Research conducted by ESPN The Magazine and Sportingintelligence found City pay an average annual wage of ?5.3m to its first-team players, which works out as ?102,653 per week.
Six of the top 10 in the list are football clubs, with baseball (two) and basketball (two) also represented.
Premier League clubs Manchester United (8), Chelsea (10), Arsenal (11) and Liverpool (20) are all in the top 20.
Manchester City, purchased by the Abu Dhabi United Group in 2008, are reported to pay their players more than Major League Baseball teams New York Yankees and LA Dodgers, who are second and third in the survey.
Spanish giants Real Madrid and Barcelona take the next two spots. The La Liga clubs, who face each other in the?Copa del Rey final on Wednesday,?both pay their first-team players an average of more than ?4.9m a year.
Premier League champions United have an average wage of ?4.3m, while current league leaders Liverpool award ?3.4m per man.
?The Global Sports Salaries Survey looks solely at earnings for playing sport, not for endorsements or other extra-curricular activities,? states the Sportingintelligence website.
?The 2014 report considers 294 teams in 15 leagues in 12 countries across seven different sports: football, baseball, basketball, gridiron, cricket, ice hockey and Aussie Rules football. The report looks at numbers from either current or most recently completed seasons, depending on availability of accounts and other information.?
Although the Brooklyn Nets and Chicago Bulls are the only National Basketball Association teams in the top 10, the league is the highest paying with its 441 players each earning an average salary of ?2.98m.Manchester City are one of 76 clubs being investigated by Uefa over a possible breach of its Financial Fair Play rules.
Manchester City are?one of 76 clubs being investigated by Uefa?over a possible breach of its Financial Fair Play rules. A decision is expected in the coming days.