When we think of big spending managers in the Premier League, we often think of the ‘wealthy’ or ‘rich’ clubs and the managers that are associated with them. The likes of Roberto Mancini, Jose Mourinho, and Carlo Ancelotti are perhaps the first to come to mind, and whilst these names do constitute three of the top five biggest spenders, there are certainly some managers in the table that many will be surprised to see so high up.
The table is organised in order of ‘average’ expenditure per season. This is worked out by subtracting the money received from the sale of players from the total spent on the purchase of players, and then dividing this total by the number of years that manager was in charge at the club.
As we can see, Mark Hughes’ reign at Manchester City tops the table by quite some margin, with a ‘Nett’ spend of £218.5m over a period of just one and a half years giving him an average season investment of £145.6m.
With regards to the top end of the table, perhaps the most surprising of names to be seen is third-placed Jaunde Ramos. Ramos’ average is higher than any Chelsea manager, and only smaller than the big-spenders of Manchester City.
In his one year spell at the club Ramos spent huge sums on players such as Luka Modric, David Bentley, and Roman Pavlyuchenko, but he was also able to bring in over £30m with the sale of Dimitar Berbatov to Manchester United. Overall Ramos’ expenditure was almost £136m, and although he was able to take over £80m with the sale of several players, his average investment for his year in charge remained a hefty £53.4m.
At the other end of the table, whilst there are a number of managers we would expect to see – the likes of Arsene Wenger, Steve Bruce, and Mick McCarthy – a glance of Manchester United’s ‘purchases’ will undoubtedly make some question how Sir Alex Ferguson is ranked so low.
This is of course primarily due to the length of his tenure at the club. Since taking over in 1986, Sir Alex has generally been both sensible and successful in his ‘wheeling and dealing’ at Manchester United. Although his expenditure is not far off half a billion pounds, Ferguson has taken almost £300m for players in this time, including of course an enormous £80m alone for one Cristiano Ronaldo.
This can only be further evidence that stability and consistency are key when it comes to managing a club – Manchester United’s success rate on the field speaks for itself, and these figures show that not only is Sir Alex a great manager, but he is also a great businessman when it comes to the transfer of players.
Whilst the quality of the players themselves has certainly varied throughout his tenure, some brilliant (Ronaldo, Rooney, Vidic) some woeful (Kleberson, Djemba-Djemba, Bebe), with an average spend of just over £9m, it is hardly surprising Sir Alex has been allowed to continue to wheel and deal at the club for so long.