Top 20 biggest spending clubs in the last 8 years - CIES

GatoLoco

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I'm all for analyzing a clubs spending individually to see whether or not they've done a good job investing in players, but comparing them against each other seems daft to me.

All of these clubs operate within different financial restraints, with different wage structures, transfer budgets per window etc. Something like Coutinho pushing for and getting a transfer to Barcelona or Courtois going on strike to force a move to Madrid is a variable that dramatically impact what a club does in a transfer window. Chelsea wouldn't have spent a record fee on a keeper if Courtois would've stayed. An injury to Chamberlain is what probably prompted us to go and spent 13 million on Shaqiri, and Arsenal & now Spurs were/are unable to spend as much as others because they both built/are building new stadiums.

These variables create an unbalanced comparison when looking at what clubs are doing or have done in the market imo.
Some of those variables are not entirely random, but more or less a result of the way squads are managed. For instance you mentioned two players forcing out, but in one of the cases the selling club got a transfer record for the player, in the other one the fee was very reduced because there was only one year remaining in the contract. If forcing out was the key for everything, Verratti would now be at Barcelona, and we all know now what the story was.
 

do.ob

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It isn't. Net Spend doesn't exist. It's a lazy, generally uninformed expression made up by fans and journos who have no clue how accounting and finance actually work

Profit(and i'm talking actual profit, not transfer fee) from sales does matter and impact a club's spending power, but it doesn't work club spends X for player Y, sells player Z for X--->net spend 0.
"Net spent" is an approximation, that is used because fans and journalists can't just access the actual contracts, but that doesn't mean it's worthless. It just means that it isn't a measure of absolute truth.
If you have a more accurate measure feel free to share it.
 

Klopper76

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Some of those variables are not entirely random, but more or less a result of the way squads are managed. For instance you mentioned two players forcing out, but in one of the cases the selling club got a transfer record for the player, in the other one the fee was very reduced because there was only one year remaining in the contract. If forcing out was the key for everything, Verratti would now be at Barcelona, and we all know now what the story was.
Even so, you can see that clubs are run differently. Comparing their spending against each other seems futile as it's an unbalanced comparison.
 

wub1234

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I don't get why some people say net spend is irrelevant.

For example, if we sell our whole squad for 400m to raise fund, and then just spend 100m of it to buy all the average players to fill up our squad, sure its totally different than just spending 100m to buy new players without selling any of our players, no?
Of course this is the case.

An illustration of this is...imagine if Barcelona had sold Messi in the last transfer window. Even at his age, if anyone could pay it they could probably get a world record fee for him. Certainly you would expect it to be in the £200 million ballpark.

Now they would absolutely have to buy some players obviously as there is now a Messi-like hole in their team. So they might go out and spend £250 million on new players.

If you ignore net spend, then what you would say in this scenario is that Barcelona have spent £250 million, we can completely ignore the sale of Messi, and they now should be a £250 million better team than they were before.

How much sense does this make? Not much.
 

fergies coat

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Scholes
Evra
Vidic
Ferdinand
Giggs
Carrick
Rooney

All pretty much retired or left for nothing. How much would we have got for these players if they left at there peak. You can’t count net spend and then not account for this.
 

GatoLoco

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Even so, you can see that clubs are run differently. Comparing their spending against each other seems futile as it's an unbalanced comparison.
Not even to see that the clubs are run differently? I can understand you're reluctant to use it as an exact measure for everything, as there are way more things to take into account, as the income some players produce for instance, but to discard it entirely seems a little bit extreme to me.
 

Cait Sith

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I don't get why some people say net spend is irrelevant.
Obviously because a net spend table makes United look bad. Spent almost as much as PSG but PSG can boast Neymar, Cavani, Mbappe, Verratti etc.
 

giorno

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"Net spent" is an approximation, that is used because fans and journalists can't just access the actual contracts, but that doesn't mean it's worthless. It just means that it isn't a measure of absolute truth.
If you have a more accurate measure feel free to share it.
I didn't say it's worthless, i said it doesn't exist, two different things

To use an example: if a club has players valued £500m, sells them all for £500m and signs new ones for £500m, the effective investment on the team is £500m, not 0. Club made no profit from sales.

Net spend is a measure of cash flow, not investment
 

RobinLFC

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This whole net spend thing is just a deflection by Liverpool fans who can't accept that they are selling club.
:lol: Using the net spend bullshit is literally admitting that we have sold our best players in the last few years, not to say decade.
 

do.ob

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I didn't say it's worthless, i said it doesn't exist, two different things

To use an example: if a club has players valued £500m, sells them all for £500m and signs new ones for £500m, the effective investment on the team is £500m, not 0. Club made no profit from sales.

Net spend is a measure of cash flow, not investment
That's just arguing semantics though? "net spent" may not exist in the sense that it's something you can look up in an economics dictionary, but it exists in the sense that it's a clearly defined indicator, that offers some analytical value?
 

