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Here's why Jose Mourinho is right about "buying title" comment

Do you know that Chelsea is the only English Champion to make profits on transfers in the last decade?

Mourinho won the Premier League title in his second season at Chelsea

José Mourinho’s recent comment on rivals buying title made the footballing world burst into laughter. But he certainly has a point. Do you know that Chelsea is the only English Champion to make profits on transfers in the last decade? Do you know that Chelsea’s average net transfer spend as Champions is the lowest in the last decade – even lower than Manchester United?

Do you know that Arsenal’s 2014-15 net spend is higher than 9 out of 10 recent Chelsea seasons? Do you know that Chelsea’s net transfer spend in the last 3 seasons is just 2/5th of Manchester United’s (both with one title in the same period)? Delving into José’s remark, data shows that the title hungry rivals are in fact trying to buy the title.

Chelsea is the only English Champion to make profit on transfers

In the last 10 seasons, Chelsea didn’t figure among the top 4 champions with high net transfer spends. In fact, it’s the only English champion in the last decade to have made a profit in the transfer market (2014-15 season), thanks to Chelsea’s brilliant business minds. They have mastered the know-how to sell high-cost players at a markup.

EPL Champions sorted by net transfer spend

Chelsea had the costliest signings to produce immediate impact

However, the above analysis only tells about the business acumen of the clubs. Immediate impact of signings can be measured only with transfer expenditure. 2014-15 Chelsea tops the list in that aspect. Their signings Diego Costa and Cesc Fàbregas made an immediate impact to challenge and win the title. Chelsea’s 2014-15 transfer spend is approx. €22 million higher than Manchester City’s 2013-14 transfer spend (second highest).

EPL Champions sorted by transfer expenditure

Manchester clubs spend higher than Chelsea to win the Premier League title

On checking the average of the champions in their respective championship winning seasons, Chelsea’s net transfer spend is lower even than Manchester United – Well, Sir Alex Ferguson spent on the right players to win titles.

EPL Champions sorted by average net transfer spend

Arsenal’s recent spike in transfer spending is an anomaly

Surprised at these figures? I was too. This is mainly because of Chelsea‘s business last season. This policy would continue in 2015-16 as well. Chelsea will keep the net transfer spend in control unless the situation demands an expensive transfer. This is how Arsenal was until last couple of seasons. Arsène Wenger’s orchestrated austerity measures without sacrificing on the performance to a large extent pushed Arsenal’s finances into Green – Greece could learn a lot from Wenger. Jokes apart, Arsenal are also changing.

Chelsea vs Arsenal – net transfer spend

Do you spot the change? Arsenal’s 2014-15 net transfer spend was second only to 2010-11 Chelsea season in the last decade. Clearly, Arsenal has started shifting to spend more while Chelsea has reduced the net transfer spend in the last 5 seasons to a great extent. Arsène Wenger is quiet so far in the transfer market – the only big signing being Petr ?ech from Chelsea. It would be incredible to see him remain so till the transfer deadline.

Liverpool spend high but they are not effective

Liverpool’s net transfer spend over the last 4 seasons is quite the same as Chelsea’s, but their performance hasn’t been as stellar as Chelsea’s. Liverpool have just come closer to challenging for the title once and won the league cup in 2010-11. Whereas, Chelsea have won UEFA Champions League 2011-12, FA Cup 2011-12, Europa League 2012-13, Premier League 2014-15 and League Cup 2014-15. Chelsea was definitely much more effective spender.

Chelsea vs Liverpool – net transfer spend

Manchester United’s spending has skyrocketed in the recent seasons

Sir Alex Ferguson breached the €60 million net transfer spend mark for the first time in Manchester United in his last season with Red Devils. In the 2 subsequent seasons, the net transfer spend has skyrocketed with major changes in the team. In 2015-16, Louis van Gaal has again spent high on Memphis Depay, Matteo Darmian, Bastian Schweinsteiger and Morgan Schneiderlin. With Manchester United having the highest net transfer spend (2014-15) in English football, they are certainly trying to win the title back.

Chelsea vs Manchester United – net transfer spend

There is no need to do this analysis with Manchester City – too much money spent with less trophy yield. Citizens are known to invest high and get rewarded with Premier League titles. But then they have had disastrous Champions League results. As we could see here Manchester United, Manchester City, Arsenal and Liverpool have all started spending big in their pursuit to win more titles. After all, Jose has got a point.

This article has been contributed by a member of the SK Featured Bloggers Club. It was originally published on the ‘Milan and Me’ blog here.

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