Price per point overview: Wenger's expensive final season

26 April 2019

Arsene Wenger
Photo: Getty Images Arsene Wenger, former manager of Arsenal engages with the fans of Arsenal after his last match in charge last season. That last season also showed that Arsenal was paying the most in wages for every point collected.

All Premier League clubs have now published their annual accounts. Off The Pitch took a look at how much every club paid for a point in 2017/18.

The last season under the leadership of Arsene Wenger turned out to be a very expensive one.

One club in the Top 6 stands out in terms of collecting points while spending very little on wages.

This kind of data is being used a lot in many clubs when managers are negotiating contracts with the clubs.

Arsenal paid out £3.81 million in salaries for every Premier League point last season - more than any other club and double the wage cost at north London rivals Tottenham Hotspur.

Arsene Wenger’s final season at the Emirates proved to be a costly season, with the Gunners paying almost £4 million in salaries for each Premier League point - and missing out on Champions League qualification.

According to research by, sourcing figures from official club accounts, Arsenal paid out £240.1 million in wages in 2017/18 to earn 63 points.

The Gunners had the fifth largest salary costs and finished the season in sixth place.

Liverpool and Chelsea spending big

Manchester United paid out the second highest amount in salaries, forking out £3.65 million for every point.

The Old Trafford outfit finished runners-up to Manchester City last season under Jose Mourinho with 81 points. United boasted the highest wage bill in the league at £295.9 million.

Burnley’s points cost the club less than any of their rivals at just £1.51 million per point - £2.3 million less per point than Arsenal.

Liverpool and Chelsea paid out the third and fourth highest amounts per point, with both clubs paying approximately £3.5 million per point.

Jurgen Klopp’s Liverpool had the second highest wage bill of £263.6 million and finished fourth with 75 points, while Chelsea had the fourth highest wage bill of £244.1 million and finished fifth on 70 points.

Southampton were the biggest underperformers last season, with the club having the 10th largest wage bill at £113.3 million, but only narrowly escaping relegation after finishing in 17th position.

Each point costs the Saints £3.15 million.

Burnley on top

Sean Dyche’s team gave the best return on their wages outlay. Burnley’s points cost the club less than any of their rivals at just £1.51 million per point - £2.3 million less per point than Arsenal.

Burnley boasted the third-lowest wage bill in the Premier League at £81.6 million, but finished seventh in the league and qualifying for the Europa League. Burnley finished 11 places higher in the table than their wage bill.


Professor Chris Brady, director of the Centre for Sports Business at Salford Business School, co-wrote Carlo Ancelotti’s book called Quiet Leadership and contributes a business module to the Football Association’s UEFA pro-licence management course.

Brady told "This kind of data is being used more and more as time goes by.

"It is much more widely used at Premier League clubs outside the Top Six and throughout the lower leagues, where they are looking for value for money and place a greater importance on bang for your buck. The Top Six clubs, generally speaking, are simply happy to spend to ensure they continue to be successful.

Premier League clubs and managers certainly use this data before negotiating new contracts.

"In this case, Tottenham are the exception to the rule as they are achieving Champions League qualification year after year and still producing value for money. Last season Arsenal knew that Wenger was leaving, but this kind of data would still have been useful had his dismissal gone to a tribunal.

Big Sam and Curbishley

"Premier League clubs and managers certainly use this data before negotiating new contracts and it is increasingly cropping up during decision-making processes.

"Historically speaking, some of the managers best known for giving the best value for money have included Crystal Palace manager Roy Hodgson, as well as other English managers such as Sam Allardyce and Alan Curbishley."