The data incorporates the expenditure and collection from the last ten transfer windows.
In recent times, elite European football clubs have shown their financial might in order to achieve success in their respective competitions. The last few years have seen huge transfer fees being paid for the likes of Neymar, Phillipe Coutinho, Kylian Mbappe and others. In the meanwhile, CIES Football Observatory have come up with the data of European football clubs and their net spending over the last ten transfer windows. Net spend is the value generated after deducting the expenditure from the earnings due to player buys and sales respectively.
The ever-growing financial power of these clubs makes them spend a fortune on players and when they are unable to sell at a high value, it results in a negative net spend. Going by it, here are the top 10 clubs with worst net spend in Europe.
10. Arsenal (-€299m)
Among European football clubs, Arsenal start off the list with a net spend of -299 million euros in the last ten transfer windows. The club have struggled to regain their past glories, despite spending money on high-profile transfers like Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang. The club have also let several players leave on a free, thereby returning no value on their investment.
9. Chelsea (-€308m)
Chelsea FC are up next with a net spend of -308 million euros. The ambitious London-based club recently splashed approximately €250m on signing players like Hakim Ziyech, Ben Chilwell, Kai Havertz and Timo Werner. The tradition of spending money and sacking managers has continued at the club, with only Eden Hazard a notable sale recently.
8. AC Milan (-€311m)
The Serie A giants have spent a decent amount of money in recent years to get back to winning ways. The club have laid dormant for many years, being dominated by Juventus in the league. Their most expensive recent acquisitions include Leonardo Bonucci (€42.00m), Andre Silva (€38.00m) and Lucas Paqueta (€38.40m). their selling strategy has not been smart, taking their net spend to a -€311m.
7. Aston Villa (-€339m)
Aston Villa’s expenditure has skyrocketed in the last couple of years due to their promotion to the Premier League from the EFL Championship, which involves a massive rise in income due to the TV rights. The club has spent heavily on players like Ollie Watkins, Emiliano Martinez, Bertrand Traore, Douglas Luiz, Tyrone Mings and more to compete in one of the toughest leagues in the world.
6. Everton (-€346m)
Everton have shown great ambition lately in terms of signing high-profile players. They have spent handsomely, in order to break the hegemony of the top six clubs. Their net spend comes at -€346m due to expensive recruitment and lacklustre sales. Few of their notable arrivals recently include Gylfi Sigurdsson (€49.50m), Richarlison (€39.20m) and others.
5. Inter Milan (-€386m)
Among the worst performing football clubs in the Serie A in terms of net spend, Inter Milan comes at the top. Since Antonio Conte’s arrival, the club has been very active in the transfer market, with an aim to dethrone Juventus and secure the league title. They have a net spend of -€386m, after having spent large sums for players like Romelu Lukaku (€74.00m) and Achraf Hakimi (€40.00m).
4. Paris Saint-Germain (-€455m)
One of the clubs to have initiated the massive transfer fee sagas has to be Paris Saint-Germain and it is no surprise they are one of the worst performing clubs when it comes to net expenditure. They have been involved in some of the most expensive transfers in recent history. The club paid €222m for Neymar and €180 million for Kylian Mbappe.
3. FC Barcelona (-€471m)
FC Barcelona are in the third worst in the list of football clubs and their net spend with -€471m. The club’s present financial situation is a by-product of incompetence in the transfer market. On top of paying huge wages to Lionel Messi, Barcelona’s big-money moves for Phillipe Coutinho (€145m), Ousmane Dembele (€130m) and Antoine Griezmann (€120.00m) have not been financially sound.
2. Manchester United FC (-€586m)
Among the worst performing football clubs in terms of net spend is Manchester United with -€586m. The Red Devils have spent heavily in order to rebuild the squad that can compete and regain the title. The expenses kept rising with different types of managers wanting to recruit their own style of players.
This created a mix of heavily paid players that did not fit a particular system. Without a proper reselling strategy and subsequent expensive moves for players like Paul Pogba (€105m), Romelu Lukaku (€84.70m) and Harry Maguire (€87.00m) – the club continued to take up losses.
1. Manchester City (-€631m)
Manchester City, with a net spend of -631 million is the worst performing side in this list. Their recent success in domestic competitions is credited to the huge investments by the owners of the club. The City Football Group has invested over £1 billion since taking over.
Pep Guardiola has used the resources to good affect, bringing in top quality players at exorbitant transfer fees. Some of the most-expensive players from their star-studded squad include Kevin De Bruyne (€75m), Ruben Dias (€68m) and Riyad Mahrez (€67.80m). Guardiola has spent upwards of €300m on his defenders alone.