In Soccernomics, Simon Kuper and Stefan Szymanski find spending on players’ wages is a better predictor of football clubs league position than net spending on transfers. Previously, I have discussed the wage efficiency of Premier League clubs (here). In this post, I explore the relationship between Premier League clubs spend on wages and points won for the current Premier League season.
For the second successive season, Manchester United have the highest annual spend on players’ wages in the Premier League with £220.8 million being paid out in 2016. United have accrued 48 points so far this season thus paying out over £4.6 million per point. This makes Manchester United the most inefficient club in the league measured by points per £ spent on players wages. Manchester United’s wage bill has increased by £5.8 million since last season driven by the purchases of Paul Pogba and Zlatan Ibrahimovic. Both are on massive wage deals.
On the opposite end of the spectrum, Burnley are the most efficient club in the Premier League in terms of points earned per £ spent on wages. Following promotion to the league, the Clarets have a wage bill of £33 million. This is the second lowest spend on wages after Hull City (£25 million). Burnley have accumulated 33 points so far this season which equates to £1.1 million per point. As mentioned, Hull City have spent the least amount of money on players’ salaries and have the second most efficient points per £ spent on wages, spending £1.25 million per point won.
It should be pointed out that while wage efficiency is a good indicator of performance relative to level of investment, it is not a measure of overall performance. As such, while Hull are the second most efficient team in the league they are languishing in the relegation zone while the fourth most inefficient team in terms of points per £ spent, Chelsea, sit eight points clear at the top of the Premier League.