turnover £129.7m (£66.5m); wages to turnover ratio 62 per cent (91 per cent); profit after tax £18.7m (£9.9m).
- 8) QPR wages £75.3m (£78m); turnover £38.7m (£60.6m) ; wages to turnover ratio 195 per cent (129 per cent); loss after tax -£9.7m (operating loss£ 65.3m but £60m debt write off as one-off income injection) (-£65.4m loss).
- 9) Sunderland: wages £69.5m (£57.9m); turnover £104.4m (£75.5m); wages to turnover ratio 67 per cent (77 per cent); loss after tax -£17.1m (-£13m).
- 10) Everton: wages £69.3m (£63m); turnover £120.5m (£86.4m); wages to turnover ratio 58 per cent (73 per cent); profit after tax £28.2m (£1.6m) .
- 11) Aston Villa: wages£ 69.3m (£71.9m); turnover £116.9m (£83.7.m); wages to turnover ratio 59 per cent (86 per cent); loss after tax -£3.9m (-£51.8m).
- 12) West Brom: wages £65.4m (not available); turnover £86.8m (£69.7m) ; wages to turnover ratio 75 per cent (not available); profit after tax £9m (£8,000).
- 13) West Ham: wages £63.9m (£56.2m); turnover £114.9m (89.8); wages to turnover ratio 56 per cent (63 per cent); profit after tax £10.3m (-£3.5m loss).
- 14) Swansea: wages £62.3m (£48.1m); turnover £98.7m (67.1); wages to turnover ratio 64 per cent (72 per cent) profit after tax £1.7m (£15.3m).
- 15) Stoke: wages £60.6m (£60.3m); turnover £98.3m (7£5.5m); wages to turnover ratio 67 per cent (77 per cent); profit after tax £3.8m (-£31.1m loss).
- 16) Southampton wages £55.2m (£41.4m); turnover 106m (£71.8m); wages to turnover ratio 59.3 per cent (65.5 per cent); profit after tax £33.4m (-£7.1m loss).
- 17) Crystal Palace: wages £45.7m (£18.7m); turnover £90.4m (£14.5m); wages to turnover ratio 50.5 per cent (124 per cent) profit after tax £17.2m (£3.6m).
- 18) Hull: wages £43.3m (£25.9m); turnover £84.5m (£11.1m); wages to turnover ratio 64 per cent (72 per cent); profit after tax 9.4m (-£25.6m loss).
- 19) Leicester: wages £36.3m (£26.8m); turnover £31.2m (£19.6m); wages to turnover ratio 116 per cent (136 per cent); loss after tax -£20.8m (-£34m).
- 20) Burnley: wages £21.5m (£15.3m); turnover 19.6m (15.2m); wages to turnover ratio 110 per cent (100.6 per cent); loss after tax -4.2m (-7.8m).