United outspent City before Pogba, Mourinho and Ibrahimovic arrived


Manchester United's players were better paid than those from neighbours and rivals Manchester City last season, although a lavish wage bill could only deliver a fifth-placed Premier League finish.

City's latest financial results, released on Tuesday, revealed staff costs of £198million, while the world's most expensive footballer Paul Pogba, Zlatan Ibrahimovic and Jose Mourinho have added further weight to a United wage bill that totalled £203m for 2015-16.

A run to the Champions League semi-finals in a capacity-boosted Etihad Stadium under Manuel Pellegrini last term helped City rake in record revenues of £391.8m, netting a profit of £20.5m.

By comparison, United made a gargantuan £515m over the same period, with a healthy profit of almost £50m.

While United's debts climb into the hundreds of millions, City's statement declared them to be operating with "zero financial debt" as well as having recorded a "healthy wage/revenue ratio at 50 per cent in 2015-16".

Pep Guardiola's arrival ahead of the current season, like Mourinho's across the city, prompted a spike in spending, with next year's figures likely to chronicle an estimated £180m spending spree.

Though apparently operating under slightly tighter financial restraints, Guardiola has led City to the top of the Premier League after eight games, including a 2-1 win over united at Old Trafford, with Mourinho's men five points further back in seventh.