The Times says City’s wage bill on players alone has almost doubled to almost £80 million in the year since Hughes succeeded Sven-Göran Eriksson as manager.
It means that City’s players earn an average of nearly £2.3 million a year — or £44,000 a week — well over twice the average basic salary in the Barclays Premier League.
That figure will swell again if Hughes makes more signings this summer to complement the £12 million arrival of Gareth Barry, the England midfield player, from Aston Villa, even if the manager hopes to offload about a dozen members of his squad.
Whereas Rolando Bianchi, the former Italy Under-21 striker since sold to Torino, was the highest earner under Eriksson with a weekly wage of £50,000, it is less than a third of what Robinho, the highest-paid player in the Premier League, earns under Hughes.
Robinho’s £160,000-a-week salary accounts for more than 10 per cent of the £79.4 million paid in wages to 35 players under Hughes’s command. City’s wage bill for 32 players when Eriksson was in charge was £45.3 million.