The disparity league – Chelsea V Wigan preview

Roman Abramovich

Wigan go to Chelsea on Saturday in a match of the unequals. Chelsea are currently fourth in the Premier League and still in the Champions League and the Latics still occupy the bottom spot despite some good recent performances.

The Chelsea line-up will contain some of the biggest stars in world football, Torres, Drogba, Luiz, Anelka, Ramires, Essien, Czech, Lampard, Terry, Cole and the list goes on. The gap in ‘star’ terms is immense. Wigan’s modestly assembled team will have to perform at their very best if they are to get anything out of the game.

This match brings into sharp focus the disparity in resources available to the two teams. While researching the game I came across some very revealing statistics on the Transfer League website. Most people will be aware of the wealth available to Chelsea from their owner Roman Abramovich, but the size of the gap between the Premier League’s richest and many of the other teams is something to behold.

The Transfer League have produced a table that shows the clubs per season spend on purchasing players from the beginning of the Premier League in 1992. Up to 2010 Chelsea had a net per season expenditure on players of over £24 million while Wigan’s net expenditure on players per season was only £274,868.

The figures are broken down as follows: Purchases = Money spent on Players, Sold = Money received from Players sold, Net Per Season = Purchased minus Sold. This gives an indication of new investment on players. The per season column gives an average of the money spend per season since 1992.

Net Spend 92-2010 Purchased Gross Sold Net Per Season

1 Chelsea £661,640,000 £203,875,000 £457,765,000 £24,092,895
2 Manchester City £573,180,000 £138,303,000 £434,877,000 £22,888,263
3 Tottenham £399,050,000 £201,717,500 £197,332,500 £10,385,921
4 Liverpool £495,805,000 £304,920,000 £190,885,000 £10,046,579
5 Manchester United £430,250,000 £291,090,000 £139,160,000 £7,324,211
6 Aston Villa £281,740,000 £144,325,000 £137,415,000 £7,232,368
7 Sunderland £199,465,000 £107,530,000 £91,935,000 £4,838,684
8 Newcastle £321,945,000 £235,725,000 £86,220,000 £4,537,895
9 Fulham £133,281,000 £52,895,000 £80,386,000 £4,230,842
10 Birmingham City £135,545,000 £58,575,000 £76,970,000 £4,051,053
11 Everton £218,245,500 £165,270,000 £52,975,500 £2,788,184
12 Wolves £85,419,000 £39,045,000 £46,374,000 £2,440,737
13 West Bromwich Albion £93,880,000 £52,367,501 £41,512,499 £2,184,868
14 Stoke City £61,615,000 £24,030,000 £37,585,000 £1,978,158
15 Arsenal £273,440,000 £237,574,000 £35,866,000 £1,887,684
16 Bolton £91,970,000 £65,270,000 £26,700,000 £1,405,263
17 Blackburn Rovers £189,162,000 £176,185,000 £12,977,000 £683,000
18 Wigan £82,965,000 £77,742,500 £5,222,500 £274,868
19 West Ham £189,082,000 £184,782,000 £4,300,000 £226,316
20 Blackpool £7,002,500 £4,785,000 £2,217,500 £116,711

Middlesbrough £193,985,000 £120,670,000 £73,315,000 £3,858,684
Hull £25,470,000 £11,980,000 £13,490,000 £710,000
Burnley £22,900,000 £18,170,000 £4,730,000 £248,947
Leeds United £145,780,000 £141,945,000 £3,835,000 £201,842
Portsmouth £115,100,000 £136,645,000 -£21,545,000 -£1,133,947

The discrepancy in net expenditure is stark and this season’s discrepancy between the two sides is even greater. Chelsea have a net expenditure of over £87 million following the purchases of Torres, Ramires, Luiz and Benayoun . Wigan’s net expenditure is a more modest £7.3 million, the majority of which went on the purchase of Mauro Boselli.

So there you have it, the gap between the Premier League’s rich and not so rich teams is vast and increasing. If Wigan pull off a result against Chelsea it will be against a financial back drop which is increasingly unsustainable and in the current age of austerity erring on the obscene.

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About ianhaspinall

Communications specialist, Wigan Athletic fan & blogger, interested in music, arts & culture.
This entry was posted in Chelsea, Roman Abramovich, Wigan Athletic and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

4 Responses to The disparity league – Chelsea V Wigan preview

  1. Ian says:

    Definition of obscene? Wasting your time watching a crap team play crap football.

    I assume your righteousness extends to your choice of newspaper as well as your football team. I recall that the extensive spending by the Guardian editorial department resulted in Gardian Media Group losing £30m last year. I trust you are now reading the Daily star which is spending considerably less. 🙂

    • ianhaspinall says:

      Does this qualify as Spam?
      Seriously though, the point I’m making is the disparity between the extremely wealthy and the other clubs will mean that the Premier League is not sustainable in the longer term, as only the extremely wealthy can win the league. In these times of economic restraint should such huge sums of money be going into football transfers and players wages?

  2. peter younger says:

    doesn’t always follow, sunderland have had large investment and are still crap.
    although everton would be top 6 every year if they had any money.
    its a tricky one, clubs need money but also status, big crowds and a nice city with shops and car dealerships etc etc.
    good work from stan getting a dig at the guardian into his reply.
    its an unsustainable business model ( football and the guardian ! )

    • ianhaspinall says:

      If you look at the league table of net expenditure on transfers Sunderland are not in the same financial league as Chelsea or Man City. The comment about the Guardian was from our Chelsea supporter – Ian Clark.

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