Comparing Liverpool’s net spend under FSG to the rest of the big six

Quick Reads
Britain Football Soccer - Liverpool - Official opening of redeveloped main stand at Anfield - Anfield - 9/9/16 Liverpool manager Juergen Klopp (L) talks with owner John W. Henry during the opening of the newly built stand at Liverpool football club's Anfield Stadium

Liverpool owners Fenway Sports Group are reportedly looking to sell the club. How does their level of investment compare to their direct rivals in the Premier League?

The sports investment group, who also own the Boston Red Sox baseball team, took over Liverpool back in October 2010, taking the historic Merseyside club out of the hands of the much-maligned and deeply unpopular private equity investors Tom Hicks and George Gillett.

“I am proud and humbled,” said FSG head honcho John W Henry at the time. “I can’t tell you how happy I am. We’re here to win.”

The Reds were struggling in the lower half of the table under the management of Roy Hodgson back then. Kenny Dalglish returned to the dugout a short while later, and FSG’s first transfer window – during the winter of 2011 – was a memorable one, with star man Fernando Torres going to Chelsea for a club-record £50million fee with Luis Suarez and Andy Carroll arriving in the opposite direction.

In the 12 years with FSG as owners, Liverpool have won every major trophy going – the Champions League, Premier League, FA Cup and League Cup (twice) – and made a series of big-money signings and sales, with the money brought in from the sales of Torres, Suarez and Philippe Coutinho used to rebuild and improve the squad.

However, some Liverpool fans have been vocally critical of the levels of investment by FSG, with many arguing that their relative lack of investment has been glossed over thanks to the brilliant work of Jurgen Klopp, the manager who has masterminded the club’s most successful era since the 1980s.

“Yeah,” Klopp responded when asked if felt he had enough backing from the owners, shortly before the end of the 2022 summer transfer window.

“Let me say it like this; from time to time I’d be ready to risk a bit more. But I don’t decide that. It’s fine. We have a great team.”

Liverpool have spent considerably less than Manchester United, Chelsea and Manchester City since the FSG takeover in 2012, both in absolute terms and in net spend.

Arsenal have also spent more than Liverpool, marginally more in absolute terms but considerably more in net spend, having failed to recoup anywhere near as much in player sales as the Reds since 2010.

Tottenham have spent less than Liverpool, and while they haven’t had the silverware to show for it, are another of the Premier League’s ‘Big Six’ to show that money isn’t everything, having punched above their weight to finish in the top four regularly in recent years.

Here’s how the ‘Big Six’ compare in terms of their spending since FSG’s Liverpool takeover back in 2010, including each of their most expensive signings and departures in that time.

Credit to the brilliant Swiss Ramble, whose calculations we’ve used to work this out, updating with all the transfers since they published a brilliantly detailed Twitter thread on FSG’s Liverpool investment back in September 2021.

1. Man Utd

Five Biggest Purchases

1. Paul Pogba – £94million
2. Antony – £86million
3. Harry Maguire – £80million
4. Jadon Sancho – £76million
5. Romelu Lukaku – £76million

Five Biggest Sales

1. Romelu Lukaku – £68million
2. Angel Di Maria – £55million
3. Daniel James – £25million
4. Morgan Schneiderlin – £20million
5. Memphis Depay – £17million

Total Spent: £1.754billion
Total Sold: £391million

Total Net Spend: £1.363billion

2. Man City

Five Biggest Purchases

1. Jack Grealish – £100million
2. Kevin De Bruyne – £68million
3. Ruben Dias – £61million
4. Riyad Mahrez – £61million
5. Joao Cancelo – £58million

Five Biggest Sales

1. Ferran Torres – £55million
2. Raheem Sterling – £47million
3. Gabriel Jesus – £45million
4. Leroy Sane – £39million
5. Danilo – £32million

Total Spent: £1.903billion
Total Sold: £747million

Total Net Spend: £1.156billion

READ: Ranking every Premier League club by their net spend in summer 2022

3. Chelsea

Five Biggest Purchases

1. Romelu Lukaku – £97million
2. Kai Havertz – £72million
3. Kepa Arrizabalaga – £71million
4. Wesley Fofana – £70million
5. Marc Cucurella – £62million

Five Biggest Sales

1. Eden Hazard – £88million
2. Oscar – £60million
3. Diego Costa – £50million
4. David Luiz – £50million
5. Alvaro Morata – £48million

Total Spent: £2.033billion
Total Sold: £1.038billion

Total Net Spend: £995million

4. Arsenal

Five Biggest Purchases

1. Nicolas Pepe – £72million
2. Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang – £57million
3. Ben White – £50million
4. Alexandre Lacazette – £47million
5. Gabriel Jesus – £45million

Five Biggest Sales

1. Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain – £34million
2. Alexis Sanchez – £30million
3. Cesc Fabregas – £30million
4. Robin van Persie – £27million
5. Alex Iwobi – £27million

Total Spent: £1.273billion
Total Sold: £469million

Total Net Spend: £804million

5. Liverpool

Five Biggest Purchases

1. Virgil van Dijk – £76.2milion
2. Darwin Nunez – £67.5million
3. Alisson – £56.3million
4. Naby Keita – £54million
5. Fabinho – £40.5million

Five Biggest Sales

1. Phillipe Coutinho – £121.5million
2. Luis Suarez – £75million
3. Fernando Torres – £50million
4. Raheem Sterling – £49million
5. Sadio Mane – £28.8million

Total Spent: £1.254billion
Total Sold: £636million

Total Net Spend: £618million

6. Tottenham

Five Biggest Purchases

1. Richarlison – £60million
2. Tanguy Ndombele – £56million
3. Cristian Romero – £45million
4. Davinson Sanchez – £38million
5. Moussa Sissoko – £31million

Five Biggest Sales

1. Gareth Bale – £85million
2. Kyle Walker – £50million
3. Luka Modric – £29million
4. Steven Bergwijn – £26million
5. Kieran Trippier – £20million

Total Spent: £971million
Total Sold: £537million

Total Net Spend: £434million


READ NEXT: Ranking Liverpool’s 8 Premier League managers from worst to best

TRY A QUIZ: Can you name Liverpool’s XI from the 1981 European Cup final vs Madrid?