September 14 – Manchester United, Chelsea and Manchester City have been revealed as having the most expensive squads in world football, rounding out an exclusive billion-euro club with PSG, according to the latest report by the CIES football observatory.
The study analysed the top 100 teams in the world that have invested the most on transfer fees (including add-ons regardless of effective payment) to recruit players into their current squads.
Manchester United sit top of the list after spending €1.15 billion on their team, ahead of Chelsea (€1.134 billion), who have spent almost half of their squad value in one window as the summer saw the blues splash €462 million on upgrades throughout the squad, and Manchester City (€1.04 billion).
PSG are the only other team to cross the €1billion mark, whilst also being the team to spend the most on attackers in their current side after the editions of Randal Kolo Muani and Gonçalo Ramos tipped the side’s attacking spend to €557 million, over €140 million than any team in the world.
Across the other positions, Liverpool have the highest spend on goalkeepers (€73 million), dominated by the €62 million acquisition of first-teamer Alisson.
Manchester United have spent €383 million in their hunt for the perfect defensive line, more than any other team.
Real Madrid’s all-star midfield roster is the most expensive in the world, setting Los Blancos back €447 million.
Saudi-based Al-Hilal is the club from outside the European big-five that has invested the most on transfer indemnities to assemble their squad (€382 million). The club spent €351 million in the recent transfer window alone, as the summer marked a significant period of investment for Saudi Pro League clubs generally.
All of the Premier League’s traditional ‘top 6’ feature in the top 7 highest spenders on current lineups, sandwiching PSG who sit in fourth.
In fact, the findings show that 10 of the top 15 highest spenders are Premier League sides. A notable absence from the top 15 is FC Barcelona, who sit in 19th place just behind Al-Hilal.
Barcelona’s financial overspending of recent years and the need to meet LaLiga’s financial rules, has forced a change in transfer strategy – gone are the mega-money transfers like Coutinho, Griezmann and Dembele, replaced by homegrown talent in Pedri, Gavi and Lamal alongside free transfers like Lewandowski.
The current Barcelona squad cost the Catalan club one third of the price of Manchester United’s current squad.
Clubs from 19 different leagues feature in the top 100, with a maximum of 19 teams for the English Premier League (all clubs except Luton), followed by the Italian Serie A (15 teams), the Spanish Liga (12), the French Ligue 1 (11) and the German Bundesliga (also 11). The Saudi league is the most represented outside of Europe, with four teams breaking into the top 100.
To see the full report click here.
Contact the writer of this story, Harry Ewing, at firstname.lastname@example.org