The Premier League’s spending power compared to Europe’s top leagues

Many say that the Super League already exists, and it is the Premier League. Not in format, obviously, but in economic power. In the 2022-23 season, the English league has spent more than €2.54bn. The second league that has spent the most on transfers is Serie A with €763.27m. This has been an ongoing trend for a long time because you have to go all the way back to 2001-02 to find a season in which another league (Serie A) was the league that spent the most in transfers. But never before has there been such a difference.

Television contracts and foreign investment are some of the main reasons why the Premier League has become the most financially powerful league in the world. However, this has not translated into sporting success. Of the last ten editions of the Champions League, only two have gone to UK clubs. In the Europa League, the record is not much better, and they have won three. Spanish sides have won six editions of each title and, as a result, the Premier League is signing more and more talent from LaLiga.

In barely half a month of the January transfer window, Premier League clubs have signed Álex Moreno, Joao Félix and Matheus Cunha. Before that, in October, Aston Villa snapped up Unai Emery as if he were a footballer. It is unusual for a club to pay €6m for a coach in the middle of the season, but the salary offered to Emery (€7m) is something Villarreal could not compete with.

Taking the only five seasons into account, it is clear that the Premier League wants to sign take players in from LaLiga. It is in Spanish-based players that English clubs have spent the most money on (€1.127bn), closely followed by France (€1.108bn) and Germany (€1026bn). Italy is behind the rest (€821.2m). In terms of the number of players changing leagues, France has more players leaving for England than Spain (72 compared to 62), but the figure for LaLiga is still very high. Germany and Italy have 58 and 46 players respectively.

Full screen

LaLiga is simply not in a position to spend as much on the Premier League as the Premier League spends on LaLiga. For example, in the 2020-21 season (a special pandemic campaign), LaLiga only paid the Premier League for one player (Morata, €35m). The remaining sixteen who swapped England for Spain that season were either on loan or out of contract. By comparison, in the same season, when the pandemic also affected the Premier League, they spent €244.5m in Spain on players such as Thomas, Ferran Torres, Lo Celso, Semedo, Reguilón, Rodrigo, Diego Llorente, Salisu, Willian José and Odegaard. And those who left for free or on loan were players of the level of James Rodríguez, Bale and Okay.

Of the five seasons analysed, only €439.3m from LaLiga teams for Premier League players are accounted for. However, what is striking is that this low figure is spread over 91 players. The conclusion is clear. While Premier League teams sign very high-value players from LaLiga, LaLiga signs very low-value players from the Premier League. The top 20 clubs in England take the best players from LaLiga and LaLiga takes the rejects from the Premier League.

Season Player Transfers fee
2018-19 Kepa Athletic-Chelsea €80M
2014-15 Of Maria R. Madrid-M. United €75M
2022-23 Casemiro R. Madrid-M. United €70M
2022-23 Isak R. Sociedad-Newcastle €70M
2017-18 Morata R. Madrid-Chelsea €66M
2017-18 Laporte Athletic-M. city €65M
2019-20 Rodri Athletic-M. city €63.7M
2020-21 Thomas Athletic v Arsenal €50M
2013-14 Ozil R. Madrid-Arsenal €47M
2019-20 Kovacic R. Madrid-Chelsea €45M

LaLiga is inferior to the Premier League

The current reality is that Spanish clubs are in an inferior position to most Premier League clubs. This summer, 11th in the Premier League (Newcastle) signed the first-choice striker from 6th place in LaLiga (Real Sociedad) and 14th in the Premier League (Aston Villa) the centre-back from 3rd in La Liga (Sevilla). For Isak they paid €70m and for Diego Carlos, €31m. These are figures that were affordable for the English clubs and fees that Spanish sides can only dream of. It is a situation that is difficult to correct and one can only imagine a future in which the differences continue to widen.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *