The average player in the Premier League earned £1.6million - £31,000 a week - in the 2012-13 season as analysts warned against "reckless" spending by English clubs.

The combined salary bill of all the top-flight clubs in Saints' first season back in the top flight since 2005 rose by eight per cent to £1.78billion according to Deloitte's annual review of football finance.

Manchester City were the biggest payers - their wage bill was £233million.

It is the first time that the ratio of wages to revenue has topped 70 per cent - the overall ratio in the Premier League rose to 71 per cent in contrast to falls in the German, Spanish, Italian and French top divisions.

Deloitte analyst Adam Bull said: "The 70 per cent mark is often used as a guide of good practice and above that you will usually need some sort of external funding, probably from the owner, to meet those costs.

"In the other big four leagues the ratio has reduced, and a lot of people are pointing to UEFA's financial fair play rules for helping bringing in cost control."

The wages-revenue ratio is 56 per cent in Spain's La Liga 56 per cent - the lowest since 2000 - while Germany's is down at 51 per cent. There has been a drop in Italy to 71 per cent down from 74, and in France it is down eight points to 66 per cent.

The situation in the Championship was even more concerning with wages actually exceeding total revenue for the first time in 12 years as clubs gambled heavily to achieve promotion.

Deloitte sport business group director Dan Jones said: "This is a reckless model and one which Championship clubs themselves voted in regulations to address... with available sanctions including fines and transfer embargoes.

"Some clubs who missed out in the rush for the exit, and even some who made it, are anxious that what they (in some cases) or their predecessor clubs (in others) voted in, may not now suit them so well.

In the Championship the wages/revenue ratio was 106 per cent, and there were record operating losses of £241million.

Championship clubs' aggregate net debt rose to another record level, exceeding £1billion for the first time last summer.

In the Premier League, there was increase of £139million in clubs' aggregate net debt to over £2.5billion - mostly driven by an increase in interest-free "soft loans" from owners.