Hey Big Spenders
If there’s one thing that is certain this season, Villa have spent an absolute bomb on players. MOMS lost count at around the £70m mark. No Championship club spent more and Villa even spent more than Real Madrid this season in acquiring a Championship version of the Galácticos, as they cherry picked the league’s supposed best players.
Assuming that the below figures reported by the BBC are present and correct, it was interesting to see that despite being out spent by Villa, Newcastle’s agent spend was almost double Villa’s. In fact, Newcastle’s agent spend was also more than Spurs and Arsenal, with only four Premier League teams spending more (Chelsea, Liverpool and the Manchester clubs) than the Toon.
Newcastle and Villa’s transfer spend and the resulting agent fees was a major contributor to the total agent fees of the Championship going up drastically from £26,124,044 in 2014-15 to a total of £42,429,498.
Other key contributors include Norwich and Nottingham Forest, who both surpassed the three million mark, which made them the next bigger spenders in the division.
Championship Agent Spend
|Club||Total paid to agents and intermediaries|
|Brighton & Hove Albion||£1,494,208|
|Preston North End||£482,047|
|Queens Park Rangers||£2,382,562|
The Big Payback
While Newcastle should reap instant dividends from their spend with a swift return to the Premier League, the Villa board will no doubt become a bit edgy after being adrift from the play-off places in a worrying fashion.
While the aim was promotion, most fans would have expected at least to be involved in the play-offs after such a spend. Still, not many predicted it would take more than two seasons to return, so the pressure will be on next season, which financially will become important too, as parachute payments shrink and Financial Fair Play compromises the Villa ownership in terms of their spend.
It’s already been proved that you can’t necessarily spend your way out of the league, so next season agents might be a bit short in the pocket from Xia & co, as Villa focus on trying to build a team with what they’ve already bought.
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