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Recent transfers, total cost of squad, and salaries against position in the league

By Tony Attwood

An elite group of nine European ‘super clubs’, including five from the Premier League, are now so wealthy that nobody else has any realistic chance of catching them financially.   That is what a new official report from Uefa says, although it is not clear what it intends to do about it.

Also it is not clear why they think no one else can catch up.  After all FFP is hardly being rigorously applied, and even when it is, the penalties are small, and Chinese football fans seem to have plenty of cash, and could keep on buying clubs.  So how can they suggest no one else will enter the fray?  Look how fast PSG joined in.

Anyway the top teams in financial terms from England are the obvious: Manchester United, Manchester City, Arsenal, Chelsea and Liverpool.

In Spain it is the child traffickers, Real Madrid and Barcelona.   In Germany the eternal league winners Bayern Munich and France has the oil and gas sponsored Paris Saint-Germain.

The suggestion is that these clubs have brought in an extra £100m each from commercial revenue, while most of the other clubs in the top leagues in Europe have struggled in increase their sales by £1m each.

There’s a rather twee little report from Uefa on the topic which calls Uefa the “guardian of the game” which someone in the mass media in the UK would question if they weren’t all so in hock to Uefa in terms of getting the rights to coverage of Champs League games.   If Uefa is the guardian of the game then Donald Trump is the guardian of the free world.

Oh.

The argument against other teams rising up and breaking into the elite group is that the big clubs have big supporter bases which they can use to generate more money – and they can do this because they can now reach all their supporters all over the world.

One interesting other fact is that England has more foreign owners  than the rest of Europe’s 13 biggest leagues combined.  Chinese investors look likely to outnumber American owners by the end of this year (that is my prediction not theirs).

So anyway I thought I would try and pull together some figures to see how they relate to this Uefa report.

Club 2016 transfer spend Transfer pos. Current squad cost Squad cost pos. Current Salary bill Salary pos. Lge pos.
Manchester U £157.25m 1 £628m 1 £5.65m 1 6
Manchester C £153.85m 2 £532m 2 £5.42m 2 4
Chelsea £120.11m 3 £419m 3 £4.51m 3 1
Arsenal £96.05m 4 £332m 4 £3.70m 4 5
Liverpool! £67.92m 6 £310m 5 £3.01m 5 2
Tiny Totts £70.13m 5 £239m 6 £2.68m 6 3
State Aid Utd £52.96m 7 £171m 8 £2.26m 7 13
Everton £45m 8 £184m 7 £2.14m 8 7
Southampton £44.12m 9 £158m 9 £2.07m 9 10
WBA £22.44m 10 £70m 10 £1.84m 10 8

What I find interesting is that the more the clubs are going to spend, the more they are going to spend in all areas – Arsenal have the fourth highest transfer spend, the fourth highest current squad cost, the fourth highest salary bill.

In other words no one has found a magic formula of being able to spend more in just one area in order to rise up the league.

But of course the league position does not exactly reflect money spent.  Ninth in the league are Bournemouth who are 14th in the current squad cost and are 17th in the salary chart.  Their problem however is if their players are seen to be responsible for their high position (as opposed to their manager) then those players will be the subject of significant bids.

This is what happened to Leicester last summer and as a result the club was forced to offer new contracts to the players, which then restricted its ability to buy new players.   As a result of that Leicester are tied into longer contracts with some players who are no longer delivering which means it is harder for them to build up a new squad.   But the change in the way the rules are interpreted this season has harmed them too.

And Leicester have found it impossible to generate huge amounts of new revenue on the back of their Championship last season.  Which is rather what Untold suggested might happen, following our bit of digging in relation to their rather curious marketing company.  But still, mustn’t boast.

There are slight variations of course – Tottenham spent more than usual in the summer of 2016 but are underpaying on salaries, but the differences other than in the cases mentioned are never more than one place.

Thus the teams that ought to be doing far more than they are currently achieving are Manchester United. Manchester City and above all West Ham.  They have had (according to their co-chair) the most successful stadium transplant ever, and indeed have been gifted a stadium as compared to Arsenal and Tottenham who have had to pay for theirs.  On the basis of expenditure they should be 7th in the league, but they are 13th.  Clearly not good enough.

Meanwhile Arsenal has been raising the salaries of players considerably, and the news has come through that Olivier Giroud, Francis Coquelin and Laurent Koscielny have all agreed new contract extensions, something that I am sure they wanted to get out of the way before sorting out the issues of Alexis and Mesut.

“We are very pleased that three important members of our team have committed to us for the long term. Francis has made tremendous technical strides over the past few years because he’s so focused every day,” said Arsène Wenger.   “Olivier has big experience in the game now and has become a more and more complete player since joining us. Laurent is of course a key part of our squad and I believe one of the best defenders in the world today. So overall, this is great news for us.”

And so says I.

