Are West Ham, Southampton, Stoke and Swansea all overachieving?

The latest figures detailing the wage bills of Premier League clubs suggest the likes of West Ham United, Southampton and Swansea could be overachieving.

A report by the Telegraph shows that Manchester United overtook Manchester City to top the Premier League's wages table.

According to the latest figures, for the 2013-14 season, the Red Devils forked out £215.8 million in salaries - more than the other 19 Premier League clubs and 10 times that of the club with the lowest wage bill, Burnley.

But the wage spend also highlights how clubs like Southampton, Stoke City, Swansea and West Ham could all be overachieving as they sit 16th, 15th, 14th and 13th respectively.

Of the four clubs, it is perhaps no surprise that the Saints are the biggest overachievers, as after a long stint in the Champions League places, they currently sit seventh in the Premier League table with the 16th highest wage bill.

Swansea, currently eighth, and Stoke, ninth, are the next biggest overachievers sitting six places above their comparative wage outlay standing.

And the Hammers, whose manager Sam Allardyce is the only one of the four bosses of the clubs highlighted who is under pressure to keep his job, are three places above where their wage spend tells them they should be.

As the figures are last season's accounts, the placings may fluctuate but one thing it does prove is that West Ham were exactly where they should have been based on salaries last season when they finished a campaign labelled disappointing by most fans in 13th.

Southampton may have been busy in the transfer market, but they have probably recouped more from players going out than coming in. Stoke did not push the boat out in the summer and neither did Swansea, who have also got a big earner off the books with the sale of Wilfried Bony to Manchester City.

Champions elect Chelsea, who have gone through a period of adjustment since the introduction of UEFA's Financial Fair Play regulations with the high profile - but shrewd - sales of Juan Mata and David Luiz, are third in the wages table.

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