A recent Deloitte study has revealed that Premier League spending on wages is up by 12% – twice as much as the rise in the last two years.
The abridged version of this study is that Premier League clubs are rich and pay their players very well. The longer version, as detailed by Sky Sports, shows that several clubs have dramatically increased their wages bills without reaping the on-field rewards.
The study, which was based on the 2015/16 financial accounts of Premier League clubs, shows that spending on wages has seen significant growth. With clubs getting more money from TV deals, spending will only increase.
There is usually a correlation between a team’s wage bills and their final league placement. However, the 15/16 season bucked that trend. Leicester won the title that year spending £80m on wages, while Chelsea, one of the league biggest spenders, finished 10th.
The following season, though, was a return to normalcy, with the top-six clubs all having the top-six highest wages bills. Arsenal’s own spending on wages has only gone up in recent years, as more players arrive than are sold.
In fact, the Gunners currently have a bloated wage bill due to their retention of fringe players such as Kieran Gibbs, Mathieu Debuchy and Carl Jenkinson. Meanwhile, the big money signings of Shkodran Mustafi, Granit Xhaka and Alexandre Lacazette will have only pushed spending higher.
Interestingly, Arsenal’s wage-to-revenue ratio for the the 2015/16 season falls comfortably below UEFA’s 70% threshold for Financial Fair Play. That means they’re not in any danger of running afoul of UEFA’s rather shoddy rules.
It should be pointed out that just because a team spends big on wages, it doesn’t mean they are guaranteed success. While it’s assumed that higher wages are given to a higher calibre of player, some players are over-paid, and not every player is used to their full potential.