A study of the activity of the Premier League’s 20 clubs during the last two transfer windows shows that only one team made a profit and that spending and success are not inextricably linked.
Activity in the summer 2015 and January 2016 windows was taken into consideration, with Tottenham Hotspur the only team to make a profit.
— Guardian sport (@guardian_sport) May 18, 2016
The White Hart Lane side made $9.7 million from their deals, with only a handful of new faces brought to White Hart Lane including Toby Alderweireld and Son Heung-min.
This was counteracted by the sales of a host of players including Paulinho, Vlad Chiriches and Roberto Soldado.
Manchester City were the side to make the highest loss on transfers, with a net spend of $180m, which brought the likes of Raheem Sterling, Kevin De Bruyne and Nicolas Otamendi to the Etihad Stadium.
Interestingly, Newcastle United were the next highest net spenders on $115.8m, but this was not enough to save the Tyneside club from relegation.
— Ben Pearce (@BenPearceSpurs) May 13, 2016
This also shows the perils of spending big mid-season, with the likes of Andros Townsend and Jonjo Shelvey signed in January but not enough to keep Rafa Benitez’s men in the top flight.
Shock English champions Leicester City made a $41.8m net spend, with only six teams in the division making a bigger loss.
Manchester United were the second highest net spenders in the top half of the finalised table on $48.6m, while a host of the biggest spenders were in the lower reaches of the division.
Newly promoted sides Watford, Bournemouth and Norwich all spent big, with their expenditure in the transfer market actually dictating their fate.
The Hornets and Cherries made net spends of $61.5m and $56m respectively and avoided the drop, while the Carrow Road side’s outlay of $39.2m was not enough to stave off relegation.
The figures will be another source of frustration for Arsenal fans, with the Gunners’ net spend at $22.6m.
— ESPN FC (@ESPNFC) May 14, 2016
With the Emirates Stadium faithful crying out for Arsene Wenger to buy a world-class striker and reinforce the squad, the fact that only six teams spent less will evoke annoyance in the North London supporters.
The figures are set to be shaken up this summer as the likes of United, Chelsea and Liverpool are expected to spend big in a bid to get back into the Premier League top four and fight for major silverware.