Money Talks. Premier League Wages Infographic 2012/13

Money Comes Before Football and Money is the Ruination – Bill Nicholson

The 2012/13 season saw all Premier League wages records smashed. What an absolute waste. Despite heavy spending from the competition Manchester United jogged their way to the title. No team put in an inspiring Champions League campaign. One of the highest paid players hit headlines by kicking at a ball boy. One of the heaviest spenders got relegated. And fans paid exorbitant amounts to see generally meagre performances from their club and country.


This Infographic looks at how Premier League wage money was spent during the 2012/13 season. By charting the amount each club spent on wages and comparing it to how many points each million bought them we can get a view of which teams achieved the economic necessity of value for money.

The Winners

Several clubs performed very well with the money they spent but undoubtedly the prize for smartest spenders goes to Swansea. With the second lowest wage bill in the League, not only did they get the most points per million, they were also able to add their first major trophy to their cabinet. Michu was a revelation. Scoring 18 Premiership goals in his maiden season not only did he cost Swansea a microscopic £2.25m his weekly wage was reported to be around £30,000 a week. Only Christian Benteke scored more on a lower wage.

Michu’s fellow Spanish summer signing, Chico Flores, was also instrumental to the campaign. The rugged centre back, rumoured to be earning around £20,000 a week, also had a stellar first season in the Premier League, he was Swansea’s highest rated player and in the whole Premier League, Jan Vertonghen was the only centre back to get a higher rating but dwarfed Flores’ wage by making £3.12 million in 2012.

Michael Laudrup really seems to know what he is doing. It is surprising that after such an impactful season his name did not come up in the Manchester City managerial hunt; they wanted a manager who would take a holistic approach, they needed to look no further than the Danish guru.

The Losers

And boy could have Manchester City done with a Michael Laudrup last season. Much sympathy was extended to Roberto Mancini after his dismissal and whilst City’s transfer policy was questioned by the Italian last summer, the cold hard fact is that he was incapable of turning £200m into any form of silver. As regards the Premiership – fair dues, City’s red neighbours didn’t spend too much less on wages and were able to tempt one of the leagues deciding factors – van Persie, out of their clutches. But the debacle that was the FA Cup final really adds emphasis to the fact that pounds don’t necessarily mean prizes. Wigan were able to topple the Sky Blue juggernauts on a wage bill some £163 million smaller. In fact the Latics only spent £2 million more than Swansea and, had they not been relegated, would have been prime contenders for the financially shrewdest club.

City could have really done with a Michu and a Flores as well as a Laudrup. City’s top goalscorer Edin Dzeko scored 4 less goals than Michu last season but cost City almost £8.5 million for the year. And whilst City’s captain, Vincent Kompany, had a fair season at centre back he finished 48 places lower than Chico Flores in  Premier League average ratings and cost £130,000 a week.

Still, FA Cup finalists, a second place finish, Champions League football next season and a new manager, there are still glimmers of hope for the eternally stoic Manchester City fans.

I fear that the same cannot be said for Queens Park Rangers. With the lowest points per million total and a non-starter season ending in relegation, Tony Fernandes will hopefully have learnt a valuable lesson about money.  But what would that lesson have been exactly?

Maybe it was to leave the money in the hands of someone who knows what to do with it. Mark Hughes made 25 signings in his time at Loftus Road, and the majority were, not to put too fine a point on it, massive flops. Zamora, Cisse and Johnson couldn’t score but cost a combined £170,000 a week. Robert Green couldn’t get a game but was paid £50,000 a week, still £25,000 a week less than Julio Cesar but at least the Brazilian international performed (in all senses of the word). And Esteban Granero came nowhere close to giving value to his £65,000 a week wage.

Harry Redknapp seemed to have a much better grasp on the money situation. Samba and Remy cost a combined £20 million in transfer money and were paid a combined £180,000 a week in wages but they at least came closer to giving value to their astronomical costs (Remy only played 13 games for QPR but still came out as their top scorer with 6 Premier League goals). Meanwhile, the deal of the season was Andros Townsend, coming over to the Hoops on loan, playing an important role in their midfield and charging a fraction of his team mates wages for his troubles (and my what troubles they were). If only Harry had come sooner.

Money Can’t Buy Me Love (or Mo Money Mo Problems)

It is interesting that the two clubs who came out the worst in this study were rumoured to have extremely divided locker rooms. And it would probably be a fair guess to say that money played a pivotal role in the tension. So whilst Premier League wages are not necessarily the make or break factor for a club, the infographic shows that sensible investments can lead to a bright future.

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