The January transfer window is creeping up slowly, and it has become an exciting time for football fans with some surprising moves taking place over the past few seasons. The price tags involved are often inflated as no club wants to lose players half way through a season. However, it simply makes for more exhilarating news when Big Ben strikes midnight in London, England.
You may think you know which of the premier league clubs have spent big over the past 5 seasons, but some of the facts and figures may surprise you. Take a look at where Liverpool ranks in terms of average spending. Activity in both summer and January transfer windows from 2006-2011 will be taken into account.
All figures are in British Pounds or GBP's for short. At the time of writing, 1 GBP was equivalent to approximately 1.57 US Dollars
Starting us off at number 20 are Arsenal. With recent exports Cesc Fabregas and Samir Nasri moving for reasonably large sums of money, Arsenal have actually made a nett profit on transfers of over 31 million GBP which makes an average profit on transfers of 6.2 million per season since 2006. No wonder Arsenal fans are complaining that Arsene Wenger never breaks the bank! One thing you have to be impressed with is the fact that Arsenal are still a top team despite not putting their hands in their pockets too often.
At 19 are Newcastle United who have actually spent 8 million more than Arsenal over the same period, but have also recouped well, perhaps largely due to the huge fee Liverpool paid them for Andy Carroll back in January this year. 29 million GBP's of nett profit will please owner Mike Ashley, but now they are back in the premier league, the fans will be expecting more spending rather than making the accounts look healthy.
At number 18 are former premier league champions Blackburn Rovers. Despite a fresh cash injection from new owners Venky's, Blackburn have struggled to attract top quality players which may explain their paltry spending of just 36.8 million GBP over the past 5 years, resulting in a nett profit for the club of 28.8 million. Things will have to change if Blackburn ever want to reach the top again.
In at 17 are Wigan Athletic. Star player Charles N'Zogbia was sold in the summertime to Aston Villa which may account for some of their nett profit of 6.5 million GBP over 5 years. Wigan haven't been afraid to splash the cash though, as they have doled out close to 63.5 million, almost 27 million more than Blackburn, but have still managed to make 1.3 million a season profit.
16th spot goes to one of this season's newly promoted sides, Norwich City. Norwich are our last team on this list that have actually made a nett profit from transfers over the past half decade, even though that profit was just 2 million GBP. An average 405,000 GBP per year profit is unlikely to be blown on any major signings.
Much like Arsene Wenger of Arsenal, David Moyes has had to guide Everton up the table on a limited budget which is why Everton find themselves at number 15 on this list. Close to 65 million GBP's of spending mean the board will back Moyes when they have the ability to do so, but football is a business and they have sold almost as much as they have bought leaving them with a transfer net spending of 1 million GBP's over 5 years. Seemingly Everton's league position matches their spending, but a little bit every season in the premier league won't get you far.
Swansea are the second newly promoted team to feature, and they take spot number 14 in the big money table. Impressive position for last season's championship team, but Swansea have only mustered 12 million GBP's of spending in 5 years, with half of that being recovered through sales. Nett spend of 5.5 million will likely see them struggle this season.
At 13 are West Bromwich Albion. Dubbed a "yo-yo" team in terms of their frequent relegation/promotion/relegation status, WBA have spent almost as much as Blackburn, Swansea and Norwich combined with gross spending of 51 million GBP, but have sales figures of 41 million to balance the books. A gross average spend of 1.95 million per season won't even buy you one decent new player in the Premier League.
Neil Warnock got a bargain in the temperamental Joey Barton
QPR take position 12 after spending over 25 million GBP in the past 5 seasons, with a large proportion of that being laid out for Premier League survival. Sales of just 2 million over the same period show that QPR have the financial clout to stick around for a while in the EPL without sweating on a call from the bank manager.
Relegation flirters Wolves are in 11th spot which came as a surprise to me. Wolves have a nett spend of over 36 million GBP since 2006 which is an average purchase of 7.6 million per season. Unfortunately for them, it doesn't seem to have benefitted them any.
10th place Bolton. Well doesn't that sound familiar? Joking aside, Bolton's spending seems to be similar to that of Wolves. Quite reasonable sums of money are being paid out, but the benefits don't seem to all too clear. Until the past 2 or 3 years Bolton were relegation scrappers, so surely a nett spend of 39 million GBP should be benefitting them more.
9th place Fulham have found themselves tinkering with the Europa league of late, and that is likely down to their increased average spending of 9.4 million GBP's. Fulham have paid out an impressive 77 million in the past 5 years and have sold off less than half that. Let's hope owner Mohammad Al Fayad can keep up with his nett spending of almost 47 million, otherwise the prices might go up in Harrod's
Perhaps the most surprising position on this list is that of Manchester United. At number 8, United have the 5th highest gross spending in the league at a huge 217 million GBP's, but have recovered a large proportion of that leaving them with a nett spend over 5 years of 57 million. I'm sure the figures would be much more painful for the Glazers if it weren't for the sale of a certain Mr Cristiano Ronaldo.
Unbelievably, 7th place Stoke City have spent more money (nett) on transfers than Manchester United over the past half decade. Stoke for the Champions League anyone?! Now firmly established as top half team, Tony Pulis will look to attract more quality over the coming seasons, rather than his traditional ram raid style players. An impressive spend average by Stoke of 12.2 million per season.
Even Jermaine Defoe can't believe Spurs have spent so much
Alot of Steve Bruces spending this summer will likely account for Sunderland's 6th place showing in the spending charts. 147 million GBP's have been spent by Niall Quinn and his associates over the last 5 seasons, with only 84 million of that being recovered in sales. Sunderland fans are expecting better from their team, and with this expenditure I'd have to agree with them.
Aston Villa take 5th spot with an average seasonal spend of 13.6 million, which is 2.3 million a season more than Manchester United and 19.9 million more than Arsenal. Maybe Arsene Wenger isn't so daft afterall.
Tottenham are perhaps the "truest" placement in terms of results vs spending. An outgoing gross spend of 238 million in 5 years has pushed Spurs into Champions League contenders. A good representation of what buying the right players can do for you club. Gareth Bale for 5 million anyone?
The mighty reds of Liverpool find themselves in 3rd place with an almighty gross spend of 309.5 million GBP's over the past half decade. A figure which is 92 million more than Manchester United show's that the board will back us when the time is right. 225 million in sales has left us with an average nett spend of 16.8 million (which is the same cost as one of Andy Carroll's legs in real terms) Liverpool are spending big, so the results need to start to match.
2nd and 1st place in the spending charts is no surprise to anyone who knows anything about football, but there are some interesting facts.
Chelsea had a gross spend of 42 million GBP's LESS than Liverpool over the last 5 years, despite the millions that Roman Abramovich can throw at the club, but the difference lies in sales. Chelsea only sold off 122 million of the 267 they spent, leaving them with an average seasonal spend of 29 million.
Manchester City on the other hand are way out there on their own. Gross spending of 538 million, with sales of only 100 million in the same period gives them an average seasonal spend of 87.4 million on new players. That's enough to buy Sergio Aguero twice every season and still have some change left over for a half time pie.
Thanks for reading.