Man Utd and Man City combine for a net transfer spend of €1.2bn since 2016

Robin Bairner
Robin Bairner Updated: 19 May 2021 15:43 BST 3 min read
Man Utd and Man City combine for a net transfer spend of €1.2bn since 2016

While Manchester City and Chelsea will meet in the Champions League final as the two most deserving sides, they’ll also arrive as two of the most expensively assembled ones too.

Few nations in Europe can rival the Premier League when it comes to spending power and at the top of that list of English big spenders is undoubtedly this seasons’ finalists.

But where do the Englush giants rank among all of football’s clubs when it comes to spending money over the course of the last five years?

Fortuntely for us, the clever clogs at the CIES Football Observatory have already ran the numbers and have rankeed the top 15 clubs in European football based on their transfer deficits since 2016.

As expected, Pep Guardiola’s club sit top of the list with a net loss of €631 million, with Manchester United just behind them on €586 million. The two Premier League giants have plunged more money into transfers than any other side in Europe’s Big Five leagues.

Indeed, clubs from England’s top flight dominate the list of teams to have the biggest net spend in the game since 2016. According to the report, Premier League clubs account for 10 of the top 15 sides in terms of negative balance in the transfer market.

Everton, Aston Villa, Chelsea, Arsenal, Brighton, Tottenham, Wolves and Fulham have all spent lavishly while receiving little in return.

In total, the Premier League has a transfer net spend of €4.52bn.

Net spend: The 15 biggest transfer deficits in Europe’s Big 5 leagues

ClubLosses on transfers (€m)
Manchester City631
Manchester United586
Paris Saint-Germain455
Aston Villa339
Tottenham Hotspur250

Meanwhile, the only Spanish club in this list is Barcelona, who have a net spend of €471m and have the third poorest record in this regard. The Catalans have spent more money than any other side in Europe.

Paris Saint-Germain unsurprisingly appear on this list, posting transfer losses of €455m, having broke the world record to sign Neymar from Barcelona in 2017, a deal swiftly followed up by the signing of Kylian Mbappe, who became the world’s second most expensive player.

Serie A, somewhat surprisingly, has three teams in this net spend list. Inter are highest up the chart, followed by San Siro rivlas Milan, while Juventus come in 14th.

Ligue 1 clubs dominate the list of sides with the best net spend records in European football over the course of the last five years, with Lille, Lyon and Monaco occupying three of the top four spots. Saint-Etienne are also in the top 10.

Hoffenheim and Borussia Dortmund represent the Bundesliga, while three Italian sides have shown their acumen in the transfer market by running profits – Atalanta, Sampdoria and Genoa.

Remarkably, every Premier League team in the study has posted a net spend over the period since 2016, with Southampton’s €50m the smallest deficit in England’s top flight.

Net surplus: The 10 biggest in Europe’s Big 5 leagues

ClubProfit on Transfers (€m)
Olympique Lyonnais151
Borussia Dortmund77

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