MANCHESTER United are the ONLY club in world football to have netted more than £1BILLION in the last decade.
Since Louis Van Gaal’s appointment in the summer of 2014, United’s net spending, factoring in turnover, is a staggering £1.2bn, with £524m of that having been spent since the Covid pandemic in 2020.
The additions of Rasmus Hojlund, Mason Mount and Andre Onana this summer for a total of £164m have only added to United’s stratospheric spending streak over the past decade.
But Chelsea’s amazing three transfer windows since the arrival of Todd Boehly, with net spend of £558m ALONE in 2023 and £880m over that period, means the Blues are now second on the global list.
According to statisticians from the Switzerland-based International Center for Sports Studies (CIES), the Prem’s notable excesses have been laid bare over the past ten seasons.
Among the top 10 for net spend are seven Prem sides – with Arsenal, whose net spend has risen to £747m following the acquisition of Declan Rice from West Ham, in fourth, Manchester City (£733m) in fifth, Newcastle ( £575m) in sixth, Spurs (£522m) eighth and West Ham (£451m) tenth.
The Prem sides – Liverpool are 12th with net spend of £426m and are actually behind Aston Villa – are trailed only by third-placed PSG (£870m), Barcelona (£568m) and AC Milan (467m pounds) competes.
This is in stark contrast to Portuguese giants Benfica, who have made £655m from their transfer deals, or Ajax, who have made £372m.
Mind you, United don’t seem to have much for that £1.2billion.
Five managers, 54 players – in addition to payouts for sacked bosses – have all led to Europa League wins, an FA Cup and two League Cup victories.
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That’s a staggering, almost unimaginable sum, further proof that normal notions of business acumen are indeed disregarded when football is the business.
The concern is that United are not the underdogs when it comes to spending, spending, spending Prem.
They are just the top of a very large stack.
Just a quick look at some of the players who have cost United more than £50m.
Angel Di Maria. Huge flop.
Anthony Martial. Once on loan, now back but earmarked for a substitute bench.
Paul Pogba. An expensive disaster.
Romelu Lukaku. Nightmare.
fred yes fred Really.
Harry Maguire. Only there under tolerance.
Jadon Sancho. On the naughty step and seemingly on the way out.
Anthony. Big questions remain in light of the allegations off the field.
And that was before there was time to judge Hojlund, Mount and Onana.
Of course there were also some successes. Including the new captain Bruno Fernandes, Casemiro and Raphael Varane.
But far, far too many who have failed. And we haven’t even touched on Alexis Sanchez, Donny van der Beek or Henrikh Mkhitaryan.
Premier clubs are wealthier than the vast majority of their European counterparts.
According to financier Deloitte, the Premier League’s Big Six were ALL among the top ten global wealth creators in 2022, with West Ham, the now-relegated duo of Leicester and Leeds, and financially troubled Everton and Newcastle making up the next ten.
Toon’s spending spree since the arrival of the Saudi overlord certainly paid off with Champions League qualification.
Arsenal fans are not complaining about the £464m net spending since the Covid pandemic, particularly after record £105m new signing Rice scored Sunday’s late winner against United.
Likewise, given last season’s treble, there won’t be too many Manchester City fans slamming the club’s leadership in Abu Dhabi for spending a net total of £733m over the last decade – although interestingly, given their rivals have dug deeper and deeper, “only” £104m in the last four years.
But Chelsea fans might look back at the remarkable last three windows since Boehly’s arrival to succeed Roman Abramovich at the helm and wonder if it actually leaves them with a better squad than the US tycoon inherited.
They have now allowed Romelu Lukaku to leave the club FIVE times in two contract terms, a paper loss of £86million before even counting his salary.
It’s not about the Prem sides being called Benfica, Ajax, Salzburg or Monaco, all of whom are more than £350m in the black in the same decade.
But sure, sure, something has to change, and fast. It can’t go on.
Club net spend over the last 10 years
- Manchester United – £1.19 billion
- Chelsea – £883m
- PSG – £866m
- Arsenal – £745m
- Man City – £732m
- Newcastle – £573m
- Barcelona – £568m
- Tottenham – £521million
- AC Milan – £468m
- West Ham – £452m
- Aston Villa – £413m
- Liverpool – £395m
- Al Hilal – £392m
- Juventus – £385m
- Everton – £336m
- Crystal Palace – £322m
- Bournemouth – £294m
- Bayern Munich – £294m
- Real Madrid – £279m
- Nottingham Forest – £265m