Untold Arsenal and the Arsenal History Society… nine years old today

14 comments to Recent transfers, total cost of squad, and salaries against position in the league

  • SamuelAkinsolaAdebosin

    Hmmn. After the just recently contract extentions by our 3 top Gunners as announced today and in addition to the envisaged contract extentions by Ozil and Sanchez, Arsenal wage bill could rise significantly to the level or nearly matched the wage bill being paid by the third placed in the wage bill table – Chelsea to their players who are currently shouldering a wage bill of £4.51 monthly I suppose.

    I think a high percentage of the wage bill Man Utd and Man City are paying to their players are being consumed by players like, Paul Pogba, Wayne Rooney, Zlatan Ibrahimovic, Juan Mata Anthony Martial, Henrikh Mkhitaryan, David De Gear, Glaudio Bravo, Kevin De Bruyne, Sergio Aguero, Vincent Kompany, IIkey Gundogan, Fernandinho and Redeem Sterling. Arsenal could face the same problem when Ozil and Sanchez extend their own contracts as the duo look to be consuming at least 1/5 of the total Arsenal”s wage bill for the senior Gunners. The consequences of to sign a big player as most fans are desiring for their clubs especially we the Arsenal supporters is to be prepared to pay the big player or players big money which is a strain on the clubs’ wage bill.

  • Mike T

    Some major flaws in the figures. This posters on this site have in the past been very happy to show net transfer spend as opposed to just spend.As things stand Liverpool have made a profit of £3.2 million, Spurs net spend is £29.24, Chelseas after the Oscar sale is £26.60 million. The top three spenders are Man City £151 million, Man Utd £126.69 and then Arsenal £88.25 million
    Wages are another thing that aren’t quite as clear for the wages reflected in accounts include wages paid to all players on a contract and that includes players out on loan. It’s a requirement of the FA that players on loan remain on the owning clubs payroll. Yes I know clubs are reported as paying the wages if they take a player on loan and yes they do but any sucht payment is reflected in transfer fees received and is a factor ias to why Chelseas net transfer expenditure is lower than you would expect.

  • SamuelAkinsolaAdebosin

    Hmmn. After the just recently contract extentions by our 3 top Gunners as announced today and in addition to the envisaged contract extentions by Ozil and Sanchez, Arsenal wage bill could rise significantly to the level of that of Chelsea or nearly matched the wage bill they are paying to their players as they are currently shouldering a wage bill of £4.51m weekly or monthly, I don’t know.

    I think a high percentage of the wage bill Man Utd and Man City are paying to their players are being consumed by players like, Paul Pogba, Wayne Rooney, Zlatan Ibrahimovic, Juan Mata, Anthony Martial, Henrikh Mkhitaryan and David De Gear. And for Man City: Glaudio Bravo, Kevin De Bruyne, Sergio Aguero, Vincent Kompany, IIkey Gundogan, Fernandinho, Yaya Toure and Redeem Sterling.

    Arsenal could face the same problem when Ozil and Sanchez extend their own contracts as the duo will look to consume at least 1/5 of the total Arsenal”s wage bill for the senior Gunners. I don’t to back my claim as I just guessed it. The consequences of demands to sign a big player or players as most of us fans are desiring for our clubs like we the Arsenal supporters have been demanding Le Prof should be doing, is for Arsenal to be prepared to pay the big player or players big money which can be a strain on the clubs’ wage bill.

    I think the 5 super Premier clubs mentioned in this article will continue to financially dominate the other Europe’s super clubs of in 4 in 3 other countries of Europe in terms of earnings and further investments in them and in other Premier League clubs too by investors from China and other parts of the world could be on the increase in the foreseeable future to the financial detriment of the non super clubs in the other European Leagues.

    Is Tottenham Hotspur the only super club amongst the 5 in England that are not owned by a foreign investor? I have not read of Tottenham been owned by any investor outside the UK since I’ve reading about them in the media. Is Daniel Levy the owner of Tottenham?

  • SamuelAkinsolaAdebosin

    Hmmn. After the just recently contract extentions by our 3 top Gunners as announced today and in addition to the envisaged contract extentions by Ozil and Sanchez, Arsenal wage bill could rise significantly to the level of that of Chelsea or nearly matched the wage bill they are paying to their players as they are currently shouldering a wage bill of £4.51m weekly or monthly, I don’t know.

    I think a high percentage of the wage bill Man Utd and Man City are paying to their players are being consumed by players like, Paul Pogba, Wayne Rooney, Zlatan Ibrahimovic, Juan Mata, Anthony Martial, Henrikh Mkhitaryan and David De Gear. And for Man City: Glaudio Bravo, Kevin De Bruyne, Sergio Aguero, Vincent Kompany, IIkey Gundogan, Fernandinho, Yaya Toure and Redeem Sterling.

