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Money talks, but how loud? Premier League table based on net spend in the summer

Funds. Funds. Funds. That’s almost always where the fingers are pointed these days in the game. The manager needs to be backed in the transfer window, this squad needs some serious additions, and what not. Whether or not this is true is a debate for another time, but money talks in football, now more than any other era, and these days the transfer market is as keenly watched as the real football, if not more.

So, here’s how the Premier League would look if the game was exclusively about net spend:

1.       Liverpool (Net spend: 164.9 million pounds; Actual league position: 1st)

Liverpool’s net spend in the summer well and truly breached the 150million-mark, not least because of the 67million spent to bring Brazilian goalkeeper Alisson Becker from Roma. Alisson has looked like money very well spent so far, the finance is being justified, as the Reds remain unbeaten in the Premier League, top of the pile after 17 games. Ka-ching!

2.       Fulham (Net spend: 104.5 million pounds; Actual league position: 20th)

Arguably the biggest mystery of the Premier League season; how Fulham garnered a net spend of over 100million and still can’t sort their defence. Slavisa Jokanovic has already been sacked this term, and things haven’t gotten quite good under Claudio Ranieri either. Despite spending on defenders like Alfie Mawson, Joe Bryan, and Maxime Le Marchand, as well as goalkeeper Fabricio, Fulham are shipping goals at a rate of almost three per game, and are well lodged at the foot of the table.

3.       West Ham (Net spend: 90.3 million pounds; Actual league position: 9th)

At the start of the season, alarm bells were ringing for West Ham under Manuel Pellegrini, beginning the campaign with four losses on the bounce, and the fingers were – quite rightly – pointed at how the Hammers, for all their summer spend, didn’t quite get a solid defensive midfielder. But things have very much picked up since, four wins on the bounce have taken the East Londoners well into the top half, and a top-seven finish isn’t out of the question.

4.       Chelsea (Net spend: 83.4 million pounds; Actual league position: 4th)

An apt season, finance-to-position wise, for Chelsea, whose net spend was influenced by the goalkeeper-record acquisition of Spaniard Kepa, and put them in fourth place on the net spend table, the same position they are in the actual Premier League table. Talk about a breakeven (yes, we’re going with financial terms. Deal with it).

5.       Everton (Net spend: 76 million pounds; Actual league position: 8th)

For the second season in a row, Everton spent a lot of money ahead of it, but unlike last term, they haven’t just thrown money around and mashed up players while looking ridiculously top-heavy, a structure looks in place, and the new signings are starting to seem pivotal to the team, unlike last term (*cough* Davy Klaassen *cough*). The Toffees lie in eighth place, and things look more on the up than down.

6.       Wolves (Net spend: 73.1 million pounds; Actual league position: 7th)

Wolves looked primed for the Premier League even before a ball had been kicked this season, and their financial strength and the power of Jorge Mendes meant lying in the sixth place on the net spend table, having spent just over 73million, is no surprise. Wolves have looked like Premier League material so far, recovering from a poor run, and are in seventh place.

7.       Arsenal (Net spend: 72.6 million pounds; Actual league position: 5th)

The Gunners have gotten up to speed after a slow start under Unai Emery, their unbeaten run may have ended – 22 games – but they lie in fifth place, only three points off the top four, after a net spend of almost 73million in the summer.

8.       Manchester United (Net spend: 59.3 million pounds; Actual league position: 6th)

It’s been a well talked-about subject this season, Manchester United’s summer spend, with Jose Mourinho – now dismissed from Old Trafford – having continually expressed his displeasure at United’s transfer inactivity, just a net spend of over 59million. Which makes 52million Fred being on the fringes all the more puzzling.

9.       Brighton (Net spend: 59.3 million pounds; Actual league position: 13th)

What! The Seagulls had the same net spend as Manchester United!! One to make Jose cringe. Brighton have spent this summer on players who are starting to become pivotal, the likes of Martin Montoya, Bernardo and Yves Bissouma becoming key players. Chris Hughton’s side are in 13th place in the league.

10.     Southampton (Net spend: 50.8 million pounds; Actual league position: 17th)

That Southampton sitting in the top half of the spending table is the highest they’ve been in standings of a not-horrible nature says much about how they’ve slipped in the recent past. Despite a net spend that tops half of the league’s teams, the Saints are only just out of the relegation zone in the real table, after Ralph Hasenhuttl replaced Mark Hughes as manager.

11.     Manchester City (Net spend: 43 million pounds; Actual league position: 2nd)

The champions are only a lowly eleventh on the finance table, having made a net spend of just 43million. In perhaps comparatively more surprisingly, City lie a disgraceful second in the league.

12.     Huddersfield (Net spend: 37 million pounds; Actual league position: 19th)

The Terriers managed a net spend of 37million in the summer, but will rue not getting a proper striker, with none of his forwards having scored this term. As a result, David Wagner’s side lie bottom bar one in the league.

13.     Burnley (Net spend: 33 million pounds; Actual league position: 18th)

With Burnley having finished last season, perhaps a net spend of 33million in this era was below expectations, particularly given this is also their gross spend. Burnley have since being eliminated from the Europa League, and things haven’t been going any better in the league, the Clarets lying in the relegation zone.

14.     Bournemouth (Net spend: 51.3 million pounds; Actual league position: 11th)

A few weeks ago, Bournemouth would have been very much exceeding themselves in terms of actual league table to financial league table. But the Cherries have lost six of their last seven games, and have dropped from sixth place to 11th, just three spots ahead of their net spend position.

15.     Cardiff (Net spend: 30.7 million pounds; Actual league position: 16th)

Cardiff’s gross spend? 30.7million. Cardiff’s net spend? 30.7million. Cardiff on the net spend table? 15th. Cardiff on the actual league table? 16th. Apt.

16.     Leicester (Net spend: 26 million pounds; Actual league position: 12th)

In terms of gross spending, only two teams are above the Foxes, but big-name, particularly one Riyad Mahrez, puts their net spend at 26million. As for the league table, they lie in mid-table, as they continue their limbo under Claude Puel.

17.     Crystal Palace (Net spend: 10.7 million pounds; Actual league position: 15th)

Palace spent just over 10million in the summer, both gross and net spend, most of their signings being free transfers. That also means no real strong addition to the attack, hence a rather fair 15th place on the actual league standings.

18.     Tottenham (Net spend: 0; Actual league position: 3rd)

It’s hardly news that Spurs spent zilch in the summer, stadium trouble and what not seeming to tighten the pockets. But Spurs are in third place in the league, enjoying their best start to a Premier League season. Not that it matters until Mauricio Pochettino luckily wins the League Cup, eh!

19.     Newcastle (Net spend: negative 8.7 million pounds; Actual league position: 14th)

Talk of Rafa Benitez being hamstrung by Mike Ashley is far from ludicrous, particularly when you consider that they made a net gain of 8.7million in the summer, despite spending less than 35million in expenditure.

20.     Watford (Net spend: negative 22.1 million pounds; Actual league position: 10th)

The Hornets lost Richarlison for big money in the summer, and spent mostly on young names, hence the net gain of over 22million. And with them being in the top half, it looks like money well left unspent.

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