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Raiding The January Transfer Window Works

Mon 12th Jan 2015 | Money & Finance

If your name is Arsene Wenger it's time to look away as a comprehensive study on the January transfer window indicates that big spending equals big success when it comes to improving your second half of the season performance.

Since the January transfer window began, eight teams have both spent over £19.5m in a single window, while also having made a profit in a separate January transfer window.

The bwin study, hosted on footballtransferstats.com/january2015, compared and contrasted the clubs' post-January performance in a profit and loss window – resulting in some heart breaking results for frugal managers.


For example, a Harry Redknapp spending spree in 2008/09 saw Tottenham Hotspur spend £45m in the January transfer window, but with tremendous results. That season, Spurs had managed a measly 1.00 points-per-game record up to January before improving to 1.93 points-per-game after January.

Contrast that with a profitable season in 2010/11 and the benefits of big spending are clear to see. Spurs were flying at the start of the season, but having made a profit of £7.5m in the January transfer window, momentum deserted them, resulting in a clear points-per-game fallout. Up to January Redknapp's outfit had a points per game score of 2.13, post-January it fell dramatically to 1.33.

As can be seen below, this pattern of improvement when spending big and failure when profitable is completely consistent with all teams – with one exception. Under David Moyes, Manchester United spent big in January 2014, but saw no improvement in results. In fact, United fell from 1.74 up to January to 1.60 post-January – a fall that ultimately cost the Scotsman his job.

This pattern will offer encouragement to some sides in desperate need of a post-January boost. QPR are the Premier League's biggest net spenders in the January transfer window, making a 'loss' of £16.1m when discounting players sold in the window. Chelsea (£10.7m net spend) and Manchester City (£7.4m net spend) are the second and third biggest spenders and are also neck and neck at the top of the league. Could it be that Chelsea's inclination to spend a little more in January be decisive?

At the other end of the scale, there are four clubs 'in profit' when it comes to January net spend. Newcastle and Swansea City (both -£1.5m net spend) are the most frugal in the league, while West Brom (-£1.0m net spend) and Everton (£-0.4m net spend) may need to reverse their stingy tendencies to improve their current run of poor form.

Jay Dossetter from bwin said; "The January transfer window has often been the subject of derision, but those that go big, clearly don't go home. The pattern of improvement when spending big and deterioration when making a profit is undeniable.

"As well as offering encouragement to those clubs who have a tradition of spending big in January, clubs with managers with a big spending January record can also get their hopes up. Stoke City and Liverpool, who with Mark Hughes and Brendan Rodgers in charge, have the two managers who the greatest January net spend totals in the Premier League.

"Sadly for West Ham and Crystal Palace fans, Sam Allardyce and Alan Pardew are the only managers in the Premier League to turn a profit in January transfer windows, suggesting the East London bubbles could be set to burst and Eagles set to crash land post-January." 


Stats Appendix 

Big Spending v Acting Frugally

Big Spending


Chelsea (2010/11; £75.3m)

Point-per-game improvement: 0.22 (Up to January – 1.78; After January – 2.00)


Man City (2008/09; £48.7m)

Point-per-game improvement: 0.25 (Up to January – 1.22; After January – 1.47)


Tottenham (2008/09; £45m)

Point-per-game improvement: 0.93 (Up to January – 1.00; After January – 1.93)


Man United (2013/14; £37.8m)

Point-per-game improvement: -0.14 (Up to January – 1.74; After January – 0.60)


Liverpool (2012/13; £22m)

Point-per-game improvement: 0.40 (Up to January – 1.46; After January – 1.86)


West Ham (2006/07; £21.7m)

Point-per-game improvement: 0.81 (Up to January – 0.80; After January – 1.61)


Aston Villa (2010/11; £20.5m)

Point-per-game improvement: 0.26 (Up to January – 1.17; After January – 1.43)


Arsenal (2005/06; £19.5m)

Point-per-game improvement: 0.20 (Up to January – 1.68; After January – 1.88)


Average Rate of Improvement: 0.37 points per game


Acting Frugally


Chelsea (2008/09; -£11.4m)

Point-per-game improvement: 0.24 (Up to January – 2.09; After January – 2.33)


Man City (2012/13; -£17.6m)

Point-per-game improvement: -0.31 (Up to January – 2.17; After January – 1.86)


Tottenham (2011/12; -£7.5m)

Point-per-game improvement: -0.80 (Up to January – 2.13; After January – 1.33)


Man United (2006/07; -£3.7m)

Point-per-game improvement: -0.17 (Up to January – 2.40; After January – 2.23)


Liverpool (2008/09; -£14.7m)

Point-per-game improvement: 0.44 (Up to January – 2.09; After January – 2.53)


West Ham (2008/09; -£11.6m)

Point-per-game improvement: -0.09 (Up to January – 1.38; After January – 1.29)


Aston Villa (2007/08; -£7.1m)

Point-per-game improvement: -0.35 (Up to January – 1.71; After January – 1.36)


Arsenal (2007/08; -£6.2m)

Point-per-game improvement: -0.52 (Up to January – 2.38; After January – 1.86)

Average Rate of Improvement: -0.20 points per game


Images: Action Images / Jason Cairnduff Livepic 

Posted by: Aaron Gourley 




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