The 10 clubs with the highest net spend over the past decade: Man Utd, Chelsea, PSG….

The clubs with the highest net spend over the past decade is unsurprisingly dominated by Premier League behemoths like Manchester United, Arsenal, Chelsea and Manchester City – but how do they stack up against some of Europe’s biggest-spending clubs?

The Cies Football Observatory have conducted an in-depth study looking at how clubs have spent their money over the past 10 years. We expected to see some of the clubs that feature towards the top, but seeing Liverpool (12th), Juventus (14th), Bayern Munich (18th) and Real Madrid (19th) feature lower down is a little surprising.

Here’s how the top 10 stacks up in full.

10. West Ham United – €526m

The Hammers have had a somewhat mixed record in the transfer market in recent years, with high-profile mis-steps like Sebastian Haller, Gianluca Scamacca and Andre Ayew.

But they’ve also grown as a club considerably over the past decade, moving into the London Stadium and building a side worthy of European competition.

They’ve spent over half a billion Euros to get there, with their balance sheet helped out by the club-record sale of Declan Rice, but it’s since looked like money well spent by Arsenal.

9. AC Milan – €545m

We’re a long way off the heady days of Serie A being the top-spending league in the world, but AC Milan have spent considerably to go from their mid-2010s wilderness years to Scudetto winners and Champions League semi-finalists.

Their spending sprees haven’t always worked out successfully, but Stefano Pioli has built a quality side and their many ex-Chelsea stars look at home at the San Siro.

READ: 15 of the silliest transfers of Serie A’s golden age: Ventola, Amoroso, Coco

8. Tottenham Hotspur – €609m

Tottenham haven’t spent quite as much as some of their Premier League rivals over the past 10 years, but nor have they been massively thrifty in the transfer market.

Record signing Tanguy Ndombele did not prove value for money, while the jury remains out on whether Richarlison will come good.

Harry Kane’s €120million departure to Bayern Munich has helped raise funds used to reshape Ange Postecoglou’s new-look squad, with more money going out on the likes of Brennan Johnson, James Maddison and Micky van de Ven.

7. FC Barcelona – €663m

Barcelona have continued to spend money under returning president Joan Laporta.

Time will tell if pulling all these economic levers is worth it, but things would have to go seriously wrong for Laporta to leave a worse legacy than his predecessor, Josep Maria Bartomeu.

READ: Ranking the 10 worst signings of Bartomeu’s Barcelona presidency

6. Newcastle United – €671m

Unsurprisingly the vast majority of this net spend has come over the past couple of years under the ownership of Saudi Arabia’s Public Investment Fund.

The Magpies have spent over €450million on bolstering Eddie Howe’s squad since the takeover went through back in 2021. Very little has been brought in the other direction, with the sales of Chris Wood and Allan Saint-Maximin the only ones to bring in any notable funds.

5. Manchester City – €856m

Pep Guardiola’s juggernaut are always going to feature towards the top end of these lists, such is the backing from the Abu Dhabi-backed City Football Group.

Building a squad capable of conquering the world doesn’t come cheap, with the likes of Jack Grealish, Josko Gvardiol, Kevin De Bruyne, Rodri and Ruben Dias towards the top end of their transfer spending. No arguing with that hit rate.

In recent times City have had plenty of money coming in the other direction, having raised considerable funds through the sales of Raheem Sterling, Gabriel Jesus, Ferran Torres and Leroy Sane.

The sale of Cole Palmer means they’ve also raised over £400million in selling academy graduates during Guardiola’s reign.

4. Arsenal FC – €872m

Arsenal have consistently spent big – more wisely under Mikel Arteta and Edu of late, admittedly – over the past 10 years.

That plus failing to recoup anything for the likes of Mesut Ozil, Hector Bellerin, Pierre Emerick-Aubameyang and once club-record arrival Nicolas Pepe and their net spend was always going to be colossal.

The Gunners have started to bring in funds from selling players like Folarin Balogun and Granit Xhaka, but for a long time the money they made from departing players was negligible.

3. Paris Saint-Germain – €1.01bn

With the heft of Qatar behind them, PSG have spent a ridiculous amount of dosh chasing Champions League glory. It hasn’t quite gone to plan.

In the summer, PSG received €100million for Neymar. That sounds like a good deal until you consider they bought him for over twice that in a world-record transfer back in 2017.

Despite receiving that colossal fee, PSG ended up with the third-highest net spend of summer 2023 behind Neymar’s Al-Ahli and…

2. Chelsea FC – €1.033bn

The Blues were never short of a bob or two under former owner Roman Abramovich, but under Todd Boehly they’ve reached unprecedented new heights.

Boehly’s Chelsea have spent over £1billion on transfers in just three transfer windows. No club in football history – not even state-backed City, PSG or Newcastle – have spent such a huge amount in such a short space of time.

1. Manchester United – €1.39bn

In the 10 seasons since Sir Alex Ferguson retired, they’ve had more managers than major honours and never really put up a serious challenge to win the Premier League.

They have spent an unthinkable sum of money to be in this position.

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