Man City, Chelsea, PSG: Who has the highest net spend over the past 20 years?

Manchester City have spend A LOT of money in the past 20 years...

Manchester City and Manchester United have both been as active as ever in this year’s summer transfer window.

The former have added England’s Jack Grealish to their already star-studded squad and they made him the first ever £100 million Premier League player.

As for United, Jadon Sancho was finally signed from Borussia Dortmund for an enormous fee, while Raphael Varane’s arrival will be officially announced in due course.

The two Manchester clubs have become synonymous with flexing financial muscle in recent years, as have a number of other clubs across Europe, most notably Chelsea, Paris Saint-Germain and Barcelona.

With that in mind, we decided to take a look at how much money European teams have spent on players over the past 20 years.

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Using Transfermarkt, we’ve found the 20 clubs with the highest net spend over that time period and the top three teams have all parted ways with over £1bn in the past two decades.

Spoiler alert, the trio hails from the Premier League…

The teams with the highest net spend since 2001/02

Teams with the highest net spend since 2001/02

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City sit top of the pile by a considerable distance, with United and Chelsea the other two teams in the ‘£1bn club’.

The Blues actually lead the way in terms of money spent on players with an expenditure of £2.15bn, but the fact they’ve also generated £1.10bn in income means their net spend is far less than City’s.

Overall, 10 Premier League teams feature in the top 20, which tells you everything you need to know about the financial power of the English top-flight in modern times.

What is interesting to note is how many big European teams miss out entirely.

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Atletico Madrid (25th), AS Roma (40th), Valencia (90th) and many others don’t feature in the top 20 and that goes to show that a top club can enjoy success without throwing fistfuls of cash at players.

Both Benfica and FC Porto actually have a positive net spend over the past 20 years, with both Portuguese sides earning over £500m.

Not bad, that.

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