Thursday, 30 January 2014

More money, money, money

A few nights ago I wrote a piece about the progression of transfer records at each of the ''big six''. The same caveats apply.

Tonight I thought I'd focus on clusters of spending. We know that certain clubs spend more than others. One thing I've always thought is that net spend discussions - often dominated by fans of my own club! - is only so useful.

What I've always felt mattered is the nature of that spending. It may be that one club spends (say) £5-10m consistently whereas a competitor spends less often but, when they do, they spend £18m on a big name player. My contention therefore isn't that spend matters but that big spend matters.

So look at the clubs and amounts above:

Leading club in the category
2nd place in that category
Third place
Tottenham Hotspur
LFC, MCFC, Chelsea (tied)
Manchester United
LFC, MCFC (tied)
Manchester City
Manchester United
Manchester City
Manchester United

It shouldn't be surprising then that over the last 10 years Liverpool, Spurs, and Arsenal have been less successful than Manchester United, Manchester City and Chelsea. Clearly this is an imperfect exercise (as history didn't start in 2000, big spending pre-dated it and it doesn't take into account youth talent).

Given the weight of spending in recent years - despite Mata, Fellaini and RVP - if my theory is correct that Chelsea and City will win more than the other clubs.

Depressing but there we are.



dearieme said...

It'll also matter how old the players are. You can get much more out of a chap bought at the age of Keane or Ferdinand than out of (I predict) van Persie.

Also the resale value: how about CR7, then, or Mata, or Bale? The resale value compensates you for not getting all that many years out of those purchases.

Purchases such as Carroll at Liverpool, or Torres at Chelsea, seem to be special cases of preposterous over-paying. In contrast Veron was, I suppose, just an expensive variant of the rather ordinary promising buy that proves unsuccessful.

JuhanL said...

I think one of the biggest issues when looking at spending is that to have any kind of a good picture you'd need to take inflation into account. The other issue when comparing is that clubs incomes have risen more than inflation and because of that its really tough to compare spending well. I recently read somewhere that if we take inflation into account then Rooney in todays prices could be classified as a 50(or was it 60?) million transfer instead of the 27 that its viewed as.

Another thing - maybe I missed it, but whats the aim why you're looking at this spending? To just understand what influences success or to figure out who has done the best job or what?

Rob Marrs said...

The theory is that it isn't cumulative spend that matters but, rather, types of spending.

It doesn't really matter if a team spends £100m on 15 players. My submission would be the team that spends £100m on 5 players will perform better.

Simple, I suppose, but that's my thought. That seems to be backed up.

Liverpool (and Spurs) have spent a lot but they typically don't spend a lot on individual players or, more correctly, they don't do it so often as others.


dearieme said...

With Moyes's luck, Mata will pick up an injury and miss much of the season.