One of Spain’s biggest secondary ticket market platforms Ticketbis.net have revealed that Manchester City were the biggest spenders out of this seasons Champions’ League Group Stage participants as well as being top of the Champions League ‘Net Spend Table’ on transfers in 2015.
City are followed by Ligue 1 champions PSG and Spanish side Valencia who had to qualify for this seasons competition through a play-off victory over PSG’s French counterparts Monaco. However, despite some of the major net spends of some of Europe’s elite in 2015, 15 of the 32 teams in this seasons competition had a negative net spend for the year, highlighting that many of the sides are taking a prudent approach towards spending despite FFP rules being relaxed in recent times.
Many of the teams in Europe’s biggest club competition have shied away from spending huge figures in 2015 due to the effects Financial Fair Play may have on them, with penalties including a potential eight figure fine and squad deductions for next seasons European competitions if they were to qualify. Even teams who have spent large amounts on transfers in the past including the likes of Zenit St.Petersburg, Shakhtar Donetsk and Galatasaray have been unable to loosen their purse strings significantly in 2015.
AS Roma were penalised by UEFA over FFP in May this year and have an overall net spend of minus £27.7 million. In this summer’s transfer window they’ve had to resort to signing players on loan instead of purchasing them outright, with the most notable loan signings being Manchester City’s Edin Dzeko and Arsenal goalkeeper Wojciech Szczęsny.
Not surprisingly, Portuguese sides Benfica and FC Porto are the two sides in this seasons Champion’s League competition with the lowest net spend in 2015. As both sides continue to develop highly talented footballers from both their homeland and South America, the big sides in Europe’s most coveted leagues such as the Premier League and La Liga continue to invest in the league’s biggest talents for astronomical fees. The most high profile departure from the Portuguese Superliga in 2015 was FC Porto’s Columbian forward Jackson Martinez who joined Spanish giants Atletico Madrid for an estimated £25.5 million.
Manchester City are way out ahead with regard to money spent in 2015, spending £175m on new signings, including the £51m signing of Wolfsburg’s Kevin De Bruyne and the £44m acquisition of England international Raheem Sterling. They have also acquired Fabian Delph, Nicolas Otamendi and Wilfried Bony this year and whilst they have recouped just over £50m by selling players their net spend is the highest in Europe at £124.7 million.
City are one of six teams in the Champions League to break their transfer record in 2015 along with Wolfsburg, Porto, Valencia, Maccabi Tel Aviv and FC Astana.
Like City, PSG have also highlighted their confidence in avoiding further FFP punishment with a net spend of £71.8 million in 2015, as they too aim to achieve European success on the back of their domestic progress.
Unsurprisingly, City’s neighbours Manchester United are also one of the competition’s biggest spenders in 2015 as Louis Van Gaal’s rebuilding continues with momentum. However, United were able to recoup just over £73 million on players in the two 2015 transfer windows and were second to Benfica in terms of total money received from transfers.
Despite being under a transfer embargo, Barcelona have a total net spend of £10.8 million due the acquisitions of Arda Turan and Alexis Vidal and the departure of versatile forward Pedro. The Catalan club fell well behind the biggest spenders in Spain, Valencia, who have a total net spend of £71.8 million in 2015 as they look to make ground in Europe again, having overcome financial difficulties in recent years. Meanwhile, Real Madrid have not spent as heavily as in previous years.
FC Astana and Maccabi Tel Aviv are the only participants outside of UEFA’s top six ranked leagues to have a positive net spend in 2015.
Irene Recio from Ticketbis.net, who commissioned the study, commented, “The Champions League is club football’s elite competition so it’s no surprise that some of the world’s biggest teams are continuing to flex their muscles in the transfer market as they strive for European glory. For Manchester City and PSG the Champions League trophy is certainly the next step if they are to be regarded as two of the world’s biggest clubs and the net spend figures show they are certainly going for it.”