After a couple of days of searching and scouring for reputable reports of transfer costs, double and triple checking in places, I bring you the total price of every Premiership starting XI from the weekend.
And there are a few surprises in there. Enjoy.
20. Reading – 5.678m:
(Hahnemann – free, Murty – 700k, Ingimarsson – 175k, Duberry – 800k, Shorey – 25k, Fae – 2.5m, Harper – 400k, Gunnarsson – nominal, Hunt – free, Lita – 1m, Doyle – 78k)
Showing just how good a job Steve Coppell is doing, his entire XI over the weekend cost one third of Darren Bent. Admittedly, they got hammered.
19. Derby – 7.975m:
(Bywater – 225k, Griffin – free, Malcolm – free, Davis – 3m, Camara – free, Todd – 750k, Fagan – 1m, Oakley – free, Mears – 1m, Pearson – 1m, Howard – 1m)
Like Reading, Derby’s team cost peanuts, unlike Reading, they’re going to finish so far bottom that the team in 19th will wonder what that tiny dot in the distance is.
18. Blackburn – 17.9m:
(Friedel – free, Emerton – 2.2m, Samba – free, Nelsen – free, Warnock – 1.5m, Bentley – 4m, Savage – 3m, Dunn – 2.2m, Pedersen – 2.5m, Santa Cruz – free, McCarthy – 2.5m)
While Blackburn are certainly not many people’s cup of tea, there is no doubting that on a financial level, they are doing superbly. How anyone can get hold of McCarthy and Santa Cruz, neither beyond their peak, for a total of 2.5m is beyond me.
17. Birmingham – 19.25m:
(Maik Taylor – free, Kelly – 750k, Jaidi – 2m, Ridgewell – 2m, Parnaby – free, Kapo – 3m, Muamba – 4m, Djourou – loan, Larsson – 1m, Forssell – 3m, Jerome – 3.5m.)
You look at this side and it looks worse that Reading, despite costing four times as much.
16. Bolton – 19.85m:
(Jaaskelainen – 100k, Hunt – free, Meite – 4m, Cid – 1m, Samuel – free, Speed – 750k, Nolan – free, Alonso – loan, McCann – 1m, Diouf – 5m, Anelka – 8m.)
With most of the money spent on three signings, you have to say that any success Bolton have this season is well earned. Of course, they’ve looked atrocious so far, and might finish lower than this 16th suggests.
15. Wigan – 22.05m:
(Kirkland – 2.5m, Melchiot – free, Granqvist – 750k, Bramble – free, Kilbane – 2m, Landzaat – 2.5m, Brown – 1m, Scharner – 2.5m, Koumas – 5.3m, Sibierski – free, Heskey – 5.5m)
While many think Wigan spend nothing, they’ve actually splashed out a reasonable amount on their side, without actually getting a lot of quality to show for it. Koumas and Heskey costing nearly 11m between them? You can get Reading, twice over, for that.
14. Portsmouth – 24.45m:
(James – 1.2m, Johnson – 3m, Pamarot – 2.5m (part of 7.5m deal with Davis/Mendes), Distin – free, Hreidarsson – free, Lauren – 500k, Muntari – 7m, Davis – 2.5m (part of 7.5m deal with Pamarot/Mendes), Taylor – 750k, Utaka – 7m, Kanu – free.)
The wheeler-dealer that is Harry Redknapp is something of an expert at not spending a lot on players. They will finish a lot higher than 14th, although they’ll have to play a lot better than they did on Sunday.
13. Fulham – 26.775m:
(Niemi – 2m, Bocanegra – free, Konchesky – 3.25m, Stefanovic – 1m, Baird – 3.025m, Smertin – free, Davies – 3m, Davis – 4m, Dempsey – 1.5m, Bouazza – 3m, Kamara – 6m)
Another side who, unnoticed, have actually spent a reasonable amount on their team, but how many in that list look overpriced? I’d say around half.
12. Sunderland – 27.09m:
(Gordon – 9m, Nosworthy – free, McShane – 2.5m, Higginbotham – 2.5m, Collins – 140k, Leadbitter – free, Yorke – 200k, Etuhu – 1.5m, Wallace – 250k, Chopra – 5m, Jones – 6m)
If Sunderland come 12th they’ll be delighted, but they’ve spent the money that suggests that they now should. The forward line is surely massively overpriced, but the record signing of Gordon may be what keeps them up.