CechMate1

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You say that because City look very good now, but that doesn't hold up in terms of trophies. Chelsea's net spend is half of that of City, even Man Utd have been nearly as successful as them with considerably less outlay.

Have a look at the trophies the 3 biggest spenders in England have won:

Trophies Man City since 2010: 3 league titles, 1 FA CUP

Trophies Chelsea since 2010: 3 league titles, 1 Champions League, 1 Europa League, 3 FA Cups

Trophies Man Utd since 2010: 2 league titles, 1 Europa League, 1 FA Cup
3 League titles and 1 FA Cup is a good return for City but considering the amount they have spent you would be expecting more, especially when you look at Chelsea's success in the same period.

They've also failed to do anything of note in Europe
 

Lentwood

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Net spend also doesn’t take into account transfer inflation.

Liverpool, for example, bought Coutinho for £8m and sold him for £142m. Mainly because Barcelona had just lost Neymar for £200m.

On the othe hand, Moyes lost Giggs, Scholes, Vidic, Ferdinand and Evra in the space of 12-mnths for the sum total of £1.5m

All of these players have had to be replaced during a transfer market boom

Hence why I don’t believe in net spend as a method of defending or criticising a manager. The majority of the time they have been at the club nowhere near long enough for them to have a material impact
 

Klopper76

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This whole net spend thing is just a deflection by Liverpool fans who can't accept that they are selling club.
No one said we're not a selling club, but comparing the way we're financially set up to how a club like City operates isn't a fair comparison at all.

If you're comparing the signings that both clubs have made then fair enough, but there are too many variables and unknowns to compare clubs financially imo.
 

Thunderhead

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3 League titles and 1 FA Cup is a good return for City but considering the amount they have spent you would be expecting more, especially when you look at Chelsea's success in the same period.

They've also failed to do anything of note in Europe
Chelsea started from a far stronger position than us when Abramovich took over asthey were already an established club regularly in the hunt for trophies, we were getting humped 8-1 of the likes of 'boro
 

Don Alfredo

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Chelsea started from a far stronger position than us when Abramovich took over asthey were already an established club regularly in the hunt for trophies, we were getting humped 8-1 of the likes of 'boro
Have you had a look at their squad in the 2012 season? It was just a bunch of 30 somethings over the hill, a dozen journeymen like Raul Meireles and Juan Mata as the single quality player. They had to replace the entire squad, can't say they had much of a head start at that point compared to you.
 

giorno

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That's just arguing semantics though? "net spent" may not exist in the sense that it's something you can look up in an economics dictionary, but it exists in the sense that it's a clearly defined indicator, that offers some analytical value?
The only value it offers is in regards to cash flow. It does not have a significant impact on a club's budget, though it can impact specific deals(as more cash means you can frontload payment for a player you want to sign, which in most cases will reduce total price).

Profit on sales does have an impact on budget on though

The value it offers mostly is in regards to player movement. Example: Liverpool sold Coutinho for a massive fee. That fee implies a massive profit -increase in budget- and the need to sign a replacement. Since a replacement for Coutinho needs to be a ready made world class player, that player will likely require a large money outlay. In the end the player in question was Van Dijk
 

spontaneus1

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I think net-spends should be taken into account. And arranged in increasing order, in the 2010-2018 period:

1. City: -1032m
2. PSG: -874m
3. United: -772m
4. Barca: -598m
5. Chelsea: -538m
6. Juve: -409m
7. Liverpool: -327m
8. Milan: -296m
9. Arsenal: -286m
10: Madrid: -260m

Madrid are easily the club who've gotten most bang for buck. Barca, Juve and to an extent, City, have also seen good returns for their money.
On the other end, Milan ought to be embarrassed. Neither us or Arsenal have made good transfers, either.
That's because Madrid spent crazy money just before this period is accounted for.
 

Naz

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City may top the spending but the gap to the rest is not qualitatively different. You would expect a Premier league clubs to be top and this period captures City's post takeover spending.
 

MysticRed

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I don’t follow your logic at all. Sure you’ve invested £1bn, but if you sold say your three best players for £300m, then surely you are spending that initial money to replaced those lost?! Otherwise you are worse off. For a like-for-like you spending £300m just to stand still.

If a sell my car for £1k and buy another for £1k, I still got 1 car to take me to work, it’s not necessary going to improve my journey. Bad example - but you get my point.
 

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Is it me or is it mostly Liverpool fans who obsess over net spend? Just because you sell your biggest stars doesn't somehow negate your obscene spending on transfers like any other big club.
 

