The 50 clubs in world football with the biggest net spend since 2012

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Manchester United's Cristiano Ronaldo during their Premier League defeat against Brighton & Hove Albion at AMEX Stadium, Brighton, May 2022.

‘Net transfer spend’ is a phrase often thrown into arguments when the biggest-spending clubs are discussed – and the list of the 50 highest net spenders over the past decade is an extremely revealing one.

Value for money and the transfer market are not things that usually mix, particularly in modern football.

And, with more and more owners chasing the Champions League dream, price tags have been significantly inflated, with the number of flops also increasing exponentially.

It’ll be no surprise to many that the two Manchester clubs have the highest net spend in the world over the past decade. But, while City have established themselves as England’s dominant force, rivals United have lurched from one disaster to the next.

Arsenal are surprisingly high, although their habit of spending big and releasing players for free under Mikel Arteta comes into play here.

The presence of PSG, Barcelona and Juventus in the upper echelons is also revealing, with each club guilty of splurging on unfulfilling signings over the last 10 years.

English clubs dominate this list; West Ham are above Inter Milan, Leeds outrank Real Madrid while West Brom nestle in ahead of Atletico Madrid and Roma. These placings are a sign of the times.

But there’s also an interesting influx of non-European clubs, especially from China. Shanghai Port have the 24th highest net transfer spend since 2012 and there are a further six Chinese sides in our list.

The presence of big-spending Mexican, Russian and Saudi Arabian sides gives our ranking an exotic flavour, although each country has a track record in importing expensive foreign signings.

Check out our full top 50 ranking below, with the numbers coming courtesy of Transfermarkt.

1. Manchester City – £948.19million
2. Manchester United – £914.52million
3. PSG – £767.39million
4. Arsenal – £548.28million
5. Barcelona – £472.88million
6. Juventus – £467.6million
7. AC Milan – £415.76million
8. Chelsea – £388.35million
9. Liverpool – £340.64million

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Paul Pogba (left) and Jurgen Klopp (right) talking after Manchester United and Liverpool's FA Cup match, Manchester, Old Trafford, 24 January 2021.

READ: Comparing Man Utd and Liverpool’s net spend since Klopp arrived, 2015

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10. Bayern Munich – £388.58million
11. West Ham United – £331.68million
12. Aston Villa – £320.29million
13. Everton – £300.22million
14. Newcastle United – £291.03million
15. Inter Milan – £250.59million
16. Tottenham – £235.11million
17. Wolves – £209.57million
18. Leicester City – £205.20million
19. Zenit St Petersburg – £202.68million
20. Crystal Palace – £196.89million
21. Brighton – £191.59million
22. Wolfsburg – £182.96million
23. Napoli – £178.49million
24. Shanghai Port – £176.29million

25. Leipzig – £172.23million
26. Fulham – £161.59million
27. Guangzhou FC – £155.29million
28. Hebei FC – £148.15million
29. Beijing Guoan – £134.11million
30. Leeds United – £134.06million
31. Real Madrid – £131.4million

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Real Madrid CF president FLORENTINO PEREZ and IKER CASILLAS celebrating with the trophy at the Club World Cup. Marrakech, Morocco. 20th Dec, 2014.

READ: Six Real Madrid greats that left in acrimony under Florentino Perez

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32. Parma – £130.96million
33. Stoke City – £128.72million
34. Jiangsu FC – £127.3million
35. Al-Nassr Riad – £118.36million
36. Spartak Moscow – £109.08million
37. Galatasaray – £108.36million
38. West Brom – £104.34million
39. Tianjin Tianhai – £103.92million
40. Atletico Madrid – £101.88million

41. Marseille – £101.79million
42. Shanghai Shenhua – £101.08million
43. Dynamo Moscow – £96.9million
44. Watford – £96.29million
45. Cruz Azul – £89.62million
46. Al-Ittihad Jeddah – £87.63million
47. Roma – £87.28million
48. Lokomotiv Moscow – £86.18million
49. Krasnodar – £85.85million
50. Sheffield United – £84.21million


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