February 10 – In a city where the lead striker of one of the world’s biggest clubs collects honours for fighting a campaign to maintain free school meals and fight child hunger, the clubs themselves have gorged on the transfer market at world leading levels.
Manchester City and Manchester United have between them racked up a €1.2 billion net loss on transfer spending over the last 10 transfer windows, according to an analysis by the CIES Football Observatory.
Man City top the ranking of Europe’s Big 5 league clubs with a negative net transfer spend of -€631 million. Second in the ranking is city rival Manchester United who are negative to the tune of -€586 million.
“No English Premier League team has a positive transfer balance during the period considered. The least negative net spending was recorded for Southampton (-€50 million), ahead of West Bromwich Albion (-€73 million) and Newcastle United (-€77 million),” say the report authors.
The third most negative transfer balance since the summer 2015 was recorded for FC Barcelona at -€471 million. The transfer spending has been a major contributor to the club’s spiralling debt problem that has seen player wages cut and even speculation that it is on the verge of bankruptcy.
The CIES report highlights two other teams with recurrent operating deficits, Inter and AC Milan AC, who are also among the ten big-5 league clubs with the most negative net transfer spending: -€386 million for Inter and -€211 million for AC Milan.
In contrast the most positive balances in Italy, Germany and Spain were recorded for Atalanta BC (+€133 million), Hoffenheim (+€87 million) and Valencia (+€67 million).
Two French Ligue 1 clubs are at the opposite end of the table: LOSC Lille (+€191 million) and Olympique Lyonnais (+151 million).
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