Shandong Luneng has surpassed Guangzhou Evergrande as the best football paymaster in the Chinese Super League, and number one in Asia, based on the 2015 Global Sports Salaries Survey by Sportingintelligence.
The survey revealed that Shandong Luneng is ranked 190 out of 333 sporting clubs, with an average annual player salary of US$1.1 million (S$1.5 million) — about US$50,000 more than 195th-ranked Guangzhou Evergrande, considered China’s richest football club. There are 14 Chinese clubs in the rankings.
French Ligue 1 champions Paris St-Germain, which is backed by Qatar Sports Investments, topped the list with an average annual player salary of US$9 million, while Real Madrid are second (US$8.6 million).
Five English Premier League teams featured in the rankings, with Manchester City highest in third. Manchester United was sixth while Chelsea, Arsenal and Liverpool were eighth, 10th and 14th, respectively.
The top J-League club was 259th-ranked Yokohama F Marinos.
Among non-football sporting teams, Asia’s best paymasters were Indian Premier League cricket team Royal Challengers Bangalore, who were 41st on the list with an average salary of US$4.04 million.
Five other IPL teams — Chennai Super Kings (42nd); Mumbai Indians (43rd); Sunrisers Hyderabad (45th); Kolkata Knight Riders (47th) and Delhi Daredevils (48th) — made the top 50, while the remaining two, Rajasthan Royals and Kings XI Punjab, were 59th and 61st, respectively.