A professional football team needs to spend a lot of money to maintain its competitiveness. Investment is necessary to acquire the top players and staff. If a club signs a costly player and is unable to sell them for a fair price, their net expenditure may skyrocket.
Some of the top teams in Europe have sunk a lot of cash into the acquisition of pricey players. But they haven’t been able to sell them for more than their face value or even for a profit.
This leads to a high net outlay spread across several transfer windows. One such instance is when a team like Manchester United extensively invested in Paul Pogba and then allowed him to leave on the open market. The CIES Football Observatory‘s experts examined the previous ten years to determine which teams ultimately had the highest net spending.
- 1 The top 10 clubs by net spending over the past decade are listed below:
The top 10 clubs by net spending over the past decade are listed below:
Chelsea recently smashed the record for the most money spent in a single transfer window by a Premier League club. Over the years, the Blues have spent a lot of money on players like Kai Havertz (£72 million) and Romelu Lukaku (£101.7 million). Wesley Fofana was recently acquired for £72.36 million from Leicester City FC.
Aston Villa: £424m
To maintain its standing as a Premier League team, Aston Villa has made significant financial investments in the team over the years. While Emiliano Buendia (£34.56 million) is their most costly acquisition, they have completed numerous acquisitions without making any major player sales. The club under Steven Gerrard is having trouble in the league in 2022–23 despite such a sizable net expenditure.
Everton spends more money overall than Liverpool, despite the two teams’ drastically contrasting fortunes. Despite spending a net £430 million over the past ten years, EFC is having trouble staying in the Premier League, unlike the Reds, who have won both the Premier League and the UEFA Champions League under Jurgen Klopp.
AC Milan: £432m
It took wise team investments for AC Milan to reach the top of Serie A. To keep up with teams like Inter Milan and Juventus, the Rossoneri had to spend a lot of money on high-profile players like Leonardo Bonucci (£37.8 million) and Andre Silva (£34.2 million), among others.
The Juventus FC team won nine straight Serie A championships from 2011–12 to 2019–20. The Old Lady needed to keep spending money and sign great players if she wanted to consistently remain in the first place.
In the last ten years, the club has made some significant acquisitions, such as Cristiano Ronaldo (£105.3m), Gonzalo Higuain (£81m), Matthijs de Ligt (£76.95m), and others. An Italian team, they have the highest net spending.
One of the most successful English teams, Arsenal is a major spender in the transfer market. The Gunners have spent a total of £583 million over the last ten years. This is the highest sum ever received by a club in London. Some of their most costly additions in recent years include players like Ben White (£52.65m), Nicolas Pepe (£72m), and Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang.
FC Barcelona: £650m
For a Spanish club, FC Barcelona has the highest net spending. In actuality, it’s the only La Liga team on this list. The Blaugrana have spent a total of £650 million on players over the last ten years, including Ousmane Dembele (£126 million), Philippe Coutinho (£121.5 million), and Antoine Griezmann (£108.00 million).
Paris Saint-Germain: £940m
In comparison to other teams, the top three clubs with the highest net spend are in a league of their own.
The net spending of Paris Saint-Germain (£940 million) would be considerable given the amount of money the new owners have spent over the past ten years on players like Kylian Mbappe (£162 million) and Neymar (a world record signing fee of £199.8 million). The club is still trying to win its first-ever UEFA Champions League championship despite the net expenditure.
Manchester City: £985m
The tale of Manchester City and PSG are strikingly similar. Following a net expenditure of £985 million, MCFC is now an unstoppable force in the English domestic circuit as a result of the entry of the new owners and significant investments into the team.
Thanks to the addition of players like Jack Grealish (£105.75m), Kevin De Bruyne (£68.40m), and others, the club has amassed numerous trophies, including the Premier League, the FA Cup, the League Cup, and the Community Shield.
Manchester United: £1.1b
The only football club in the world with a net expenditure of one billion pounds during the last ten years is Manchester United. The appropriate use of the funds is what sets MUFC and MCFC apart.
The Red Devils have not won the Premier League since 2013 despite having the highest net spending of any team in the world. They spent a lot of money on Paul Pogba (£94.5m), Antony (£85.5m), Harry Maguire (£78.3m), and other players. Due to MUFC’s inability to effectively market its players, the net spend is exceptionally large.