JDoe

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If we count net spend, can we count squad depreciation value too.
Say 2 teams have squads worth £500m, Team A doesn't replace any players until they get old and retire, then replaces them with another £500m worth of players, Team B constantly sell their players when their value is high and reinvests that money in new players worth £500m.
Team A and Team B now once again have squads worth £500m, despite Team A having spent £500m more than Team B to get there. Does this mean Team A should have higher expectations than Team B because they have a higher net spend, even though the overall net squad strength is mostly unchanged?
Speaking hypothetically, team B's squad should be losing value even if they we're selling their team after just one year and their players' ability are not improving (which should be the case on average). So they'd be losing a tiny bit of their investment every time the replace their squad.
 

The holy trinity 68

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I think net-spends should be taken into account. And arranged in increasing order, in the 2010-2018 period:
Of course not forgetting that Liverpool only have a net spend of about £100m due to the Coutinho sale.
Spending is spending regardless.

How about we determine spend but include how much money is spent from the clubs full profits made each year and not include player sales in that? If we did this then Manchester United would probably be much lower on that list.

Liverpool may have a lower net transfer spend than United, but I bet United have a lower spend from company profits. Because at the end of the day it isn't just player sales income that should be matched against player spending, but all profits made.

It is ridiculous that fans use this excuse of "but we spent much less in net spend". But not taking into account full company profits in the spending.
 

el3mel

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Net spend, the most overused word when it comes to transfers these days.
 

MackRobinson

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Liverpool fans like net spend b/c it makes them look shrewd. United fans hate net spend b/c it makes them look wasteful.

/end thread summary
 

LoSpritz

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Spending=Winning.
Top 6 teams have all won their respective leagues in the last 8 years
 

DonnieDarko

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The net spend debate is not for boasting or moaning. I believe it's mostly a reaction to other fans trying to use gross spend as a stick to poke Liverpool fans with.
You see the other "look at Liverpool, they've spent X and <insert random comparison or expectation claim>" and it just triggers.

Neither net nor gross spend are an accurate metrics of how successful or capable a team is.
Squad cost is closer to what you can measure and compare, but squad cost does not directly correlate with performance, the ratio varies greatly and is definitely not linear. One can sell 100m worth of players, buy 50m worth of players and end up with a better team for many reasons (e.g. the new players fit the system better). Not to mention ~30m can get you either Mane or Benteke... Some managers are better than the others at squeezing performance out of players. It's complicated, and managing expectations based purely on net/gross spend is not so wise.

The algorithms betting companies use are probably the closest you can get to compare clubs and their relative success, but good luck finding those.
 

Flanders Devil

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I think a lot of the debate comes down to a difference in what people are trying to measure using any given metric. The debate should really be, what’s the best metric to use for any given measure.

For example to measure:

- squad strength: id argue you’d want to look at wages - combined, average, distribution of. (Eg Real Madrid v Everton)

- spending power or investment in the squad or recruitment strategy- look at net spend as an indicator. (Eg Us v Southampton)

This is just using financial aspects, not footballing. Which i’d Argue is way more important and what is fans should really care about.
 
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Ooh2B

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The most surprising thing for me regardless of net/gross spend is the phenomenal amount of money going around the sport at the moment.

I can still remember people having conniption fits back in the mid/late 90’s when Utd fielded a team who’s total value was £90 million.

Now it’s common place for individual players to cost that much, never mind the wages for said individual..

Over the last decade it’s hard to argue with “the more you spend, the more you win”

Bar Liverpool..
 

haram

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Liverpool have spent a billion and all they’ve done is won a league cup against Cardiff on penalties :lol:
 

Schneckerl

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I don't understand why when people talk about spending only the initial transfer fee is considered. Bonuses and weekly wages are part of spending on a player. Very flawed and misleading comparison this way.
 

mannbeist

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You have to factor in net spend a little. De Maria was bought, then sold a year later for nearly the same price.
 

Ooh2B

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Liverpool have spent a billion and all they’ve done is won a league cup against Cardiff on penalties :lol:
Also, as I just read on a different thread about “European clubs wage bill for 2016/17” by @Nanook, Liverpool spent £208 million on wages that year alone.

There’s another cool £1Billion every 5 years net spend by them alone. And that is a net spend, so I’d be thinking wages are a relevant inclusion in the net spend conversation.
 

Hazza83

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Not this again, irrelevant!

If you have spent £1B improving your squad (Liverpool), you've spent £1B improving your squad. It doesn't matter where the money comes from.
I doubt any owners of premier league clubs would agree...
 

TambourineMan

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Not this again, irrelevant!

If you have spent £1B improving your squad (Liverpool), you've spent £1B improving your squad. It doesn't matter where the money comes from.
Of course it matters. For example, if person A spends £100,000 on 5 Rolex's in a year and person B buys the same 5 Rolex's for £100,000 but has had to sell before being able to buy again and so sells 4 in the year for £80,000, they now have vastly different outcomes at the end of the year. Person A now has 5 luxury watches and person B has 1 despite spending the "same".