Top 10 clubs with the highest net spend in the past decade￼
During the recently concluded summer transfer window, Chelsea spent a humungous £271.1 million to shatter the Premier League record for the most sum spent by a club during a single window. With new owner Todd Boehly looking to add to the Blues’ illustrious recent past, it was a statement of intent from both the owner and the club.
However, he isn’t the only one who has flexed his financial might in the transfer market recently. In the past decade alone, teams like Manchester City, Paris Saint-Germain, and Barcelona among others have spent a staggering amount of money on new recruits.
But did you know Manchester United top the list of the top 10 clubs having the highest net spend in the past decade? Six out of the top 10 teams on the list are Premier League sides, which is hardly surprising given the financial might of English clubs. Take a look at the list in full:
#10 Chelsea – £413m
Despite their exploits in the summer, the Stamford Bridge outfit rounds up the top 10, but what it essentially means is that Chelsea has done a good act to balance the books, if they’ve spent insane money in the market, they have also made incredible sums from player sales.
The past decade has to be the most successful period in the club’s history which makes this number all the more impressive. With two Premier League titles, two UEFA Champions League trophies, two FA cups, a solitary Europa League title as well as the Club World Cup trophy, the Blues enjoyed a glittering period this past decade.
#9 Aston Villa – £424m
While some would find it surprising to see Aston Villa ahead of Chelsea, with due respect to the former, what it essentially means is that the Villans have outspent the Blues when it comes to incomings, and they’ve raked in lesser money than the Londoners.
They’ve seen it all in the past decade, from being relegated in 2016, after 29 years in the top flight to their return among the big boys in 2019 after which Villa have spent £320 million on new recruits. They look like a decent side under Steven Gerard and the Villa Park faithful can certainly dream about the good times ahead.
#8 Everton – £430m
The start of this previous decade marked a new era in Merseyside, with long-time manager David Moyes leaving for United. He was replaced by Roberto Martinez and since then there has been a flurry of incomings, both among players and among managers as well.
Since new owner Farhad Moshiri took over in 2016, the Toffees have been among some of the big spenders but not all of their signings have worked out. The most recent signing of Delle Alli, a player in his decline and his loan departure to Besiktas in bizarre circumstances perhaps sums up Everton’s work in the market in recent years.
#7 AC Milan – £432m
A club with rich history and tradition, Milan have had some glorious years in the past but this ongoing decade has been about transition. After the immense success in the Berlusconi era, the Rossoneri have been in the wilderness for the better part of the last 10 years, amidst constant changes in ownership.
Since 2019, however, they’ve been on the rise under Stefan Pioli which culminated in the club winning their first league title since 2011, and their return to Champions where they truly deserve to be, being the second most successful team in the competition with an incredible seven titles.
#6 Juventus – £560m
The Old Lady were among the powerhouses in Italy, and in the past 10 years, they have experienced incredible success. Milan’s loss was in reality Juve’s gain as they won nine consecutive Scudetto.
They have also reached two Champions League finals, unfortunately losing them both, but it was an example of a club on the rise. In the transfer market, Juventus have often pulled off some great heists signing the likes of Paul Pogba, and Andre Pirlo for free but they have never shied away from spending big bucks, just like they did recently, signing Gleison Bremer who was the most expensive player to move in the Serie A in summer.
#5 Arsenal – £583m
Very recently Arsenal reminded the world of their financial might, as they splashed £118.86m on new signings and the management has indeed backed Mikel Arteta ever since he took over the top job.
Going further back, Arsene Wenger also made some iconic signings, and even though they’ve only won four FA Cup titles to show for all the money spent, Arteta seems like the right choice to turn them into genuine Premier League contenders, but for that to happen, they will have to try and fight their way into the top four first.
#4 Barcelona – £650m
At the turn of this past decade, the Catalan club was at their peak, dominating world football like few teams before they had managed to do so. However, after Pep Guardiola’s departure, the Josep Maria Bartomeu era began, and even though they won the treble in 2015, since then the club’s finances have been haywire.
As La Masia struggled to produce gems like it before, the club started to spend on superstar players, rather than promoting from inside. For every Luis Suarez, Ousmane Dembele and Neymar, there were also the likes of Philippe Coutinho, Antoine Griezmann, Paulinho, Malcolm and many more.
Once Xavi returned as head coach, along with Joan Laporta they again pulled off a heist of epic proportions, managing to sign world beaters like Robert Lewandowski, Jules Kounde, and Raphinha among others despite the club’s finances being reduced to bare bones.
#3 Paris Saint-Germain – £940m
In June 2011, QSI acquired a majority stake in PSG, and that was the start of a new chapter. In their bid to take the club to the top of the footballing pyramid, the owners left no stone unturned.
What started with Marco Veratti, Edinson Cavani, David Beckham, and Zlatan Ibrahimovic, to the statement signs of Neymar, Kylian Mbappe, and Lionel Messi, the quest to win their maiden Champions League title is what is driving the Parisians towards perfection.
They came ever so close to realizing that dream in 2021 but fell agonisingly short against Bayern Munich, and so PSG continue to shatter records in the transfer window, with just one goal and they’re not likely to stop anytime soon before winning the Ol’ Big Ears.
#2 Manchester City – £985m
Theirs is a story similar to PSG, only their conquest began way back in 2008. As Sheikh Mansour took over in the ‘Blue’ side of Manchester, his ambition was to make Man City one of the biggest clubs in the world.
While they too, like PSG, have failed to realise the UEFA Champions League dream, in this past decade the Sky Blues have embarked upon a journey, which so far has been the most successful period in the club’s history. With the right personnel in place, £940m can win you six Premier League titles, two FA Cups, and six League Cup titles.
#1 Manchester United – £1.1b
The Red Devils have historically been a team that is usually made up of superstars. They’re no rookies when it comes to the transfer window, and in the past decade alone, they have outspent every single club on the planet.
£1.1b, that’s the net spend of United in the past ten years, shattering the world record along the way when they signed Paul Pogba, and this past summer too, they spent £214.22m, as they acquired the most expensive signing of the window in Antony.
United’s success has been the culmination of their sporting merit, as well as outstanding marketing strategies, which when combined, continue to pump in the green bills even though they may have fallen from the great heights in which they once soared.