CIES Football Observatory

Issue n°173 - 23/01/2017

Economic valorisation of squads: the big-5 league table

Issue number 173 of the CIES Football Observatory Weekly Post presents the gap between the value of squads and transfer fee expenditure to assemble them. This analysis allows us highlighting the most and least efficient clubs from a player economic valorisation perspective. For the vast majority of teams, the gap is positive. Indeed, the study does not take into account costs that the replacement of squad members would generate.


At the top of the table is Barcelona. This is mainly due to the great economic valorisation of Lionel Messi (from 0 € as a youth academy product to the current estimated transfer value of 170.5 M €) and Neymar (from 87 to 246.8 M €). In the top positions of the rankings mainly are well performing teams focusing on the training and/or long term recruitment of young talents. Second-ranked club Tottenham Hotspur is the perfect illustration of this strategy.

Conversely, at the bottom of the table are above all clubs having recently achieved poor results with respect to transfer fee investments in assembling the squad such as Hamburg, Wolfsburg, Manchester United, Crystal Palace, Valencia and Schalke 04. Paris St-Germain's last position is rather due to expensive recruitments and the lower Ligue 1 status compared to the four other major European leagues.

Transfer fee expenditure to assemble the squad and current estimated value of players

Editors: Raffaele Poli, Roger Besson and Loïc Ravenel