CELTIC continue to have a vast financial advantage over the rest of the Scottish Premiership, according to the 2018 Global Sports Salaries Survey.

The report, produced by sportingintelligence.com, states that first-team players at the reigning Scottish champions, who are targeting an unprecedented treble treble of trophies, pick up a basic weekly average of £16,646 – £865,614 annually.

In comparison, Rangers pay their players £8,972 per week, which amounts to a median of £466,556 over a 12-month period.

These figures have increased from the 2017 report, which said Celtic and Rangers handed out weekly wages of £14,135 and £6,338 respectively.

In turn, Celtic have risen four places to 199th out of 349 global sports teams surveyed, with Rangers climbing 13 to 243rd compared to last year’s survey.

Aberdeen are third on the domestic list at £2,667 (£138,667), with Hearts fourth with £2,146 (£111,600), just ahead of city rivals Hibs at £1,988 (£103,376).

The reports shows the gap between the richest and the poorest is growing, with top-flight newcomers Livingston paying the least amount on salaries at £671 per week (£34,882).
Despite currently being bottom of the league, Dundee are sixth on the list, with players earning £1,208 weekly.

The report states: “Celtic had revenue of £102m in 2017-18, three times that of Rangers on £33m, in turn double that of Aberdeen, in turn bigger than Hearts and Hibs (£12m and a bit less), in turn double Kilmarnock’s. Celtic can afford a total salary bill of nearly £60m, average basic in the high six figures and bonus-inclusive numbers of more than £1m a man. 

“The difference between the average basic Celtic salary at the top of the Scottish Premiership pay list (£865,614) and the average Livingston basic at the bottom (£35,000) is even larger than last season.

To put this into context, there is considerably less of a resource gulf between Celtic and reigning Premier League champions Manchester City than between Celtic and most clubs in their own division. 

“Using our GSSS numbers from this report, City players earn ‘only’ seven times as much as those at Celtic, who in turn earn around 20 times the basic paid at Motherwell, Hamilton and St Johnstone.

“Celtic were paying substantially more than double Rangers last year but we think it won’t be quite double this year.

“It isn’t a shock that Celtic began the season with expectations they would win an eighth league title in a row. It is 33 years since any team other than Celtic or Rangers won the title: Aberdeen in 1985.”

Spanish club Barcelona have returned to the top of the salaries table having become the first team in the nine-year history of the Global Sports Salaries Survey to pay players on average more than £10m a year.

La Liga rivals Real Madrid are second, handing out £8.1m annually, while NBA teams Oklahoma City Thunder, Golden State Warriors, Washington Wizards, Toronto Raptors, Houston Rockets and Miami Heat occupy positions three-to-eight.

Italian Serie A club Juventus are ninth (£6,726,615) just ahead of English counterparts Manchester United in 10th (£6,534,654).