World Soccer Magazine published a fascinating table at the bottom of an article on the respective financial might of Chelsea and Manchester City yesterday, detailing player spend and sales for current English Premier League clubs over the last 10 seasons.
Liverpool have an average net spend of £18.1m as they chase former glories while Manchester United, who stole Liverpool’s place at the top of the English pile, had only a marginally higher net spend of £18.6m.
Fifth on the list is Aston Villa, largely on the back of an attempt to take over the world during Martin O’Neill’s reign, spending a net average of £11.1m.
Most fascinating of all is that 11 of the 20 have a net average spend of less than £4m per season. They spend big, but apart from the odd team spending some foreign country’s mineral wealth, they also sell big.
Bottom of the table of net biggest spenders in Everton, who sold £7.8m of talent more than they bought during the period. Newcastle United are also in a surplus, thanks in part to their recently departed director of football, Joe Kinnear, who completed his service without spending a penny.
Crystal Palace clearly have an eye for a bargain. They successfully negotiated a return to the Premier League, and then bought Joe Ledley as his Celtic contract ran down, with an average net spend of £722k.
The Silk from a Sow’s Ear prize has to go to Arsenal. The last decade has not been generous to Arsenal, however, their average net spend is only £1.5m per season having sold £277m worth of talent. Their business model is not right, i.e. they have not been able to compete with those who don’t seem to care if they break even, but they, more than any other club in Europe*, are primed for the Financial Fair Play era.
*apart from Celtic, of course.
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