Big-spending Wigan top the wages table

By Peter Ferguson

Last updated at 16:55 29 February 2008

Wigan are used to leading the table when it comes to pies - but astonishingly, the Lancashire club have just finished top of the pay league ... ahead of Liverpool and Chelsea.

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Chelsea owner Roman Abramovich pays his skipper John Terry £130,000 a week from his oil fortune while Anfield stars such as Steven Gerrard are among the best-paid in the Barclays Premier League.

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But a new survey of the average wages at the UK's privately-owned companies puts modest Wigan, who are battling to escape relegation, in No1 position with a figure of £348,500.

Liverpool are second on £220,000 and Chelsea fourth - behind building company Cabretta - on 'just' £202,500 in the survey by Jordans, a top professional services provider.

Wigan chairman Dave Whelan was not available to explain his generosity, but director Maurice Lindsay said: "This shows we're not as tight up here as people think - and there's more to us than just tasty pies!"

Manchester City (£164,311) are fifth and Championship club Charlton (£149,441) come in at No8, while the FA, with 391 staff on the payroll, figure at 16th with an average salary of £92,000.

Jordans spokesman Geoff Wilcock pointed out: "These are average figures, so they include all staff from highly-paid players through to stewards and cleaners.

"While the average annual wage at Wigan is almost £150,000 higher than Chelsea's, the total wage bill at Stamford Bridge comes in at £114million, approaching five times the figure at Wigan."

The annual survey took in 563 employees at Chelsea, as opposed to 59 at Wigan.

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