Chelsea seem to have scored the first major victory of the summer transfer window.
It remains to be seen how the financial impacts of the coronavirus pandemic will influence spending across the Premier League, but it’s clear that Liverpool are starting to feel the pinch.
Until the recent upheavals of live football being suspended, it looked as though the English champions-in-waiting had a move for RB Leipzig’s Timo Werner sewn up.
But reports are claiming that the Reds pulled out of a deal on financial grounds and that Chelsea have all but signed the German striker after activating his release clause and agreeing personal terms.
The whole situation has brought about more resent in the Liverpool fanbase than you might otherwise have expected, but it certainly suggests it could be another quiet summer at Anfield.
- Premier League moments that would have been changed by VAR
- Timo Werner once asked to be subbed off because of crowd noise
- Chelsea’s 11 highest-earning players if Timo Werner signs
Liverpool’s shrewd finances
On the one hand, it’s a worrying prospect considering they also decided not to spend after the 2018/19 campaign, though you could view it as a shrewd handling of finances on the other.
Either way, it’s led some Liverpool fans to look at their owners with a little more skepticism than before and wonder whether failing to build on success could kneecap the Jurgen Klopp era.
But how right are they to worry? Well, putting Liverpool’s spending into context is key to understanding the situation and you may have heard Kopites boasting about ‘net spend’ in the past.
Premier League table of net spending
That’s because the Merseysiders have been pretty canny when it comes to transfer spending, only seeming to dip deep into their wallets when they’ve just received a hearty selling fee.
Using the Philippe Coutinho money to procure Virgil van Dijk and Alisson Becker is the prime example and something that’s more than apparent in the Premier League table of net spending.
Journalist Kevin Palmer collected data from Transfermarkt to rank every Premier League side by their net spending over the last five years, discovering that Liverpool finished in 14th place.
It’s a pretty astonishing achievement when you consider they’re running away with the title this season and you can check out how other teams compare in the full table down below:
‘Only’ £107 million in the red across half a decade and they’re making the competition look like Sunday League… fair play to everyone in the Anfield boardroom.
And perhaps nothing shows Liverpool’s success in a better light than the fact Manchester City, who won the previous two league titles, sit top of the table with an extra half-billion in losses.
It goes to show that while Liverpool and City have ultimately achieved the same prize, the Reds have done it in a far more financially sound and shrewd fashion than their predecessors.
A mixed bag of results
Tottenham and perhaps more surprisingly Chelsea are also sitting pretty in the bottom half of the table, suggesting they too have overachieved with their recent successes.
But aside from the title contenders, you have to worry when you see clubs like Brighton and Bournemouth so high in the table when, well, they’re so low in the table that actually matters.
In a time of such economic upheaval, it’s concerning to see clubs who are so far away from a transfer profit facing the prospect of plummeting down to the Championship.
So, sure, it’s only the Premier League that matters at the end of the day, but make no mistake that Liverpool are on course to win the trophy in a way that flies in the face of City’s precedent.
Only time will tell whether it catches up with them, mind…