The Premier League Big Six’s net spend per trophy since Ferguson retired in 2013
Sir Alex Ferguson’s retirement in 2013 prompted a sea change in English football.
But how do the traditional ‘big six’ of Manchester United, Manchester City, Tottenham, Chelsea, Arsenal and Liverpool compare when it comes to spending and success in the 10 years since Ferguson retired?
Under the legendary Scottish manager, Manchester United had been the Premier League’s dominant force – but now they’ve got a full decade without claiming a league title.
Over the past decade, United have claimed an FA Cup, Europa League and two League Cups – but that’s a paltry return compared to the endless silverware Ferguson delivered in the 1990s and 2000s.
The club have spent extensively in the transfer market, too, with €1.6billion worth of signings in the decade since Ferguson waved goodbye.
Only Manchester City and Chelsea have spent more on players, but United comfortably account for the Premier League’s largest net spend since 2013 – having only recouped €417million on player sales in that time.
Manchester City’s lavish spending has resulted in them taking United’s throne as English football’s most dominant club. They’ve won six of 10 Premier League titles over the past decade, with a further six league cups and two FA Cups. City can complete the set of winning every major honour going if they beat Inter in the upcoming Champions League final.
Liverpool have won the top four major honours since 2013 – the Premier League, Champions League, FA Cup and League Cup – having claimed one of each during Jurgen Klopp’s reign as manager.
The Reds have done so by spending considerably less on transfers than City, Chelsea, Manchester United and even Arsenal – while bringing in over €700million by selling off assets like Luis Suarez and Philippe Coutinho for gigantic fees.
Chelsea have both spent and recouped the most in transfer fees. The Blues have spent almost €2billion on transfers over the past 10 years but are also the only club to raise over €1billion in player sales.
That high-stakes strategy has seen Chelsea join Liverpool in winning every honour going since 2013 – two Premier League titles, one FA Cup, one League Cup, a Champions League and Europa League.
Arsenal have won four FA Cups over the past 10 years. The Gunners have spent over €1billion on signings but raised just €351million in player sales – less than any of their ‘big six’ rivals.
Only Tottenham have a lower net spend since 2013 than Liverpool. Spurs have spent €981million on signings and sold players for a combined €582million – and while this period has seen the club make great strides forward, regularly qualifying for the Champions League and reaching a final in 2019, they don’t have any silverware to show for it.
Here are the full figures on the Premier League Big Six’s transfer spend per trophy over the past 10 years.
1. Manchester City
Transfer expenditure: €1.67bn
Transfer income: €684.3m
Net spend: €984.2m
Trophies won: 14
Net spend per trophy: €70.3m
[2023 Champions League final to come – will be €65.6m if they win]
Transfer expenditure: €1.09bn
Transfer income: €708.97m
Net spend: €381.56m
Trophies won: 4
Net spend per trophy: €95.39m
Transfer expenditure: €1.99bn
Transfer income: €1.13bn
Net spend: €862.18m
Trophies won: 6
Net spend per trophy: €143.66m
Transfer expenditure: €1.15bn
Transfer income: €351.9m
Net spend: €795.39m
Trophies won: 4
Net spend per trophy: €191.34m
5. Manchester United
Transfer expenditure: €1.60bn
Transfer income: €417.5m
Net spend: €1.182bn
Trophies won: 4
Net spend per trophy: €295.5m
🔴 Breakdown of Manchester United's Q2 financial figures
📈 Debt up to £535m
📈 Borrowed £206m – totalling £741.9m
❌ Glazer family will not be taking a dividend in this quarter
📉 Wage bill is down 21% – decrease of £20.4m
— Football Daily (@footballdaily) March 30, 2023
Transfer expenditure: €981.33m
Transfer income: €582.2m
Net spend: €398.91m
Trophies won: 0
Net spend per trophy: N/A