fbpx Game-Changing Deals: This Football Club Invested the Most on New Players in

Game-Changing Deals: This Football Club Invested the Most on New Players in 2023

Image by Borussia Dortmund (Vitalii Vitleo)

Last summer’s football transfer window has seen clubs spending record sums on new talents, with the likes of Arsenal spending over £100M on Declan Rice, who’ll be earning £250,000 a week, over four times his West Ham wage. But which other teams invest the most in their players overall? 

Interested, the experts at City Index analysed data from Deloitte to establish which of the top 30 football clubs invest the most of their revenue and current worth from player transfer activities.

Highlights from the research:

  • Newcastle United have spent 15.8% (£99.76 million) of their current value (and 52.3%, £190.84 million, of their revenue) on transfers – the most out of all clubs.
  • Aston Villa are second, spending 12.6% (£75.68 million) of their current value.
  • Arsenal’s Declan Rice and Kai Havertz comprise 81.5% of Arsenal’s total 2023 transfer spend.
  • Everton’s current value is the lowest in the top 10, but they have spent less than Newcastle on transfers.
  • Borussia Dortmund is the only publicly traded club in the top 10.

The Football Teams Investing the Most on Transfers:

RankTeamCurrent Value (GBP Millions)Revenue (GBP Millions)Expenditure (GBP Millions)Transfer Spend (% of Revenue)Transfer Spend (% of Current value)
1Newcastle United£631.35£190.84£99.7652.3%15.8%
2Aston Villa£601.34£189.21£75.6840.0%12.6%
4Arsenal FC£1,797.48£389.86£199.1851.1%11.1%
5Crystal Palace£640.64£170.12£40.0823.6%6.3%
6Borussia Dortmund£1,530.87£320.54£89.9628.1%5.9%
7AC Milan£1,109.45£237.80£60.6325.5%5.5%
8Tottenham Hotspur£2,227.50£470.18£117.2224.9%5.3%
9Paris Saint-Germain£3,345.55£587.49£137.1823.3%4.1%
10Chelsea FC£2,468.31£510.43£96.3218.9%3.9%

City Index can reveal that Newcastle United is the football club that spent the most of its current value of £631.35 million on transfers in 2023, at 15.8%. The club made headlines when they signed midfielder Sandro Tonali from AC Milan in July for £56.2 million which is almost half of their total transfer spend. When compared with their revenue, they spent over a quarter just on Tonali alone, and they spent a whopping 52.3% (£99.76 million) on transfers overall last year, the most out of all clubs on this list. This may be attributed to their investment from the Saudi Arabia Public Investment Fund (PIF) which has owned the club since 2021. 

In second place is Aston Villa, who spent 12.6% (£75.68 million) on new transfers. Their signing of right-winger Moussa Diaba from Bundesliga club Bayern Leverkusen, cost the club £48.4 million equating to 61% of their total 2023 transfer spend, and 24.6% of their total revenue. Additionally, they spent 40% (£75.68 million) of their revenue on overall transfers this year.

In third is Everton, who spent 11.4% of their £591.62 million value on transfers (£67.3 million). The club spent a combined £32.9 million on new players, equating to 47.2% of their total 2023 transfer spend. They also spent 34.9% of their revenue on transfers.

In fourth place is Arsenal. The club spent 11.1% (£199.18 million) on transfers, the most out of any club in the top 10. They most notably signed ex-West Ham midfielder Declan Rice and ex-Chelsea midfielder Kai Havertz for a combined fee of £168.3 million, equating to 81.5% of their total 2023 transfer spend. Their transfers equate to 51.1% of their revenue, second to Newcastle who spent 52.3%.

Crystal Palace are fifth, who spent 6.3% (£40.08 million) of their £640.64 million current value on transfers such as goalkeeper Dean Henderson from Manchester United. Their overall transfer spend equates to 23.6% of their £170.12 million revenue.

Borussia Dortmund are the only publicly traded club in the top 10

Borussia Dortmund occupies the sixth spot and is the only publicly traded entity in the top 10. However, despite their public position, they only have the 12th highest current value and are worth almost £2.4 billion less than rivals Bayern Munich.

Clubs that are looking to increase their value could either raise investment through a traditional IPO or merge into a Special Acquisition Company (SPAC) rather than rely on matchday earnings, sponsorships and player transfers to increase their value.

A club that is currently undergoing a SPAC deal is FC Barcelona, who recently announced their partnership with Mountain & Co Acquisition Corp to spin off their Barca Vision and audio-visual platforms under a new company called “Barca Media”.

City Index trading expert, Rebecca Catlin offers insight into Barcelona’s new SPAC deal and how football clubs can follow suit:

“Spanish football club FC Barcelona has announced plans to list its Barca Vision and audio-visual units on the Nasdaq later this year. The plans are for the spin-off to take place through a merger with a special acquisition company (SPAC).

The rationale behind this new spin-off is multifold. Barca Vision was created initially as part of the club’s attempts to save itself from a financial crisis by developing new revenue streams and bringing in sponsorships. Their official website states that ‘This will allow them to access additional financing through the US capital markets and will accelerate the Club’s initiatives across digital and audio-visual sectors’. And that they’ll bring fans closer to the club by using emerging technologies, such as NFTs, to create an engaging fan experience.

Additionally, FC Barcelona and Bridgeburg Invest – the holding company of Barca Vision – are both private companies, so that’s why the Barca Media SPAC has gained attention, as investors can get exposure to a part of the club.”

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