11. West Ham – 29.225m:
(Green – 2m, Neill – 1.5m, Ferdinand – free, Upson – 6m, McCartney – 1.1m (valuing Clarke at 500k), Bowyer – free, Noble – free, Mullins – 625k, Etherington – 3.5m, Ashton – 7m, Bellamy – 7.5m)
Dean Ashton + Craig Bellamy + Matthew Upson – 20.5m? And you wonder why Arsene Wenger doesn’t buy many British players. Add to this total the phenomenal wages West Ham offer, and the fact that Parker (7m), Faubert (6.1m) and Ljungberg (3m) are missing, and West Ham can be a 40m team.
10. Middlesbrough – 30.25m:
(Schwarzer – 1.5m, Young – 2.5m, Woodgate – 7m, Wheater – free, Taylor – free, Boateng – 5m, Rochemback – 4.5m, Arca – 1.75m, Downing – free, Mido – 6m, Aliadiere – 2m)
Into the top ten now, and we break the 30m mark thanks to some serious Boro spending. Before McClaren was hired as England manager, people were touting his achievements, but he spent a fortune at Boro (including the now departed Viduka and Yakubu) without getting anywhere. Is it any wonder England look rubbish? Here, the combined fee of 8m for a lazy Mido, and a brittle and not very good Aliadiere doesn’t look like good business.
9. Newcastle – 30.75m:
(Harper – free, Taylor – free, Rozehnal – 2.9m, Cacapa – free, N’Zogbia – 250k, Smith – 6m, Geremi – free, Butt – 2m, Milner – 3.6m, Owen – 16m, Viduka – free)
Staying up north, Newcastle spend 30m despite having five free transfers in their side. In fact, on some days, where they field 6m Joey Barton, and 6.5m Jose Enrique, they’ll pass the 40m mark.
8. Man City – 34.4m:
(Schmeichel – free, Corluka – 8m, Richards – free, Dunne – 3m, Garrido – 1.5m, Ireland – free, Johnson – free, Hamann – 400k, Petrov – 4.7m, Elano – 8m, Bianchi – 8.8m)
Four players through the academy and City still come out at nearly 35m. With Bojinov injured and costing nearly 6m, they are another club who could easily hit the 40m this season, especially once the chequebook returns in January.
7. Arsenal – 35.72m:
(Almunia – 1.5m, Toure – 150k, Senderos – 2.5m, Gilberto – 4.5m, Clichy – nominal, Rosicky – 6.8m, Fabregas – free, Flamini – 270k (comp), Hleb – 10m, Van Persie – 3m, Adebayor – 7m)
Who needs money when you can assemble this team for less than the profit made on the Anelka, Petit and Overmars transfers? Hleb comes in as the most expensive (throughout the squad) at 10m, while picking up Toure, Clichy and Cesc, arguably the three top performers at the moment, for a week of Michael Ballack’s wages, has got to be some of the best business ever performed.
6. Aston Villa – 37.5m:
(Carson – loan, Mellberg – 5m, Knight – 3.5m, Laursen – 3m, Bouma – 3.5m, Agbonlahor – free, Reo-Coker – 8.5m, Barry – free, Young – 9m, Moore – free, Carew – 5m (estimate, swap with Baros))
Coming in above Arsenal are Villa, who after the weekend most of the Premiership has a liking for. There are three frees and a loan deal in there, but the signings of their English players especially has risen the price of their side. For a club with a reputation for not spending, they do like to splash the cash around a bit.
5. Everton – 47.8m:
(Howard – 3m, Jagielka – 4m, Yobo – 5m, Lescott – 4m, Baines – 5m, Arteta – 2m, Neville – 3m, Carsley – 1.95m, Pienaar – loan, Yakubu – 11.25m, Johnson – 8.6m)
As we move into the top five, we take a massive jump of 10m up to Everton, whose first XI over the weekend cost nearly 50m. Everyone knows about the money spent on the forwards, but they’ve spent a serious amount on the backline too. No doubt if the Toffees so well this season, they will be praised for their successes, but with this sort of chequebook activity, they should be up there.