    Arsenal could face the same problem when Ozil and Sanchez extend their own contracts as the duo will look to consume at least 1/5 of the total Arsenal”s wage bill for the senior Gunners. I don’t have fact back my claim as I just guessed it. The consequences of demands by fans to their clubs to sign a big player or big players as most of us the Arsenal fans have been demanding from Le Prof should be doing, is Arsenal must be prepared to pay the big player or big players big money which can be a strain on the clubs’ wage bill.

    I think the 5 super Premier clubs mentioned in this article will continue to financially dominate the other Europe’s super clubs of 4 in 3 other countries of Europe in terms of earnings and further investments in them and also in other Premier League clubs too by investors from China and other parts of the world could be on the increase in the foreseeable future to the financial detriment of the non super clubs in the other European Leagues.

    Is Tottenham Hotspur the only super club amongst the 5 in England that are not owned by a foreign investor? I have not read of Tottenham been owned by any investor outside the UK since I’ve been reading about them in the media. Is Daniel Levy the owner of Tottenham?

  • Leon

    Samuel
    Levy is the Executive Chairman of Spurs and does have a stake in the club as partner of Joe Lewis who holds the majority shares of ENIL who own the club.

  • para

    The thing is:
    If Arsenal want to progress further and they have to realise that they will have to spend more money sooner than later.
    This is why they have been building up fan bases, being true to football and increasing their monetary income.
    We’ve seen the “quality” and price of players rise and rise and Arsenal have to pay if they want to keep up, or stay forever behind the “big” money boys. This is just common business sense and Arsenal will know that.

    Most fans have not realised that Arsenal are no longer (just)playing in that Arsenal way, as many other teams are copying the style into their way of playing.

    Arsenal now plays its football in a few different ways to then, and no doubt more changes will come.

  • Brickfields Gunners

    Using the your resources properly and correctly –

    A Nun Went To A Gynecologist.
    Doctor: “What Is The Problem?”

    Nun: “Something, Is Terribly Wrong, I Keep Finding Postage Stamps From Costa Rica, In My Vagina.”

    Doctor Checked And Said: “Those Aren’t Postage Stamps, Dear. They’re The Stickers, Pasted On The Bananas: “Imported From Costa Rica…”.

  • SamuelAkinsolaAdebosin

    @Leon
    Thanks for the Joe Lewis and ENIL information.

  • John L

    Tony, unlike West Ham, THFC have had to fund their new stadium. However, I believe that thay have in effect received a subsidy from public funds.

    Thus they were relieved of a number of their original planning obligations by a combination of LB Haringey and the previous London Mayor, because they argued that the substantial costs involved would have threatened the viability of the project.

  • Zuruvi

    @Para.

    Thanks mate. Your post makes a lot of sense.

    Arsenal continues to be a very good Top 4 club because of the brilliance of Arsene Wenger.
    I think Arsenal will again become frequent champions (not just Top 4) if we now begin to regularly buy the very highly-talented players like we used to do when we bought Patrick Viera, Robert Pires, Dennis Berghampt, Kanu, Sol Campbell, Thierry, etc. etc.

    We need to get rid of the averagely skilled players in our squad such as Yaya Sinogo, Carl Jenkinson, etc. etc.

    Despite the brilliance of Wenger he does have a weakness of probably hanging on to average players for too long. (We all have weaknesses so please don’t think our beloved Prof is perfect). How on earth Nikolas Bendtner and Almunia stayed at Arsenal for so long still baffles me. These are surely one of the luckiest guys in the world !!!

    It hurts me to see Man Utd (who are said to be having a bad season) being so close to us on the log. The reason is NOT because of the brilliance of Mourinho’s coaching, I think the reasons are two-fold: Some BIASED refereeing decisions have favoured Man Utd, and the fact that they have bought quality players has helped them win games.

    I am one of those who would rather see the huge bank balance spent on some serious talent.
    In the current market, you can be lucky and get a good player like Elneni for £5million. But the really great talents like Ozil, like Sanchez, like Eden Hazard, like Suarez, like Aguerro will cost serious money.

    I have every confidence that we have the best manager but we don’t have the best Starting Eleven.

  • Goonermikey

    @ Mike T

    I agree the total spend tells us little but then I don’t believe the table shown is from UA.

    On the same basis, what period do your figures cover because, as you probably know, if that is the spend in the last twelve months, most players take at least that long to settle. If you want to be realistic, I suggest you look at average net spend against average points gained (or position in the league) as I did a couple of years ago. At that time it showed that Arsenal were, by a country mile, the most successful club in the country. I haven’t done that exercise since, but don’t let me stop you!

  • Nik

    Zuruvi
    Theres not much evidence to state that we have the best manager!!

  • Norman14

    Doesn’t Joe Lewis live in a tax haven somewhere?

  • Mike T

    Goonermikey
    I used the same source, transfermarket as used by Tony. The table brings together information contained on that site but as stated previously omits the fees received in the same period
    Norman
    Lewis I believe has taken up residence in Bermuda and from memory I think he live on a rather large boat

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