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How the summer spending has affected the league so far, and the missing factor in the analysis.

By Tony Attwood

So just how much impact has the mad money spending of this summer had on the Premier League thus far?

To try and get an early view onto what all the expenditure has done I’ve created a league table with three extra columns in it.

The “Last Year” column shows where the team was at this stage (after five games) last season.  The figure in brackets shows where the club ended up at the end of the season

The “Spend” column is how much (in millions) they spent in the summer transfer shopping bananza.

The “£pos” column shows where they were in this summer’s spending league.

 
# Team P W D L F A GD Pts Last Yr Spend £pos
1 Manchester Airport 5 5 0 0 15 4 11 15  1 (4) £174.05 1
2 Everton 5 4 1 0 10 3 7 13  7 (11) £48.95 10
3 Tiny Totts 5 3 2 0 8 2 6 11  12 (3) £70.6 5
4 Arsenal 5 3 1 1 12 7 5 10 4 (2) £91.5 4
5 Chelsea Abramovich 5 3 1 1 10 6 4 10  17 (10) £123,45 3
6 Liverpool!!! 5 3 1 1 11 8 3 10  10 (8) £69.9 6
7 Manchester United 5 3 0 2 8 6 2 9 3 (5) £149.55 2
8 Crystal Palace 5 2 1 2 7 5 2 7 6 (15) £55 8
9 Watford 5 2 1 2 10 9 1 7 13 (13) £53.9 9
10 West Bromwich Albion 5 2 1 2 6 5 1 7 14 (14) £22.5 16
11 Leicester City 5 2 1 2 7 7 0 7 2 (1) £67.83 7
12 Hull City 5 2 1 2 6 7 -1 7 £19.5 19
13 Middlesbrough 5 1 2 2 5 7 -2 5 £20.8 18
14 Southampton 5 1 2 2 4 6 -2 5  11 (6) £43.8 11
15 Swansea City 5 1 1 3 4 7 -3 4  8 (12) £32.27 14
16 Burnley 5 1 1 3 3 8 -5 4 £22.1 17
17 Bournemouth 5 1 1 3 3 9 -6 4 16 (16) £39.4 13
18 State Aid United 5 1 0 4 7 13 -6 3  5 (7) £43.65 12
19 Sunderland 5 0 1 4 3 9 -6 1  19 (17) £27.1 15
20 Stoke City 5 0 1 4 3 14 -11 1  18 (9) £18.25 20
The most obvious factors here is that the position after five games has little relevance to the position at the end of the season.
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Last season Tottenham rose by nine places between the fifth game position and the end of the season as did Stoke.  Chelsea went up by seven.   Some clubs obviously declined significantly after a good start – Palace being the most obvious examples going down by nine positions.  The relegated clubs (obviously not shown) did much the same.
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And what about the money?
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Nine of the top ten spenders in the summer are in the top ten positions at the moment (Leicester are the odd ones out) so it looks like spending does help clubs be nearer the top in the opening weeks.  In fact four of the top five spenders are in the top five positions in the league – this time the exception is Man U.
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Thus there is something of an interesting point here.  Spending lots of money in the summer can give the club a boost at the start of the season and the impression that it was money well spent.  I suspect this comes from multiple issues – it gives the other players in the squad a lift to see new men to play alongside, and there is still the element of surprise in other teams as they have to adjust to playing against players they have never come up against before.
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But over time this fades out, and players’ strengths and weaknesses get found out.
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Last season we showed that for a lot of clubs the amount of money that they spent in the summer had little impact on where they ended up.  It will be interesting to see if this is the same this season, and if the initial response to having spent money actually fades out as the season progresses.
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It is also interesting, once again, that the amount spent is only a partial reflection of the value of each team, as it significantly undervalues clubs that bring through their own youth players.  Iwobi, for example, who is looking like a major asset, was never included in the spending for the summer before he emerged.  We may well see this year the emergence of an Arsenal player who by the end of this season is valued at £20m or more, but who is not showing at all on the chart at the moment, because he has come up through the youth ranks.
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The stadium issue however is raising its head again – as per our regular articles on what happens when new stadia emerge.  As Karren Brady said, “The move has been a complete success on every level … Be in no doubt, we are part of the most successful stadium migration in history.”  Yep.
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And I think there is one other factor that is not showing in these tables – injuries to key players.
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Now this is a complex issue and one that I haven’t found a way of realising in a table – because there are several factors at work here.  The first is injuries to key players – I mentioned Tottenham’s issue with their centre forward and his injury in the last couple of days.  The second is how well the club is set up to cope with an injury to a key player or two.  Arsenal clearly suffered losing Koscielny, Gabriel and Mert for the opening game – and it is hard to cover for such an eventuality.  But top clubs do manage to cover for one player, no matter how key, getting injured.
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I think that is what we are seeing in terms of the forward line now at Arsenal – cover in terms of other players being available, and cover in terms of players being able to move position.  A sort of “Double Cover” approach.
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Quite how we devise a table showing all those factors I have no idea, but I suspect this is the major issue affecting league position that we are missing at the moment.
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To round up the figures here’s the check list in amount order of the summer spending.
1 Manchester Airport £174.05m
2 Manchester Utd £149.55m
3 Chelsea Abramovich £123.45m
4 Arsenal £91.5m
5 Tiny Totts £70.6m
6 Liverpool!!! £69.9m
7 Leicester £67.83m
8 Crystal Palace £55m
9 Watford £53.9m
10 Everton £48.95
11 Southampton £43.8m
12 State Aid United £43.65m
13 Bournemouth £39.4m
14 Swansea £32.27m
15 Sunderland £27.1m
16 West Bromwich Albion £22.5m
17 Burnley £22.1m
18 Middlesbrough £20.8m
19 Hull City £19.5m
20 Stoke £18.25m

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4 comments to How the summer spending has affected the league so far, and the missing factor in the analysis.

  • Andy Mack

    I think part of the need for players to ‘cover’ other positions adequately is as much about ‘in game’ management (injuries/cards) as it is in pre-game management.

  • Samuel Akinsola Adebosin

    Has spending less money anything to do with Stoke City’s current stagnation state in the PL who have spent the least of summer spendings and are now bottom rock after 5 games?

    I am not a Stoke City fan but an Arsenal mania fan. Therefore, I should better focus on Arsenal vs Chelsea match coming up at the Ems on Saturday.

    Chelsea current manager Antonio Conte will start paying for all the 9 goals scored SIN in 2 phases the last 2 Chelsea managers: Guys Hiddink and Jose Mourinho have committee against Arsenal, starting with a 5-0 white washing of Conte’s Chelsea side at the Ems this Saturday. And another 0-4 humiliation of Chelsea at the Bridge in the return leg is very much on the cards.

    Yes! Arsenal will beat Diego Costa Chelsea led attack at the Ems on Saturday by 5 goals to nil is a visionary statement. And it’s better be believed by all and sundry who are supporting Arsenal FC.

  • Pat

    Wow! A goal fest for Arsenal, Samuel. I think it will be a lot closer than that, especially as I think our mature Arsenal team will be careful in defence. But we should win.

  • Polo

    Somehow they never fail to find a way to have a dig at AW. This is from a Daily Mail piece on AW 20 years.

    ‘Wenger has won the country’s quintessential knockout competition, the FA Cup, more times than any other manager in history, at a time when plenty of English managers and proud LMA cardholders have disrespected the competition by naming weakened teams.’

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