It's not what you spend, it's how you spend it...

Ranking every Premier League club by how much their 2023-24 squad cost

Manchester United have the most expensively assembled squad in the Premier League, with the players at Erik ten Hag’s disposal having been bought for close to £1billion.

Not only do the Red Devils boast English football’s highest wage bill, but they’ve also spent more than any other club in transfer fees in building their current squad.

The club’s struggles – having lost 10 matches already this season – brings into sharp focus how wisely they’ve spent all that money.

Chelsea, who aren’t far behind with a squad cost totalling £978million, have also suffered a slow start to the season after their dismal 2022-23 campaign, offer another argument that it’s not what you spend, it’s how you spend it.

Reigning champions Manchester City are unsurprisingly near the top, sitting third, having built Pep Guardiola’s squad at a cost of approximately £900million in transfer fees. The all-conquering club have demonstrated that it’s difficult to be stopped if you invest heavily and do it wisely.

There isn’t much between North London rivals Arsenal and Tottenham, with Liverpool completing the traditional ‘big six’ in the top six spots.

Newly-minted Newcastle United have closed the gap, though, and it’ll be interesting to see whether the Saudi Public Investment Fund-backed club start to overtake the more established powerhouses in the coming years while manoeuvring around the FFP restrictions.

Further down the table, there’s yet more evidence of Brighton and Brentford doing miraculously well to punch above their weight, given they only have the 16th and 17th most expensive squads respectively.

And then it ought to be no surprise to see the newly promoted clubs occupying the bottom three spots, with Manchester United’s squad costing approximately 20 times more than Luton’s.

Note: all figures are via CIES Football Observatory (currency converted from Euros to Pounds) omitting Luton’s due to them being the only Premier League club not to feature in world football’s 100 most expensively assembled squads.

We have since updated the squad cost totals, using Transfermarkt figures following every club’s January business – although after a quiet winter, the differences are largely negligible. 

1. Manchester United – £992million
2. Chelsea – £978million
3. Manchester City – £899million
4. Tottenham – £728million
5. Arsenal – £720million
6. Liverpool – £664million
7. Newcastle United – £565million
8. West Ham United – £428million
9. Aston Villa – £416million
10. Everton – £360million
11. Nottingham Forest – £317million
12. Bournemouth – £296million
13. Wolves – £295million
14. Crystal Palace – £261million
15. Fulham – £211million
16. Brighton – £204million
17. Brentford – £193million
18. Burnley – £180million
19. Sheffield United – £130million
20. Luton – N/A (est. £50million – per The Mirror)

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