Comparing every Premier League squad’s cost to its final league position
Chelsea are the Premier League’s biggest underperformers when you stack up how much their squad cost to build against their final position in the league table.
Brighton and Brentford are, somewhat unsurprisingly, the clubs that punched above their weight at the other end of the scale.
Meanwhile, Arsenal’s title challenge was especially impressive when you consider the finances involved, while Leicester and West Ham’s investment didn’t translate into league points.
It’s something of a minor miracle that Brighton finished sixth and qualified for Europe for the first time in the club’s history. The Seagulls’ entire squad cost just €111million – no club in the Premier League has spent less.
Brighton’s achievements have been all the more impressive this season when you consider that they lost head coach Graham Potter to Chelsea back in September.
Under new owner Todd Boehly, the Blues have spent more than any Premier League club in history, yet they finished the bottom half of the table.
After outspending everyone else in both the summer and winter transfer windows, Chelsea now have the most expensively-assembled squad in the world. Yet they finished six places and 18 points behind Brighton, whose squad cost little more than 10% of theirs.
“In an ideal world you wouldn’t want to be having them [difficult conversations over team selection] but that’s my job,” Potter told Sky Sports back in February, of the challenges posed by working with a large, expensively-assembled squad.
“You have to do it in a respectful, honest and transparent way – and respect the fact there will be disappointment and frustration and you allow for that and help them go forward.
“You have to look at right combination, the balance of the group, and take the tough decisions. A lot of players can put up a strong case. That’s our challenge and I am not complaining about it – it’s part of the job and I am really looking forward to taking it and doing the best I can.
“I think there have been enormous challenges since day one. The club has gone through tremendous change with the ownership, there needs to be stability and calm which is hard for me to say when we have made the signings we have made. But going forward we have to build the team the culture and the environment and then you can start to see real progress I think.”
Potter has since been dismissed, having struggled to get results out of the only squad in world football that cost over a billion Euros to assemble.
Elsewhere, Brentford, newly-promoted Fulham, Crystal Palace and Aston Villa are all punched above their weight, while runners-up Arsenal only have the fifth most expensively-assembled squad in the division.
Mikel Arteta’s Gunners squad cost €531million in total – just over half Chelsea’s, and considerably less than Manchester City and Manchester United.
Here’s the full breakdown of every Premier League’s squad cost and how it compares to their league position, ranking them in order of the biggest differences between the two. All transfer figures are via Transfermarkt.
League Position: 6th
Squad cost: 20th
Total squad cost: €111.1million
League Position: 9th
Squad cost: 19th
Total squad cost: €124.1million
League Position: 10th
Squad cost: 18th
Total squad cost: €137.0million
League Position: 7th
Squad cost: 11th
Total squad cost: €341.6million
League Position: 11th
Squad cost: 15th
Total squad cost: €217.9million
League Position: 2nd
Squad cost: 5th
Total squad cost: €531.5million
League Position: 8th
Squad cost: 7th
Total squad cost: €390.3million
League Position: 4th
Squad cost: 6th
Total squad cost: €458.95million
League Position: 1st
Squad cost: 2nd
Total squad cost: €960.6million
League Position: 15th
Squad cost: 16th
Total squad cost: €209.5million
League Position: 16th
Squad cost: 17th
Total squad cost: €187.6million
League Position: 3rd
Squad cost: 3rd
Total squad cost: €876.2million
League Position: 5th
Squad cost: 4th
Total squad cost: €709.05million
League Position: 13th
Squad cost: 10th
Total squad cost: €353.9million
League Position: 17th
Squad cost: 13th
Total squad cost: €288.1million
League Position: 19th
Squad cost: 14th
Total squad cost: €241.4million
West Ham United
League Position: 14th
Squad cost: 8th
Total squad cost: €379.7million
League Position: 20th
Squad cost: 12th
Total squad cost: €293.1million
League Position: 18th
Squad cost: 9th
Total squad cost: €362.1million
League Position: 12th
Squad cost: 1st
Total squad cost: £€1.01billion