‘They are all overpaid,’ I hear you cry. That may be true, but for the sake of this list we are going to assume that they are only taking their chunk of a big-money entertainment business.
Spurred on by the news that bit-part Manchester United utility man John O’Shea is being offered a new £80,000-a-week deal, we are looking at the players who are punching way above their weight in the pay pack stakes.
I’ll attempt not to turn this into a Manchester City squad list, but it’s going to be tricky…
10. Owen Hargreaves
Sir Alex Ferguson is the last person you need to tell. Unlike some on this list, a fit Hargreaves is probably worth what he gets paid. Unfortunately, his chronic knee problems mean he has not been worth anywhere near £70,000-a-week in his entire spell at Old Trafford.
9. Gareth Barry
The first of the Citeh contingent. Left-footed midfielders are a precious commodity, but not quite this precious. Barry’s recent form – especially for England – has not been great, but even at his best it is difficult to argue that the work he does is worth £92,000-a-week.
The Newcastle United which returned to the Premier League this season may have lost a lot of excess flab from the side that was relegated, but there are still one of two anomalies on the payroll. Not least Spanish flop Xisco, who continues to work his way through a £50,000-a-week six-year contract. That’s £5.2million per goal so far in his Magpies career without even taking his transfer fee into account.
7. Kieron Dyer
You can have all sorts of fun working out various statistics of how much Dyer has cost West Ham per goal, per appearance etc. But the bottom line is he is ridiculously overpaid at a reported £70,000-per-week.
6. Emmanuel Adebayor
He reportedly collects £142,000 from Manchester City every week. That is a slightly inflated figure, especially when you consider that he can’t even get a start for them at the minute.
5. David Bentley
Out of favour probably doesn’t cover Bentley’s predicament at White Hart Lane adequately. The former England international is permanently shelved as Tottenham hope the world forgets he ever existed. The ex-Blackburn man’s compensation for being frozen out is a cool £60,000-a-week.
4. Roque Santa Cruz
Almost always injured and miles down the pecking order when he is not, Santa Cruz’s current mutiny-via-media is some what admirable. At least he wants to play football for his £75,000-a-week. The trouble is that those wages, which he was never worth, are slightly off-putting to potential suitors.
3. Jonathan Woodgate
Not the biggest figure on the list, but the amount of work Jonathan Woodgate gets done for his £62,500-a-week makes him poor value for money. It is hard to imagine ‘Arry offering him a contract that doesn’t involve a pay-as-you-play element when his current deal expires at the end of the season.
2. Yaya Toure
Undoubtedly a good signing for Manchester City in the summer, but his £221,000 weekly pay pack means he is getting paid way above the odds. The Ivory Coast international was hardly the heartbeat of the Barcelona midfield during his Nou Camp days, yet Xavi reportedly takes home a relatively paltry £125,000.
1. Luis Boa Morte
When a document looking suspiciously like West Ham’s wage bill was leaked earlier this year, one of the more eyebrow-raising figures was the amount paid to good old Luis Good Death. Methinks some of the world’s biggest charities ought to be scrambling to secure the services of Boa Morte’s agent.
Everyone has the inside gossip on who is on a ridiculously high salary at their own club, so feel free to contribute your additions.