Football's biggest spenders: Chelsea top charts after splashing £452m

Football’s biggest net-spenders: Chelsea top the worldwide charts after splashing £452m, with Al-Hilal and Arsenal on £963m podium – as SEVEN Premier League clubs make the top 10 for this summer

  • Chelsea’s transfer spending makes them the world’s biggest net-spenders 
  • Seven other Premier League clubs are in the top ten list including Bournemouth 
  • WATCH: ‘It’s All Kicking Off’ – Episode 1 – Mail Sport’s brand new football show

Chelsea are football’s biggest net-spenders so far in 2023 according to the CIES Football Observatory. 

The Blues’ current net-spend on transfers this year is €528million (£452million), and with over a week remaining of the summer transfer window, that number could increase further. 

Following last year’s takeover by the Todd Boehly-led consortium backed by Clearlake Capital, Chelsea spent a record £323million on transfers in the January window.  

Although the Premier League side have raked in a healthy £218million from selling players this summer, there has been another splurge on signings under new head coach Mauricio Pochettino. 

The recent capture of Romeo Lavia from Southampton brought Chelsea’s spending up to £329million, a figure that includes the British record signing of Moises Caicedo from Brighton. 

The £115million signing of Moises Caicedo has helped Chelsea to the top of the net-spend table

The Todd Boehly-led takeover of the club has allowed them to run up a net spend of £452million

This heavy spending is yet to reap its rewards on the pitch, with Pochettino’s side falling to a 3-1 defeat at West Ham on Sunday that leaves them still searching for their first win of the new season. 

The research from CIES, which also factors in the financial impact of add-ons in transfer agreements and sell-on fees, found that seven Premier League teams are currently in the top 10 for spending. 

Arsenal are third after spending heavily on Declan Rice, Kai Havertz and Jurien Timber over the summer months to try and challenge Manchester City for the Premier League title once more. 

The Premier League champions did not feature on the list but, perhaps surprisingly, Bournemouth did with a net spend of €216million (£185million).

The Cherries were also the subject of an American takeover in 2022, with businessman Bill Foley taking charge and investing in the January transfer window to keep the club in the Premier League. 

Arsenal spending £105million on Declan Rice has played a part in them sitting third in the CIES list

Bournemouth have spent heavily since Bill Foley purchased the club in December 2022

Foley has allowed new manager Andoni Iraola to spend nearly £110million in the summer window, leaving Bournemouth just above Spanish giants Real Madrid on the spending list.   

Newcastle United, Manchester United, Liverpool and Aston Villa all feature in the top ten after enjoying busy transfer windows so far.

Given the growing influence of the Saudi Pro League on the world game, it is no surprise to see a pair of Saudi Arabian clubs on the list. 

The heavy spending in the Saudi Pro League has continued with Al-Hilal’s £78million capture of Neymar

Al-Ahli have also been big spenders, bringing in Riyad Mahrez, Allan Saint-Maximin and Edouard Mendy 

Al-Hilal, who spent £78million to bring Neymar to the Middle East last week, are the second highest net-spenders in the world according to CIES. 

They have also signed Ruben Neves, Aleksandar Mitrovic and Kalidou Koulibaly in recent weeks.

Al-Ahli are sixth on the list, just below Real Madrid. Their costly outlays include moves for Riyad Mahrez, Allan Saint-Maximin and Edouard Mendy. 

The Pro League side did grab themselves a bargain in Roberto Firmino though, with the Brazilian marking his debut for the club with a hat-trick after signing on a free transfer from Liverpool. 

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