In their popular book ‘Soccereconomics’, Simon Kuper and Stefan Szymanski find spending on players’ wages is a better predictor of football clubs league position than net spending on transfers. In this post I explore whether findings from the Global Sports Salaries Survey 2018 support these findings. Table 1 shows the top 11 clubs ranked by average earnings by players.
The Premier League is the most represented league in the top 11 with five teams. The five teams included have won every Premier League since it’s inception in 1992 with the exception of two years (Blackburn 1995 and Leicester 2016). Barcelona and Real Madrid occupy the top two overall spots in the rankings. They are joined by Atletico Madrid who rank 6th (in soccer teams) and 17th overall in terms of average spending on player’s salaries. These teams have dominated the Spanish domestic league, winning every La Liga since 2005.
Juventus, the third highest ranked soccer team and ninth team overall, have dominated Serie A over the last decade. The Old Lady has won seven Serie A titles in a row including four consecutive doubles (Serie A and Coppa Italia). In Germany, Bayern Munich have won six Bundesliga titles in a row and 14 of the previous 20. Furthermore, since Qatar Investments purchased PSG in 2011, and made them the richest ( and highest spending) club in France, they have won five of the last seven Ligue 1 titles.