The rampant commercialisation of football is one of the sport's worst kept secrets.
For Premier League clubs in particular, billionaire owners have rapidly become the norm. Where once they were a novel concept, they are now verging on ubiquitous in England's top flight.
Commercial incentives and a thirst for glory convince owners to pump millions of pounds into the playing squads, and the exponential rise in transfer fees has risen simultaneously with player salaries.
But who are the highest paid players in the Premier League and how much do they earn over the course of an entire season?
In order to answer those questions, GiveMeSport have created an all-star Premier League XI comprising of the highest paid players in the division.
Using data acquired from Spotrac, here we unveil the division's highest paid XI.
Collectively, the 11 players take home an astonishing salary of £141m-per-year.
Take a look at who makes it into the side below...
Goalkeeper: David de Gea (£19.5m-per-year)
The goalkeeping position may unofficially be the least glamorous role on the pitch, but don't let that fool you.
Earning a whopping £19.5m-per-year, David de Gea is the highest paid player in the entire division.
What bang do you get for your buck? Once upon a time it got you the best goalkeeper money could buy. Now, however, United are forking out a staggering fortune for a player who has become bogged down by inconsistency.
At least United shouldn't have to worry about the Spaniard leaving for a superior salary...
Right-back: Cesar Azpilicueta (£7.54m-per-year)
Cesar Azpilicueta is one of the most surprising inclusions on the list, though it is worth remembering that he is vastly experienced at 31 and Chelsea's captain.
Kyle Walker and Hector Bellerin are the next highest paid right-backs in the division, each earning £5.72m-per-year.
Earning £145,000-per-week, the Spain international is the lowest paid player in this XI.
Poor thing. How will he possibly cope?
Centre-back: Virgil van Dijk (£8.58m-per-year)
The new deal Virgil van Dijk signed towards the end of 2019 was just reward for a somewhat unexpectedly exceptional opening to his career at Liverpool.
His new deal catapulted his weekly salary to £180,000-per-week, making him the second-highest paid player at Anfield after Roberto Firmino.
Perhaps he's got some money stashed away for a time machine to reverse his season-ending injury?
Centre-back: Harry Maguire (£8.46m-per-year)
With great power comes great responsibility.
Unfortunately for Harry Maguire, the responsibility of resolving United's multi-faceted problems is too hefty to fall on the shoulders of just one powerful man.
His sizable salary, however, suggests that the United hierarchy were really banking on him to single-handedly return the Red Devils to the glory years.
Maguire has endured a difficult year on the field, while his troubles in Mykonos are hardly auspicious for any lingering ambitions he may have had of making it in the criminal underworld.
Stick to your day job, Harry, you're making a killing.
Left-back: Ben Chilwell (£9.88m-per-year)
Chelsea just love to splash the cash. It's in their DNA.
Ben Chilwell was signed as part of Frank Lampard's inaugural spending spree as Chelsea manager having been deprived of the opportunity to loot Roman Abramovich's seemingly never-ending pot of cash during his first season as manager.
Earning a total of £9.88m-per-year, equivalent to £190,000-per-week, Chilwell is now the highest paid defender in the division and the 14th highest overall.
Seems rather a lot for a 23-year-old left-back. Don't spend it all at once, Ben!
Centre-midfield: Kevin De Bruyne (£16.68m-per-year)
Surprisingly Kevin De Bruyne is just one of two Manchester City players in this XI. Will those noisy neighbours in Manchester stop ruining football already?
There is something so ethereal about De Bruyne in full flow that somehow makes his outrageous salary seem justified.
Taking home a cool £350,000-per-week, the Belgium international is the highest paid outfielder in the division with a salary that is only bettered by De Gea.
We can only assume the dead-eyed, straight-talking machine will use his cash to build a small army of mini De Bruyne clones to rule the world in a rapidly approaching dystopian future.
What else would you do with all that wonga?
Centre-midfield: Paul Pogba (£13.97m-per-year)
Man United's buccaneering strategy seems to look a lot like this: if we throw enough money at Pogba, people might one day forget that we allowed him to leave for nothing before re-signing him in a world record deal.
Sorry Ed Woodward, nobody's ever going to forget that.
Regularly omitted from the starting XI in favour of Scott McTominay and Fred, there really is no justification for such an astronomical wage.
Can the 2015/2016 season have its world beating player back now?
Attacking-midfield: Mesut Ozil (£15.08m-per-year)
Mere mortals usually feel a sense of existential dread for failing to put their yoghurt pot in the recycling or for donating just £5-per-month to charity as opposed to £10.
But in a world where Mesut Ozil earns £350,000-per-week despite not being registered for the Europa League or the Premier League, it's probably best to place our problems into context.
It's not a bad life is it. Go to training, kick a ball around, sit on the physio table, post something generic on Instagram, drop Gunnersaurus a text, repeat.
I'm sure Ozil would rather be playing football but we won't be losing any sleep over his predicament.
Right-wing: Raheem Sterling (£15.6m-per-year)
Earning a whopping £300,000-per-week, Raheem Sterling is the third highest player in the division.
Why would City pay such an extortionate figure for a tap-in merchant?
If only Pep Guardiola would listen to Gareth on Twitter rather than draw upon his own extensive and revered career both as a player and manager.
Left-wing: Anthony Martial (£13m-per-year)
That's right, the fourth and final United player in the XI takes home more bacon than Harry Kane, Sergio Aguero and Mohamed Salah.
Is there any justice in the world?
Apparently £250,000-a-week is what you'll need to shell out in this day and age for a poor man's Thierry Henry.
Centre-forward: Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang (£13m-per-year)
No arguments here as Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang rounds off the front three.
Joining Martial as the 6th-highest paid player in the division is arguably Arsenal's most influential talent.
By today's mind-bogglingly warped standards, the Gabon international's salary represents value for money.
Knowing Arsenal, though, they'll have him rotting in the reserves, unregistered and bleeding money in just a few years' time.
Here's the line-up in full...News Now - Sport News