The perception in Premier League circles is that there are six clubs that make an upper echelon financially and that no one else can keep up, therefore, we shouldn’t be surprised when those six clubs finish one through six. However, focusing on numbers of net spend, that is, how much is spent on transfers when weighed against outgoing transfers, paints a completely separate picture.
On the day after Farhad Moshiri announced that he would be making financial issues irrelevant at Everton, I decided to do a little research and see how we stack up to what other big Premier League clubs are spending on a net basis
All of these figures come from Transfermarkt.com. The reason I went back to 2014-2015 is because that was the first season after the last time Everton had a negative net spend, and when you compare it to spending since 2000 that four year period represented a significant increase in net spend per season. With Moshiri now on board, this appears to be the kind of trajectory we can expect from the club going forward.
As you can see, the Manchester clubs are spending at a level that is only matched by PSG anywhere else on earth. They are radical outliers and frankly, given this spending, City finishing third last year and United being as far behind City as they are this year are both embarrassing.
The Chelsea number is strange, because the constant small buys and sells relative to their loan army skews numbers. It seems clear to me that they mismanage their young talent, (hi Salah, De Bruyne, and Lukaku) but they also seem to have the check book to mostly cover it up. Personally, I don’t think selling guys like De Bruyne to buy guys like Drinkwater is good business, but they get away with it for the most part.
Tottenham simply does not spend at a level that can sustain their current rate of success. What we see right now from Spurs is probably the best iteration of them possible unless their spending habits change. On current trajectory, they will be out of the conversation for top four places in the relatively near future.
Arsenal, is not terribly far ahead of Everton all things considered, and is really bolstered by two big summers rather than consistent spending. Given the fact that Alexis Sanchez, Mesut Ozil, and Arsene Wenger will all likely be leaving the club in the very near future, expecting a significant drop off in standing from the Gunners is perfectly reasonable.
The Liverpool number here does not include their 75m outlay for Naby Keita that will happen next summer. I left it out for two reasons: 1. No other club considered had any transfers from next summer included, so I wanted a consistent metric. 2. We don’t know what they will sell to pay for that transfer, and the fact that Emre Can is probably leaving on a free may help their net spend but it’s horribly bad transfer business.
Now, to Everton, the inclination is to look at Everton’s figure and think that we are getting terrible value for our transfer money, but I disagree. Everton had to catch up to these other big clubs over the last four years, both in first team quality and in squad depth infrastructure, and I would say in many ways we have.
When you look at the England youth national teams, they are littered with Everton players and our U-23 squad is very good. We have young stars in the making like Jordan Pickford and Michael Keane in our first team and players like Henry Onyekuru.
The first two years of this spending, we finished with 47 points in 11th place both seasons. That seems to make the 5th place 2013-2014 season a bit of an overachievement on our part. So basically what we had to do is build from an 11th place team into something that could compete with the top six brands in England, and overall I think we’ve done a good job.
If Ronald Koeman hadn’t forgotten how to manage his way out of a wet paper bag over the summer, and Neil Taylor wasn’t an incompetent idiot, we’d probably at least be sitting in 7th place now.
Bottom line here is that Everton Football Club is moving in the right direction, we should absolutely and without question consider ourselves among the big spenders in the Premier League, and as a new stadium opens, and revenues increase, so will our spending.
As some of our young players mature and move on, there will be more John Stones level sales money wise to fill our coffers, and that’ll make our gross spend numbers grow up, which will increase the quality of players we can buy.
It’s always a good time to be a Toffee, but what I’m seeing off these numbers suggests to me that the next five years will be even better.