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Cost of Being a Premier League Champion


Sure it costs blood, sweat, and tears to win the Premier league, but is there an actual price on making it to the top? has dived into the money spent on transfers by every Premier League team, spanning back to its first season 25 years ago, to see if we could put a financial figure on what it takes to top the table.

The Price of Winning the Premier League

With the Premier League turning 25 this year, we decided to break its history up into 5, 5-year eras of the league. We collected all of the transfer costs of the champions within each era to pull together an average figure for certain criteria. Check out the analysis of discoveries below.

Top Clubs—Top Prices

Running through the history, an interesting find is that no club was able to win the league without having placed in the top 3 the year before—except of course the insanity that was Leicester City's last season. This continuously growing plutocracy is fuelled by the big clubs collecting big prizes and partners, in order to pump money back into their domination of the top spots of the table. Naturally, this means that the more top slot placements and wins a team can collect in the premier league (and others), the more money the top clubs can spend.

With this in mind, it isn’t a surprise that the average expenditure of Premier League teams on transfers is increasing. However, what is surprising is how it actually decreased between our third and fourth Premier League era. With a 20% decrease in expenditure, what caused such a sharp drop in average costs?

There are 2 reasons why this happened. The first reason is Roman Abramovich, the Russian billionaire who took ownership of Chelsea in 2003. After taking ownership, Abramovich helped Chelsea become the Premier League team to spend the most money on transfers 3 years running. With that, Chelsea’s inaugural win in 2005 brought the 3rd era’s average expenditure way up. Spending a whopping £139.8 million, they out spent all of their era’s co-champion’s winning season costs combined! The closest expenditure for that era of champions came from themselves the following season, where they spent just over £78 million.

The second reason for the dip in costs between the 3rd and 4th era was Manchester United’s hoarding of championships between 2006 and 2013. Winning 5 out of 7 seasons allowed for the Red Devils to maintain their roster, rather than breaking the bank in one big go. 

Even accounting for this dip in costs, it’s clear that the money spent on transfers will continue to rise as clubs duke it out for the top spot.

Price Per Point and Goal

As a fan, a goal represents a moment of euphoria—as a club, a goal represents a return on investment. Each season, the reason the clubs are pumping their money in transfers is to gain money in return. But as clubs are splurging, the average price per goal is rising, and with it is the cost per point that helps them climb the table.

Goals and points were never cheap for the Premier League Champs. The lowest cost ever was Manchester United’s 95-96 winning season. Thanks to keeping down their costs for new players, at a £492,000 PL Champion Team record low, they managed to only pay £6,695.21 per goal, and £5,960.37 per point. Current Clubs can only dream of the days when it was that cheap.

Currently, a point or goal is going to cost a team just shy of £1million. Now we can see why that Golden Boot is worth it’s weight in gold.

Just for fun, let’s look at the most expensive cost per goal and point of a champion team. The ones who forked out the most were Chelsea in their aforementioned inaugural win in 2005. That year, a goal cost the Blues nearly £2million (£1,929,027.78), with each point costing £1,462,000.00. To put that into perspective, if Chelsea wanted to lower the cost of each goal to equal that of Manchester United’s 95-96 season, they would’ve had to have scored 288 Goals!

Eras by the numbers

Want to see how much Blackburn Rovers spent during their winning season in 1995? Take a look at the tables below to see details on what it costs to be a champion in the Premier League. 

First Era: 1992-1997

First Era: 1992-1997
SeasonChampion ClubTotal Spent on TransfersTotal GoalsTotal PointsPrice per GoalPrice per Point
92-93 Manchester United £3,000,500 67 84 £44,783.58 £35,720.24
93-94 Manchester United £7,225,000 80 92 £90,312.50 £78,532.61
94-95 Blackburn Rovers £8,287,500 80 89 £103,593.75 £93,117.98
95-96 Manchester United £488,750 73 82 £6,695.21 £5,960.37
96-97 Manchester United £95,545,500 76 75 £125,598.68 £127,273.33


Second Era: 1997-2002

Second Era: 1997-2002
SeasonChampion ClubTotal Spent on TransfersTotal GoalsTotal PointsPrice per GoalPrice per Point
97-98 Arsenal £18,725,500 68 78 £275,375.00 £240,070.51
98-99 Manchester United £37,612,500 80 79 £470,156.25 £476,107.59
99-00 Manchester United £6,757,500 97 91 £69,664.95 £74,107.59
00-01 Manchester United £9,945,000 79 80 £125,886.08 £124,312.50
01-02 Arsenal £27,786,500 79 87 £351,727.85 £319,385.06


Third Era: 2002-2007

Third Era: 2002-2007
SeasonChampion ClubTotal Spent on TransfersTotal GoalsTotal PointsPrice per GoalPrice per Point
02-03 Manchester United £40,995,500 74 83 £553,993.24 £493,921.69
03-04 Arsenal £24,293,000 73 90 £332,780.82 £269,922.22
04-05 Chelsea £138,890,000 72 95 £1,929,027.78 £1,462,000.00
05-06 Chelsea £77,520,000 72 91 £1,076,666.67 £851,868.13
06-07 Manchester United £21,120,000 83 89 £278,554.22 £259,775.28


Fourth Era: 2007-2012

Fourth Era: 2007-2012
SeasonChampion ClubTotal Spent on TransfersTotal GoalsTotal PointsPrice per GoalPrice per Point
07-08 Manchester United £77,605,000 80 87 £970,062.50 £892,011.49
08-09 Manchester United £38,462,500 68 90 £565,625.00 £427,361.11
09-10 Chelsea £25,500,000 103 86 £247,572.82 £296,511.63
10-11 Manchester United £24,905,000 78 80 £319,294.87 £311,312.50
11-12 Manchester City £76,961,500 93 89 £827,607.53 £864,803.37


Fifth Era: 2012-2017

Fifth Era: 2012-2017
SeasonChampion ClubTotal Spent on TransfersTotal GoalsTotal PointsPrice per GoalPrice per Point
12-13 Manchester United £64,982,500 86 89 £755,610.47 £730,140.45
13-14 Manchester City £98,600,000 102 86 £966,666.67 £1,146,511.63
14-15 Chelsea £117,045,000 73 87 £1,603,356.16 £1,345,344.83
15-16 Leicester City £42,636,000 68 81 £627,000.00 £526,370.37
16-17 ??? ??? ??? ??? ??? ??? 

Tags:  Premier League