Transfer income vs expenditure in the last 10 years: See the minus net transfer ranking!

Josip Brajkovic
Josip Brajkovic
Published: 16.2.2022.

Transfer income vs expenditure in the last 10 years: See the minus net transfer ranking!

A perfect proportion between the success and the money invested in transfers is how must other teams fans explain the success clubs like Manchester City, PSG, or Chelsea had. Yet the truth is that there have been clubs that have invested more or similar, but have failed to establish themselves as powerhouses these clubs are.

Looking at the transfer net spend, meaning income from transfers minus the expenditure for transfers, we see a propper financial scenery of European clubs. One that better puts into context the situations these biggest spenders find themselves in.

Listing in the upper part of the top 20 negative net spend.

20. Wolves -€247,000,000

19. Brighton & Hove Albion -€248,000,000

18. Leicester City -€275,000,000

17. Crystal Palace -€292,000,000

16. Tottenham -€336,000,000

15. Newcastle United -€339,000,000

14. Liverpool -€347,000,000

13. Bayern Munich -€363,000,000

12. West Ham United -€374,000,000

11. Inter -€385,000,000

From the initial bracket, we can deduce that success is very much possible without overextending your spending levels. As Liverpool finds itself with a -€347,000,000 net spend,

Putting in €1,128,000,000 for transfers in the last 10 years, but getting €781,000,000 back. In the last several years, the club has won the Champions League, lost one final, but also won the long-awaited trophy.

Inter are now heading towards their second title win with a net spend that is healthy compared to sides from the top 10. Sales of Achraf Hakimi and Romelu Lukaku were great, yet the Nerazzurri did invest a lot to get them too.

Spurs, haven't recorded a major sale in the past five years, refused them even, while making several top flops like Tanguy Ndombele. Still, THFC remains in the safer zone of net spend, being one of the 10 teams from the top 20 worst net transfer spends that has bought players for over a billion euros.

What is apparent from the upper half is the total domination of Premier League clubs as sides like Brighton, Wolves, and Crystal Palace are not far off from what Bayern Munich has in terms of net spend.

Newcastle already finds itself quite near the German giants, with the help of this last window which saw them spend €110,000,000.

Worst transfer net spend in the last 10 years

10. Chelsea -€413,000,000

Starting off the top 10 is one of the clubs that gets criticized for having all the money to spend, yet the numbers show CFC is simply good at the business of football. Yes, they’ve invested €1,614,000,000 in the last 10 years, but they've also sold players for €1,201,000,000! They are the only club that has sales over one billion, with Juventus and Barcelona near to it. Considering who is ahead of them, the Blues can boast with their minus record.

9. Aston Villa -€424,000,000

8. Everton -€429,000,000

Two Premier League clubs that are in the top 10 without any sign of debt crushing them. Aston Villa is now where EFC was several years ago investing big into known-players to reach the upper part of the table. While the Birmingham club’s inclusion is even more impressive considering that they’ve been in the Championship for three seasons in the past 10 years. While they've also made the record for the biggest British transfer, on the receiving end of the deal that sent Jack Grealish to Manchester City.

7. Milan -€432,000,000

6. Juventus -€561,000,000

Club operation is also illustrated for the seventh and sixth spot, as the Italian giants had vastly different results in the last decade. Juve has nearly notched up 10 straight wins, while Milan only returned to the Champions League this season. While their net spent is close, their investment numbers are quite different. The Old Lady put in €1,542,000,000 for players, getting €981,000,000 from sales. While Milan bought for €884,000,000 and sold for €452,000,000.

5. Arsenal -€583,000,000

One of the biggest losers in terms of this table has to be Arsenal, especially considering their successes compared to the teams following them. AFC hasn’t lacked investments, however, they’ve lacked impact. Moves like Nicolas Pepe and Thomas Partey have failed to make the impact that their fees required.

Looking at the season finishes in the past five seasons (8th, 8th, 5th, 6th, 5th), Arsenal definitely doesn't look like the team that placed in €1,029,000,000. We already wrote about the understated cause for Arsenal's demise, and that is their lack of quality sales. Once they were annoying for the fans as they lost top players to rivals, now it's an objective that would be an improvement to the current state of affairs.

4. Barcelona -€650,000,000

Barca paid €1,630,000,000 for transfers in the last 10 years only to find itself relying on youth from La Masia primarily. Something that should've been done long before so that the club wouldn't end up in the financial hole it's currently in.

Barca sold players for €980,000,000 in the last 10 years, although Neymar's move to PSG is doing the most of the heavy lifting there and Barca hasn't had many good sales. But they've had terrible acquisitions like Ousmane Dembele, Antoine Griezmann, and Philippe Coutinho.

Notice that Real Madrid is not even in the top 20 when it comes to worst net transfer spend! All while putting in the biggest transfer window of all times when the side spent over €300,000,000 in one window.

3. Paris Saint-Germain -€941,000,000

Not at all unexpected. PSG actually is faring quite well with the purchases of €1,445,000,000 and sales of €504,000,000 as they are so financially powerful that they don't ever need to sell players due to the inability to match salaries. Yet, this financial power only makes the Ligue 1 loss last season to Lille sting even more.

2. Manchester City -€984,000,000

Another country-backed club is in the top three and while the difference of net-spend is massive compared to Barcelona or AFC in the fourth and fifth spot, City can be very happy with their dealins. The CL trophy is still missing and when you've invested the most out of anyone in the last 10 years, €1,699,000,000, that is a big lack. Yet the Etihad club has managed to sell players for €715,000,000 which is bested only by four other clubs in this top 20.

1. Manchester United -€1,075,000,000

Not the Manchester team that you would expect to see at number one. Yet Manchester United is clear proof that money invested doesn't perfectly equate to success. The last decade has been the worst for the club in a long time, with only minor trophies finding its place to Old Trafford.

Putting in €1,545,000,000 for transfers and getting only €470,000,000 is also a show that MUFC was hesitant to sell players who are seemingly not good enough to make the desired difference. Like Jesse Lingard for instance.

Yet the number one spot is a credit to their amazing revenue and the popularity United has across the globe. Still, strategy and making the right picks reigns supreme. 



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