Chelsea have the second biggest negative net spend in the three transfer windows since coronavirus but the scale of their ability to sell is unrivalled among Europe’s big clubs across the past decade.
A new report from the CIES Football Observatory says that the Blues, who signed Romelu Lukaku for close to £100m this summer having spent about a quarter of a billion last year, have received €1.2bn in fees from sales since 2012.
They have been the second biggest spenders in that same time, dropping €1.62bn on new faces, an amount only bettered by Manchester City’s €1.68bn.
It is another endorsement for the club’s academy which has continuously produced first team-ready players to be sold on for a handsome profit.
In the three post-Covid windows Chelsea have made a €194m loss, spending €258m and receiving only €64m.
The top six post-pandemic are all Premier League clubs with Manchester United followed by Chelsea. Arsenal are in third with Leeds United, Tottenham Hotspur and City next. Juventus are the first non-English club.
That backs up the long-held feeling that the biggest English clubs, in part benefitting from greater broadcasting revenue compared to other leagues, would be impacted less by the economic reality compared to their continental counterparts.
CIES said: “The pandemic has reinforced the domination of English Premier League clubs on the transfer market. The percentage of transfer spending of the latter in comparison to the total big-5 league clubs’ expenditure has increased from 35% between January 2012 and January 2020 to over 45% for the three post-COVID transfer windows.”
The report also says that total transfer spend in Europe’s top five leagues – England, plus France, Germany, Italy and Spain – has fallen by 58% between 2019 and 2021. Yet the Premier League decrease of 13% pales in comparison to 74% in La Liga.
This summer compared to last has seen a small rise, however. “Big-5 league clubs paid 2% more transfer indemnities than in the previous summer,” the report added. “The strongest increase was recorded in the German Bundesliga: +30%.”