4. Spurs – 53.6m:
(Robinson – 2m, Chimbonda – 4.5m, Rocha – 3.3m, Kaboul – 7m, Bale – 5m, Malbranque – 2m, Huddlestone – 2.5m, Jenas – 8m, Lee – 1.4m, Keane – 7m, Berbatov – 10.9m)
Another leap is made to Spurs, who spent well over 50m on a side that have looked poor all season. Their backline is shocking, yet somehow it cost them over 20m, while Jenas at 8m is ridiculously priced. And this is the price of the side WITHOUT Darren Bent in it, the 16.5m striker not making the team. No wonder Daniel Levy’s pissed off. They’ve spent like a top four club, but they aren’t going to be one.
3. Liverpool – 86.5m:
(Reina – 6m, Finnan – 3.5m, Hyypia – 3m, Agger – 5.8m, Arbeloa – 2.5m, Pennant – 6.7m, Mascherano – 1.5m, Alonso – 10.5m, Babel – 11.5m, Torres – 26.5m, Kuyt – 9m)
Now we’re playing with serious money. A massive leap of over 30m between fourth and third means that Liverpool are closing in on fielding a side costing 100m. You could argue that a couple in there are overpriced, but in reality Liverpool have simply bought a side over the last two to three years. Not many sides can afford this, but results will now be expected.
2. Man Utd – 91.5m:
(Van der Sar – 2m, Brown – free, Ferdinand – 30m, Vidic – 7m, Evra – 5.5m, Eagles – free, Hargreaves – 17m, Scholes – free, Nani – 14m, Anderson – 16m, Tevez – loan)
No surprise to see United up here, even though they had three academy products in their side, and with Tevez arriving on loan, he doesn’t count as anything either. Not only that, but replace Eagles with Ronaldo, and Tevez with Rooney, and you’ve got a side costing more like 135m. Some say they don’t financially compete with Chelsea, but they do with their first team. They just lack the depth of the Russians. Not everyone has a multi-billionaire, most have to earn their cash.
1. Chelsea – 145m:
(Cech – 7m, Belletti – 3.5m, Terry – free, Alex – free, Ashley Cole – 16m (estimated Gallas’ worth at 11m, based on Chelsea’s original offer of 16m), Wright-Phillips – 21m, Makelele – 16m, Essien – 28m, Malouda – 13.5m, Mikel – 16m (12m to Man Utd, 4m to Lyn Oslo), Drogba – 24m)
But of course, Chelsea will always come out on top of this list. Terry and Alex cost nothing, but they still manage to have a side costing nearly 150m. This, of course, tells only half the story – with the likes of Carvalho and Shevchenko not even making the team, plus all the money they’ve lost in transfers (Geremi cost them 10m, then they let him go on a free), they are living in a completely different financial world to everyone else.
But look at some of those prices. How many of those players could be replaced with someone else of the same ability, costing far less? The only bargain in there is Cech, and even he cost 7m. Financially doped indeed.
So there we have it. Liverpool, Chelsea and United put out sides costing between 80 and 150m, and ours cost 35m, less than Villa’s. And the only way you can make that more expensive is to put Sagna in, so you hit 40m.
But even then, the side is far cheaper than Spurs’ or Everton’s, and when Newcastle, West Ham and Man City empty their physio room, theirs will be even higher, pushing us back to around 9th in the price list.
It has been said many times that Wenger has money to spend. Some have calulated it, based upon his past budget and the transfer profit he has made this summer. It usually comes out around the 30-35m mark.
So that is to say, over the course of a few years, with that money, he could assemble this Arsenal team all over again. That does not take into account the fact that we are profitable from the ground now. It does not take into account that Wenger has an uncanny ability to sell his players for more than he paid for them, even when he has had their best use.
In short, under Wenger we have absolutely no financial problem. With his ability to forge a squad, he will never need to ask the board for cash they cannot supply. There is plenty there for a considerable number of his type of signings. And with him poised to sign a new contract, that is the way it will stay.
So, put simply, Alisher Usmanov, we neither need nor want your money. You made an orange man very rich for his own personal gain, but for the football club, you are not required. Now kindly piss off.