Each year, the summer transfer window is the most highly awaited time of year for football fans, and clubs alike. It’s an opportunity to sign top-quality players to heighten the club’s chances of finishing at the top of the table and even securing a Champions League spot.
Ticketgum.com, a football ticket company, sought to find out how much of the money each team spent in the 2017/18 summer transfer window, and work out how many tickets would need to be sold for each club to earn back their costs.
During this season’s Premier League transfer window, clubs spent a record amount of money on new players this summer; totalling a staggering £1.413 billion. This includes an unprecedented £210 million spent on deadline day alone, breaking the spend record for the sixth consecutive year.
Last year, Premier League clubs spent £1.194 billion during the summer transfer window, which surpassed the £1 billion mark for the first time; a marked rise from 2014 and 2015, spending £809.6 million and £858.6 million respectively.
Ticketgum.com found that out of all 20 Premier League clubs, a staggering 13 clubs broke their transfer records. The Premier League’s highest spending clubs this summer were Manchester City (£220.5m), Chelsea (£187.5m), Manchester United (£146m) and Everton (£145m).
The Premier League, through their own research, found that the average net spend per club was £33.25 million, equivalent to 14.73% of total club revenue, compared to 14.35% last summer.
In a BBC study from the 2016/17 season, the average cost of the cheapest adult home matchday ticket in the Premier League was priced at £30.95 by the Premier League, and £29.05 by the BBC. Ticketgum found the median total in between these two prices – £30*.
Bearing this in mind, Ticketgum.com found that Manchester City must sell the most amount of tickets to earn their money back from their transfer expenditure from this season. Manchester City spent an astonishing £220.9 million, which means the club must sell 7,363,333 worth of £30 tickets to pay for the players they bought. Effectively, using data by the Football Ground Guide**, the Etihad Stadium would need to be ‘sold out’ 133.64 times.
Manchester City were followed by Chelsea – the club that spent the second highest figure in the Premier League this season (£197.8m). The London club would have to sell 6,260,000 tickets to get their money back. Approximately, Chelsea would need to sell out Stamford Bridge a staggering 150.39 times to reach this number of tickets.
Another Mancunian club followed Chelsea; Manchester United would need to sell 5,000,000 tickets to earn back the £150 million spent on players this summer. Old Trafford would have to be completely sold out 68.20 times to get their money back.
On the other end of the scale was Stoke City, Newcastle United and AFC Bournemouth. In this summer’s Premier League transfer window, Stoke City spent the least amount of money on players – just £24.9 million. As a result, Stoke City must sell 830,000 tickets – almost nine times less than Manchester City. The bet365 Stadium would need to be sold out 27.49 times to achieve the £24.9 million back.
Newcastle United also spent a ‘small’ amount (in football terms) on player’s this summer, spending just £27 million. Ticketgum found that the inhabitants of St James’ Park would need to sell 900,000 tickets to get their money back. AFC Bournemouth also spent significantly less than most clubs in the transfer window, spending just over £29 million (£29.2). This means the club would have to sell 973,333 £30 tickets to earn their money back – or in other words, would have to sell out Dean Court 84.90 times.
Adam Taylor, a spokesman from Ticketgum.com, said:“Premier league clubs are spending more and more on players each year during the summer transfer window, making football into a multi-million-pound business. This year’s most expensive transfer player in the Premier League was Romelu Lukaku, who moved from Everton to Manchester United for a staggering £75 million fee. And with Premier League clubs’ revenue showing no sign of decreasing in the foreseeable future due to a new £5.1 billion broadcasting deal from Sky and BT Sport, there is no doubt that transfer spending will continue to rise significantly.”
*It is worth noting that although this is the average price of last year’s cheapest matchday ticket, it is likely that there will only a miniscule difference in price this season, as according to the BBC, the ticket prices decrease by 6% year-on-year.
**This was calculated using the Football Ground Guide, estimating that each ticket would cost the average (£30), the stadium would have to be sold out ‘X’ amount of times, as an approximation.
Headline Image: Action Images via Reuters/Jason Cairnduff