If football in 2021 has shown us anything, it’s that the financial power in football largely remains with the Premier League.
With the likes of Real Madrid, Barcelona and Juventus all still keen on the idea of a European Super League after falling behind the English clubs as a result of the Premier League’s TV money, it was little surprise to see where the money was spent in the transfer window.
Indeed, English clubs spent more than £500m more collectively than teams in Europe’s other major leagues with the likes of Romelu Lukaku, Cristiano Ronaldo, Jadon Sancho and Raphael Varane coming into the division.
Still, with big money comes the potential to be ripped on.
Given most clubs are still reeling from the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic, the English pound must be an attractive one for selling clubs.
City, along with Chelsea and to a certain extent Arsenal, don’t exactly have to rely on footballing success or gate receipts to spend huge sums of cash, while Manchester United are a commercial behemoth capable of generating massive resource.
As much as that is of clear benefit to those clubs in the market, it has cost them more than a few pounds if a study from TicketGum is to be believed.
In order to ascertain which clubs were guilty of overspending in the summer, they paired up reports from reputable sources in regards to transfer fees against the relevant player’s Transfermarkt valuation, making for some interesting reading.
From a club perspective, list is as follows:
1. Arsenal – Overpaid by £49.7m
2. Manchester City – Overpaid by £41.7m
3. Leeds United – Overpaid by £19.4m
4. Newcastle United – Overpaid by £10.6m
5. Brentford – Overpaid by £10.4m
6. Aston Villa – Overpaid by £10.2m
7. Tottenham Hotspur – Overpaid by £9.6m
8. Chelsea and West Ham – Overpaid by £7.5m
9. Crystal Palace – Overpaid by £6.9m
10. Liverpool – Overpaid by £4.5m
11. Burnley – Overpaid by £2.2m
12. Norwich City – Underpaid by £500k
13. Southampton – Underpaid by £1.2m
14. Everton – Underpaid by £5.6m
15. Leicester City – Underpaid by £6.2m
16. Wolverhampton Wanderers – Underpaid by £6.55m
17. Watford – Underpaid by £7.2m
18. Brighton – Underpaid by £7.5m
19. Manchester United – Underpaid by £59.8m
While declaring one team to have ‘won the transfer window’ often comes back to bite, it’s hard to look past United as enjoying one of the greatest in Premier League history.
Three top level additions and paying less for Sancho than the would have done last season, as well as under £50m for Varane and £20m for Ronaldo, the pressure is certainly on Ole Gunnar Solskjær.
Meanwhile, Arsenal’s recruitment drive was clearly focused on bringing in younger players and, while that could still work, the early signs don’t look promising.