World Soccer: Comparing money spent and points earned for Premier League teams

The Premier League and world football as a whole seem to be revolving around money these days. From insane transfer fees, wages, and TV money, cash has the most influence on the game. 10 years ago in the 07/08 season, the highest paid transfer fee in football was Fernando Torres to Liverpool for €38m. Ten years later, and Neymar is moving to PSG for a fee of around €220m. 

Many clubs have been consumed by money, Chelsea, Manchester City, and PSG are all teams that have been influenced by multi-billionaire owners. However, there are teams like Lyon, Dortmund, and Atletico Madrid who have all found bargain transfers or used their youth setup to compete at the top level.

In this article, we will be focusing on the Premier League and if spending money translates into more points in the league and success overall.

We will be looking at the top six (Arsenal, Chelsea, Manchester City, Manchester United, Tottenham, and Liverpool) and comparing their money spent on transfers to points earned since the 2009-2010 season.

The top six really came into form in the 2009-2010 season. Little slips happened as Chelsea finished 10th one year and Liverpool have finished outside the top six a few times, but these six teams have the highest points total since 2009-2010.

The 09/10 season is really when we saw a change in spending from these six teams. Here’s how much each top six side has spent since the 09/10 season.

Total spending 2009-2017

1)Manchester City-£1.2b


3)Manchester United-£876.01m




Next is the total amount of points each team has gained since 09/10 excluding this season’s points.

Points earned 2009/10-2016/17

1)Manchester City-614 points

2)Manchester United-612 points

3)Chelsea-608 points

4)Arsenal-586 points

5)Tottenham-562 points

6)Liverpool-516 points

As you can see spending varies for each team, Manchester City have spent the most and earned the most points, while Arsenal have spent the least and earned the fourth most points.

Money spent to points earned

1)Arsenal-£0.79m: per point

2)Tottenham-£0.91m: per point

3)Liverpool-£1.36m: per point

4)Manchester United-£1.43m: per point

5)Chelsea-£1.55m: per point

6)Manchester City-£1.99m: per point

As you can see from this the most successful teams in terms of points earned have to spend the most, as Man U, Chelsea, and Man City are all in the bottom three. While Arsenal, who have the fourth most points, spend the least on each point they earn.


However, the only time points matter is in each league season, and points don’t really matter in cup competitions, so here’s how many trophies the top six has won since 09/10, excluding Community Shields.

Premier League titles- Chelsea-3, Manchester United-2, Manchester City-2

F.A. Cups- Arsenal-3, Chelsea-2, Manchester City-1, Manchester United-1

League Cups- Manchester United-2, Manchester City-2, Chelsea-1, Liverpool-1

European trophies- Chelsea-2, Manchester United-1

Money spent to trophies won

1)Chelsea-118m: per trophy

2)Manchester United-146m: per trophy

3)Arsenal-153.36m: per trophy

4)Manchester City-244.49m: per trophy

5)Liverpool-703.78m: per trophy

6)Tottenham-510.89m: 0 trophies

Winners & losers

It appears Chelsea are the most successful in terms of trophies won, as they have only spent 118m per trophy they have won since 09/10. You would not expect this from a team that spends so much year in and year out during the transfer windows.

Manchester City, on the other hand, are fourth in this category. However, with the rise of Guardiola at City you would expect them to climb this table and be near Chelsea in a couple seasons.

Unfortunately for Liverpool and Tottenham, they have only won one and zero trophies, which makes their spending look catastrophic. While they finish 2nd and 3rd in money spent per point, they are both slacking in picking up trophies since 09/10.

Arsenal have a tricky case, they come in third in this category, but the only trophies they have won are three F.A. cups, which is not as prestigious as a European trophy or a Premier League title. While they have spent the least but won three trophies, the biggest trophies have eluded them.

From looking at this data we can conclude that spending at the rate United, City, and Chelsea do will lead to success. Arsenal and Tottenham have a good ratio of money spent to points earned. However, both clubs have yet to win the Premier League within 09/10.

Liverpool are the most unlucky team in this data, as they have only won one trophy, but spent the fourth most.

Financially no effect

Chelsea come out the real winners in this as they have the most trophies while spending the second most. Their money spent to trophies won is £28m less than second place Manchester United.

Arsenal are probably the most financially sound club on this list as they have the lowest money spent per Premier League point they earn. However, Man City, Man United, and Chelsea are all financially healthy and their radical spending has not hurt them financially.

From the data, we can infer that Man City, Man United, and Chelsea should still spend at the rates they are, while Arsenal and Tottenham should look to invest more in players and maybe they will be able to deliver a Premier League title. Liverpool need to just conduct smarter business, as many of their transfers have been recognized as poor.

Pundits and fans may criticize teams like Man City, Man United, and Chelsea for their enormous spending, but if it translates into winning trophies and it is not putting them in debt then there is no harm in it.

Some will point out that Leicester won the League while spending nowhere near the amounts that the top six did. However, multiple external factors occurred that helped Leicester win the League. You can see they weren’t able to build off of their one-year success as they finished 12th last season.

The beautiful game is changing and teams are going to keep on spending more and more, and if your club wants to get out of mid-table in the League then they will need to spend at higher rates, while still managing smart transfers. Liverpool and Everton can tell you first hand where their weak business has taken them.

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