Premier League clubs are confronted with soaring wage bills, with a record 68 per cent of revenue going spent on players.
According to a new report by Deloitte, champions Manchester United spent 46 per cent of its revenue on pay, while rivals Manchester City splashed out a massive 107 per cent.
Chelsea again topped the wages bill, as they have done every season since 2002-03, coughing up £174m on its star-studded roster.
“This new high is worrying, something Uefa’s financial fair play rules should address,” said Deloitte’s Dan Jones.
It comes as the Deloitte report shows Premier League revenues increased by 2 per cent, now exceeeding £2bn for the first time.
Mr Jones said sides near the bottom of the Premier League were more disciplined in their spending, but big clubs at the top earned such large revenues that were ultimately reflected in their outgoing wages.
“The problem is with the middle tier of clubs, those who are neither chasing a Uefa place or facing relegation,” said Jones.
“And of course Manchester City and Chelsea are going to need to get wages under control for the financial fair play rules.”
Those rules will encourage football teams to balance revenues and costs and mandate that a club must break even over the course of several seasons in order to play in European competition.
“While football’s revenue performance has been spectacular, sustainably managing its costs remains football’s primary business challenge,” Jones said.