Dating all the way back to Alan Shearer’s world record-breaking transfer in 1996, the Premier League has always been the pace-setter when it comes to splashing out money.
With the new television deal kicking in this year, clubs will have even more money to entice players to come play in cities across the UK.
The folks at TalkSport put together a list of the top spending Premier League clubs since 1992, and the results are fascinating.
At the very bottom of the list is Southampton, the only club with a negative net spending total. The club has actually turned over a profit of over £5 million in the transfer window. Nurturing and then selling the likes of Theo Walcott, Gareth Bale, Luke Shaw, Morgan Schneiderlin, Adam Lallana, Callum Chambers, Nathaniel Clyne, Dejan Lovren and Sadio Mane will certainly do that.
Last season’s Cinderella title-winners, Leicester City, rank 17th in the league in net spending over the last 24 years. The Foxes have a net spend of £18.58 million, about £2 million more than their record signing, Ahmed Musa, from this summer.
Check out the top five spenders since 1992 below:
Notoriously known for their cautious spending under Arsene Wenger, the Gunners have a net spend of £179.69 million since ’92. Since that year, they have won the title three times. Among the most expensive players Arsenal have purchased are some pretty good players, including Mesut Ozil and Alexis Sanchez.
Other supremely talented players like Thierry Henry and Santi Cazorla arrived for relatively modest fees of £11 million and £10 million, respectively. However, the best bargain of all came in the form of Robin van Persie, who arrived for just £2.75 million. Wenger finally splurged on a holding midfielder this summer, with Granit Xhaka arriving for a fee reported to be around £30m, making him the third most expensive Gunner in history.
The club has also sold players like Marc Overmars, Nicolas Anelka, Cesc Fabregas, and Robin van Persie for substantial fees.
Liverpool’s spending since 1992 has paid more dividends in European play than in the Premier League, where they have finished second on three occasions. Under the ownership of Fenway Sports Group, the club has not always gotten their transfers right in recent years.
The club’s record signing is Christian Benteke, who after one year has not covered himself in glory. Further blunders in the transfer market include Andy Carroll and Stewart Downing.
However, the club made a massive profit on both Luis Suarez and Fernando Torres, while also selling Raheem Sterling for an incredible fee to Manchester City.
3. Manchester United
The Red Devils come in third on the list of top spenders but have by far the most league titles with 13 since 1992. Although recent spending has not been spot on, United made a habit out of great spending in the transfer market prior to Sir Alex Ferguson’s retirement.
Ferguson purchased the likes of Peter Schmeichel, Eric Cantona and Ole Gunnar Solskjaer for practically nothing. The club also purchased a young Cristiano Ronaldo for just £12.4m.
The club has also got their fair share of transfers wrong, with Angel di Maria leading the pack. The jury is still out on pricey players like Memphis Depay but Anthony Martial and Luke Shaw certainly appear to be the real deal. With the impending world-record purchase of Paul Pogba, United is sure to rocket further up this list.
It is no surprise that Chelsea land in the top two in a top-spending list after Roman Abramovich took over the club in 2003. Since then, he has broken the bank on players like Fernando Torres, Andriy Shevchenko, Eden Hazard, Didier Drogba, and now, Michy Batshuayi.
On the flip side, the stern Russian billionaire has no problem shipping players out of town for a pretty penny as well. In recent years, he has sold David Luiz, Juan Mata, Arjen Robben, Romelu Lukaku, Andre Schurrle, Ramires, and Kevin de Bruyne for huge sums.
The free-spending Abramovich has helped bring success to West London, with Chelsea winning four Premier League titles and one Champions League trophy since he took over.
1. Manchester City
The noisy neighbors top the list of the top spenders since 1992 despite just striking it rich in 2008. They did not waste any time spending, signing Roque Santa Cruz, Carlos Tevez, Emmanuel Adebayor and Robinho in the first few years under Sheikh Mansour.
The spending has gotten even more ludicrous, with Kevin de Bruyne, Raheem Sterling, Leroy Sane, Fernandinho and Sergio Aguero, just to name a few, nearly breaking the bank.
The spending did pay off, with City winning the Prem in 2011-12 and 2013-14.