By Nick Harris
SJA Internet Sports Writer of the Year
12 August 2011
Arsenal fans frustrated by lack of activity in the transfer market know their club have not been big spenders in recent times but might be shocked to realised their net transfer spend over the past decade places them only ninth among the 20 clubs who will contest the Premier League in 2011-12, which begins on Saturday.
A year by year assessment of net spending shows Arsene Wenger has spent only £47.6m net in the past 10 years, or £467.9m less than Chelsea’s net spend in the same period (£515.5m).
Year by year net spend for each club is in the table below.
Chelsea have been the No1 spenders followed, in order, by Manchester City, Tottenham, Liverpool and Manchester United.
Sunderland come next, with Aston Villa and Stoke both outspending Arsenal.
On the one hand this indicates Wenger has worked miracles to make his side top-four contenders (and title winners) during the period. On the other it shows Arsenal are not matching their peers in outlay and haven’t for some time.
At the bottom of the table are Blackburn Rovers, with net income of £42.5m over the 10 years – making them the only club with no net spend.
UPDATED TABLE ON 24 August, post Nasri sale, actually sees Arsenal with net income too LINK HERE
Manchester United are ranked only fifth primarily because of the sale of Cristiano Ronaldo, which netted them such a bumper sum (£80m) two years ago.
Without that freakishly large chunk of income for one deal, United would be No3 in the list below, behind only the Abramovich-backed Chelsea and the Sheikh-fuelled Manchester City.
All transfer sums have been sourced from the transfermarkt website; while 100 per cent accuracy in such matters is never guaranteed, using the same source for all clubs over a long period at least brings some degree of relative consistency.
Sportingintelligence’s table below comes as two economic-based predictions for the coming season have been published on the eve of the season. The Transfer Price Index prediction puts Chelsea at No1, with City No2 and United No3 – with QPR, Swansea and Norwich relegated.
The FC Business Economic League predicts United will win the title from Arsenal, Chelsea and City, with Norwich, QPR and Swansea going down.
Sportingintelligence’s table is not a prediction for the coming season; just an indicator of long-term spending on transfers.