Premier League: The highest paid player every season from 1992/93 to 2020/21


We all know that footballers earn a ridiculous amount of money.

So much, in fact, that it’s really hard to relate to them.

in 2020, the average UK annual salary was £38,600. In the Premier League, the average salary is more than £60,000-per-week.

But has it always been like that?

Well, a brilliant video from HITC Sevens has looked at the Premier League’s highest-paid player in every season since 1992 until now.

To do so, they undertook painstaking research to delve into newspaper archives to reveal the reported player wages.

Some seasons had multiple highest earners with players signing contracts at different times throughout the campaign but they’ve used the highest earner at the end of each season.

Got it? Good.

Let’s take a look at the results:

1992/93 – John Barnes (£10,000-per-week)

John Barnes became England’s first £10,000-per-week player when he joined Liverpool in 1987 and remained on that salary as we entered the Premier League era. At the time, the Premier League’s average annual wage was just £77,000. Barnes was on £520,000-per-year.

1993/94 – John Barnes (£10,000-per-week)


1994/95 – Eric Cantona (18,000-per-week)

For most of the season, Barnes and Chris Sutton were the joint-highest on £10,000-per-week but just before the end of the campaign, Cantona was rewarded with a British record contract.


1995/96 – Dennis Bergkamp (£25,000-per-week)

Worth every penny as Bergkamp proved his doubters wrong over the next 11 years to establish himself as an Arsenal legend.


1996/97 – Fabrizio Ravanelli (£42,000-per-week)

The Sky Sports TV deal saw player wages sky-rocket and Ravanelli was handed a huge contract following his £7 million move from Juventus to Middlesborough. He scored 31 goals in 48 matches in all competitions that season so was well worth his £42,000-per-week.


1997/98 – Alan Shearer (£34,000-per-week)

After Ravanelli left the Premier League, the highest wage fell for the first time. It meant Shearer, who joined Newcastle in 1996 was now the highest earner. He remained the division’s best-paid for the following season too.

1998/99 – Alan Shearer (£34,000-per-week)


1999/00 – Roy Keane (£52,000-per-week)

These days, Roy Keane is renowned for his punditry and it’s easy to forget just how good he was. To be earning more than £50,000-per-week before 2000 shows that.

2000/01 – Roy Keane (£52,000-per-week)


2001/02 – Roy Keane (£90,000-per-week)

Keane signed a new contract at Old Trafford to see him become the highest earner once again overtaking Sol Campbell and Juan Sebastian Veron.

2002/03 – Roy Keane (£90,000-per-week)


2003/04 – Hernan Crespo (£94,000-per-week)

Roman Abramovich’s arrival means Hernan Crespo become the first Chelsea player to be the Premier League’s highest earner – and certainly not the last. Crespo scored 20 goals in 49 league matches – certainly not a bad return.


2004/05 – Frank Lampard (£98,000-per-week)

Frank Lampard was one of the best midfielders in the world under Jose Mourinho and signed a new contract at Chelsea in the summer of 2004, worth almost £100,000-per-week.


2005/06 – Steven Gerrard (£100,000-per-week)

After winning the Champions League with Liverpool, Steven Gerrard so nearly left for Chelsea. Instead, he stayed at Anfield and signed a new four-year deal.


2006/07 – Andriy Shevchenko (£118,000-per-week)

How did Shevchenko repay his £118,000-per-week wages? With just four goals in 30 league matches during the 2006/07 season. Oh dear.


2007/08 – John Terry (£135,000-per-week)

John Terry landed himself a big new contract during the 2007/08 season as he established himself as one of the best defenders in world football.


2008/09 – Robinho (£160,000-per-week)

And now comes Manchester City’s money…Robinho scored 14 goals in 31 Premier League games during 2008/09.


2009/10 – Carlos Tevez (£250,000-per-week)

Carlos Tevez replaced Robinho at the Etihad – and was earning a crazy quarter of a million pounds every single week. Unsurprisingly, he held the honour of the league’s highest earner for the remainder of his contract.

2010/11 – Carlos Tevez (£250,000-per-week)

2011/12 – Carlos Tevez (£250,000-per-week)

2012/13 – Carlos Tevez (£250,000-per-week)


2013/14 – Wayne Rooney (£300,000-per-week)

Yaya Toure overtook Tevez as the league’s highest earner but before the season ended, Wayne Rooney wrangled himself a new deal worth £300,000-per-week. He remained as the Premier League’s best-paid player until he left.

2014/15 – Wayne Rooney (£300,000-per-week)

2015/16 – Wayne Rooney (£300,000-per-week)

2016/17 – Wayne Rooney (£300,000-per-week)


2017/18 – Alexis Sanchez (£350,000-per-week)

What were Manchester United thinking? The Red Devils made Sanchez the league’s highest-earner as he overtook Paul Pogba’s contract. Sanchez managed just three goals in 32 Premier League games during his nightmare at Old Trafford.

2018/19 – Alexis Sanchez (£350,000-per-week)


2019/20 – David de Gea (£375,000-per-week)

David de Gea was once the best goalkeeper in the world but is he really worth £375,000-per-week right now? He’s probably being overpaid but he has been a fantastic servant for the club.


2020/21 – Gareth Bale (£560,000-per-week)

Now, Bale isn’t a permanent Premier League player right now but the Spaniard is earning a ridiculous £560,000-per-week from Real Madrid. Tottenham are reported to be paying just 40% of that for his loan spell – even then they will feel like they’re massively overpaying!

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