Liverpool, Man United, Man City: Which PL club has the highest net spend?

Manchester City manager Pep Guardiola

The recently failed attempts to form a new European Super League have drawn football finances into sharper focus.

The Premier League’s ‘big six’ have been heavily criticised for agreeing to form the new league and a wave of protests against club owners have ensued since the proposal fell through.

On Sunday, Man United fans stormed the pitch at Old Trafford ahead of their fixture against Liverpool and forced the game to be postponed, putting the Glazers under more pressure to sell the club.

Protests against United’s unpopular owners are nothing new, but this was the most defiant case of resistance since they came into power at Old Trafford. 

There is a complex web of reasons for the discontent amongst United supporters, but their extravagant, myopic spending in the transfer market and the knock-on effect on the overall state of the club’s finances has been a bone of contention for large periods of their tenure, particularly since Sir Alex Ferguson’s retirement. 

“The Glazer family have been resilient and stubborn for many, many years. I think they are struggling to meet the financial demands that this club needs and have done for some time,” said Gary Neville in light of the protests on Sunday. 

One metric that supporters often like to drawn upon to show how well a club is capable of balancing the books is net spend – the sum of money spent on incoming players minus the total figure received in player sales. 

Liverpool fans have particularly reverted back to net spend figures to contextualise how their achievements match up against Manchester City. 

Jurgen Klopp

But just how savvy are Liverpool in the transfer market and how aggressive are the two Manchester clubs? 

Well, football finance expert the Swiss Ramble has put together some research on net spend across all 20 Premier League clubs in the past five years and presented his findings in a graphic published on Twitter. 

Unsurprisingly, free-spending Man City top the list with a whopping net spend of £704m, while United (£655m) are in close second.

Elsewhere, it’s easy to see why Andrea Radrizzani is such a popular figure at Leeds United having transformed the club into a mid-table Premier League outfit with a net spend of just £39m. 

The shrewd sales of Philippe Coutinho, Dominic Solanke and Rhian Brewster et al, meanwhile, have enabled Liverpool to rival Pep Guardiola’s City side with a reasonable net spend of just £278m, which incidentally is almost £50m less than Merseyside rivals Everton.

Take a look at the ranking in ascending order below: 

1. Man City – £704m

2. Man Utd – £655m

3. Arsenal – £363m

4. Everton– £326m

5. Chelsea– £317m

6. Liverpool – £278m

7. Wolves – £234m

8. West Ham – £230m

9. Aston Villa – £210m

10. Brighton & Hove Albion – £205m

11. Leicester City – £199m

12. Tottenham Hotspur – £173m

13. Fulham – £132m

14. Crystal Palace – £109m

15. Newcastle United – £105m

16. Burnley – £95m

17. West Bromwich Albion – £67m

18. Southampton – £64m

19. Sheffield United – £47m

20. Leeds United – £39m

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