Football

How much money is spent by Premier League club on players stuck on the sidelines?

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Football injuries are all part of the game.

If you can find me a player that has gone through his entire career without missing a single training session because of some sort of niggle, then you've either found me a liar, a superhero or someone who is that lucky you should chop off his foot and attach it to the chain on your house keys.

However, just as injury free careers are rare, injury-prone careers are becoming ever more noticeable.

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Since the Premier League was created, there have been a whole host of players who have suffered at the hands of the injury gods and missed hour-upon-hour of action because of their inability to shake off various injury issues.

You'll know the names of a couple of them too - Kieron Dyer, Darren Anderton & Chris Kirkland to name but a few.

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But who are the most injured players in the Premier League? And who has cost their team the most in wages that have been paid regardless of whether they managed to make it over the white line at 3pm on a Saturday or not?

To answer that, we must consult the experts.

Physioroom.com has held the records of every Premier League injury since the heady days of the year 2000.

They've kept that info locked up in a secret vault, guarded 24 hours a day by expert physiotherapists, and they will only release it if you feed them fresh pineal glands, sweet talk to them about meniscus surgery and explain the difference between an ACL and an MCL injury in detail.

Luckily, I work with them, so I just had to buy them a pint (or ten) to get them to part with the goods.

What I discovered was that, since the turn of the century, there have been around 13,500 separate injuries, suffered by more than 2,000 different players, resulting in over 1.2 million days lost through injury.

Now, here's where it gets really interesting.

The average daily wage for a Premier League player during the 2013-14 season was around £6000.

£6000 a day x 1.2m days lost = £7.2bn spent on injured players since the start of the 21st century.

Just say that out loud again - "£7,200,000,000"

That means that the average cost of each injury suffered in the Premier League since Physioroom began keeping records is a simply outrageous - £533,333.33.

Now give or take a few million quid for inflation and the fact most players back in 2000 were probably not paid the 300 grand a week or so that they are today, that would mean that every single injury that has been suffered in the Barclays Premier League has cost more than half a million quid!

Amazing isn't it?

So now you know where the new TV rights money is being spent: on injuries.

Not to do them down or anything, because I know that footballers work hard to keep fitness levels up and are top quality professional sports-people, but you have to think that if they are going to spend time out injured, then maybe there needs to be some kind of rule or clause placed in their contracts that stipulates that they don't get money for being crocked.

41 different teams have played in the Premier League since 2000.

£7.2 billion distributed back to those clubs (instead of being given to players) equates to nearly £176 million per club - just imagine what Bradford City could have done with that kind of cash; they could have bought and paid the wages of Bale, Suarez and Rooney and still had cash to spare.

That's £176 million that your club could have used to completely revamp your stadium and to provide you with the most state-of-the-art facilities known to the footballing universe.

Don't get me wrong, I love football. There really is nothing like it. But I have to raise the question of whether money has clouded the judgement of the game.

£7.2 billion lost to injury in any other business would be flagged, outraged at and rectified without doubt. Maybe it's time that the Premier League found a mirror and took a long hard look at itself in it.

It's not like they couldn't afford one big enough!

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Topics:
Football
Premier League

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