As money becomes more and more of an issue in football, with success over the football season playing second fiddle to success in the fiscal year, here’s a look at the clubs who have spent the most… and whether they spent their owners’ money wisely!
First, Net Expenditure:
|Manchester City||£30m||£120.9m||– £90.9m|
|Real Madrid||£0m||£67.3m||– £67.3m|
|Zenit St Petersburg||£750,000||£35.7m||– £34.95m|
|Rubin Kazan||£11.6m||£35.8m||– £24.2m|
|Olympique Lyon||£3.74m||£23m||– £19.26m|
|Olympique Marseille||£13m||£31.2m||– £18.2m|
Well, few surprises as to the top two spenders, although two Russian clubs occupying 3rd and 4th spot is a bit of a surprise. There may also be a clue here as to why Chelsea’s squad has looked so lean recently; by their standards they were rather restrained last summer.
You’d also have to say that until FIFA make good on their promise to level the financial playing field and limit club expenditure to revenue, these stats will mean little to City, Real Madrid and Chelsea. Quite simply, their owners/ creditors care very little about how much it costs, as long as there is evidence on the pitch.
So, if we look at how far the money has taken these clubs in terms of current league position:
|Club||Current League Position|
|Zenit St Petersburg||1st (Champions)|
Well, Zenit top the table here as they have already won their league. Juventus are above Rubin Kazan in this table as not only do the Italians have time to move higher in their league, but Kazan also won the Russian league the last two years in a row, and so have managed to lose it by spending almost £36m!
I’m also working under the assumption that Chelsea will beat Newcastle today and go joint top again, and have put Marseille and City ahead of Madrid and Fenerbache respectively simply because they are in a more difficult league (the Premiership is the best league in the world, and Real only have Barcelona to worry about!)
This table shows one runaway loser, Lyon, who it so far seems have wasted their money. One final table, combining money spent with league standings, should give us some definitive conclusions.
My “Money-Well-Spent” League Table:
|Club||Net ExpenditureRanking||League Position||“Money-Well-Spent” League Position|
|Zenit St Petersburg||3rd||1st||3rd|
Mathematically the table would look slightly different, agreed. For example, if we worked out Net Expenditure minus League position, Chelsea would be top, Juventus, Fenerbache and then Barcelona would be above Zenit, and Rubin Kazan would be above Lyon.
But there’s more to life than maths!
Marseille are the champions, just; they’re first in the French League despite being only the 9th highest big spenders. Chelsea run them a close 2nd, showing that they might actually be better off spending less! Zenit complete the top 3 as, although they spent heavily, they were able to dislodge fellow spending rivals Rubin Kazan, who are bottom of the spending league and now face financial relegation after spending so heavily and dropping two places in the Russian championship.
Mid-table, we can see that although Lyon and Fenerbache were not the biggest spenders of all, they have still not made their investments work. Juventus and Barcelona can be happy with their achievements, while Real Madrid can be happy having overtaken Barca in the Spanish League for the first time in 3 years, and if they win el Classico on Monday, money won’t matter anyway!
The final word of warning, therefore, goes to Manchester City, only above Kazan as they still have time to improve their standing in the Premiership. Of course, money is not an issue at Eastlands these days, but when FIFA do decide to start tightening their regulations, the City bosses may want to take a long, hard look at these figures.
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