What is the return of the major European clubs on their investment in transfers?

I never thought I’d say this, but real madrid They are the European champions this season.

The last minute comeback against both Paris Saint-Germain and Manchester City in the UEFA Champions League this season showed the true determination, heart and determination of a team made by true footballing kings, not by the nouveau riches and their deep pockets. Like it or not, Real Madrid is a footballing heritage. With yet another cigar-free season for oil executives, let’s take a look at how much they and other powerful European powers have spent and the prizes they have received for it in the past decade.

To be clear, we’ll be looking at spending the last 10 summers, i.e. summer 2011 to summer 2021, and the awards they won in subsequent seasons (2011/12-2021/22).

Photo by Burak Akbulut/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images

Manchester

Spending: 1.66 billion euros
Awards: 16
Major Leagues: 6 (6 Premier League)
Expenditures / main trophy: 276.67 million euros
Most expensive player: Jack Grealish (117.5 million euros)

real madrid

Expenditures: 1.1 billion euros
Number of awards: 20 (maybe 21)
Major leagues: 8 (4 La Liga, 4 UEFA Champions League); maybe 9
Expense/Main Trophy: €137.5 million (maybe €122.22 million)
Most expensive player: Eden Hazard (115 million euros)

Chelsea - Juventus: Group H - Champions League

Photo by Mark Atkins/Getty Images

Spending: 1.63 billion euros
Awards: 19
Major Leagues: 9 (9 Serie A)
Expenses / grand prize: 181.1 million euros
Most expensive player: Cristiano Ronaldo (107 million euros)

Chelsea

Expenditures: 1.58 billion euros
Awards: 11 (maybe 12)
Major Leagues: 4 (2 Premier League, 2 Champions League)
Expense/Grand Prize: 395 million euros (maybe 316 million euros)
Most expensive player: Romelu Lukaku (103 million euros)

Bayern Munich - Barcelona: Group E - Champions League

Photo by Pedro Salado/Quality Sport Images/Getty Images

Expenditures: 1.53 billion euros
Awards: 20
Major Leagues: 6 (5 La Liga, 1 UEFA Champions League)
Expenses / grand prize: 255 million euros
Most expensive player: Ousmane Dembele (140 million euros)

Spending: 799 million euros
Awards: 27
Major Leagues: 12 (10 Bundesliga, 2 UEFA Champions League)
Expenditures / Trophy: 66.58 million euros
Most expensive player: Lucas Hernandez (80 million euros)

(Spain) British League - Liverpool - Champions League vs Atletico Madrid

Expenditures: 1.09 billion euros
Championships: 6 (maybe 9)
Major titles: 2 (1 Premier League, 1 UEFA Champions League); maybe 4
Expense/Grand Prize: €545 million (maybe €272.5 million)
Most expensive player: Virgil van Dijk (84.65 million euros)

Expenditures: 1.14 billion euros
Awards: 8
Major Leagues: 4 (2 leagues, 2 European leagues)
Expenses / grand prize: 286.2 million euros
Most expensive player: João Félix (127.2 million euros)

Manchester United - Paris Saint-Germain: Group H - UEFA Champions League

Photo by Simon Stacpoole/Offside/Offside via Getty Images

Paris Saint-Germain

Spending: 1.41 billion euros
Awards: 28
Major Leagues: 8 (8 Ligue 1)
Expenses / grand prize: 176.25 million euros
Most expensive player: Neymar (222 million euros)

Expenditures: 1.34 billion euros
Awards: 7
Major Leagues: 2 (1 Premier League, 1 UEFA Champions League)
Expenditures / main trophy: 671.4 million euros
Most expensive player: Paul Pogba (105 million euros)


As expected, Bayern Munich is the best performer. They spent the smallest amount (799 million euros, second place Liverpool with 1.09 billion euros), but arguably the biggest consistent success. The total number of trophies 27 is second after Paris Saint-Germain 28, but it is worth noting that PSG has not won any major title in Europe. Bayern has the most titles with 12, with Juventus in second place with 9 titles and Real have the possibility of equalizing Juventus if they win the Champions League again this season.

Liverpool’s €545m spending on the trophy seems absurd at first, but it became more realistic once it was realized that the club had lost a trophy in the first two-thirds of this time period. Likewise, Chelsea have consistently enjoyed high-quality football outside of only two seasons, so a low cup tally isn’t necessarily a bad thing although it doesn’t inspire confidence.

Manchester United stands out from the group, not by a small margin. With more than 670 million euros spent on each trophy, it is frankly ridiculous how much money has been spent at the club. Fans who keep talking about underspending, you definitely can’t tell while looking at numbers like these.

Manchester City has spent an unreal amount of 1.66 billion euros since 2011. It’s a really astonishing number. It is very confusing that there is nothing in this price range that I can compare the number to and say “Sheikh Mansour could have bought this instead!” Despite this, they have not achieved any European success, and the same is true of the massive 1.63 billion euros spent by Juventus albeit less but by no means less than the 1.41 billion euros spent by Paris Saint-Germain. Spending 4.7 billion euros without any European success. Football is won by the deepest minds, not the deepest pockets.


What did we learn here today? Well, nothing out of the ordinary, but what we’ve always known, we’ve put it in hard, cold numbers. You cannot buy your way to the elite in soccer.

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