Relationship Between Squad Value and Finishing Position


Relationship Between Squad Value and Finishing Position


According to data presented by NewBettingOffers Manchester City’s squad value has now broken through the £1billion threshold – a new record for the Premier League. Hardly surprising that a squad containing the likes of Phil Foden, Kevin De Bruyne, and the force of nature that is Erling Braut Haaland should be valued at such an astronomical sum. No shock either that the league’s most valuable squad should belong to the reigning champions.

Money Always Wins?

“Money always wins” is a phrase which is increasingly associated with the modern game. There is no doubt more to City’s success than simply splashing the cash – Pep Guardiola’s brilliance in the hot seat being one key factor. Nevertheless, the fact that in 2021/22, the title fell to the most valuable club, begs the question as to whether that pattern holds as we move down the standings. Does the second most valuable squad finish second, the third finish third and so on, all the way down to the three least valuable squads being relegated?

A Look Back at 2021/22

The 2022/23 finishing positions are of course yet to be determined, so the best way to investigate this theory may be to take a look back at what happened in 2021/22. The below table lists the estimated squad values at the beginning of the 2021/22 Premier League season.

Premier League Squad Values


So how did the 2021/22 Premier League squad values compare with the finishing positions of the sides? The table below details the squad value rankings and finishing positions of each side, and the difference between the two.

EPL Squad Values


Strong Relationship Between Squad Value and League Position

So, does money always win? Depressingly but unsurprisingly, the above results would suggest that yes it does. The Champions League positions went to the 1st, 3rd, 4th and 5th most valuable squads – only a beleaguered Manchester United squad missing out from the four most valuable squads. At the other end of the table, the three relegation spots were filled by the sides ranked 17th, 19th and 20th in the squad value table. On average all sides finished within three places of where their squad valuation suggested they should.

But Sides May Still Overperform

Thankfully the relationship between squad value and performance isn’t a perfect one, almost every season at least one or two sides perform significantly above expectations, whilst other, more expensively assembled squads underperform.

Taking the 2021/22 campaign as an example, Brentford were expected to be relegated according to squad valuation but ultimately survived comfortably in 13th spot. The Bees were the season’s biggest overachievers, narrowly ahead of West Ham, Brighton, and Crystal Palace.

No doubt which club achieved the least value for money from their squad. That dubious honour belongs to Everton. Ranked eighth in terms of squad value, they flopped badly to finish 16th in a season to forget for Toffees fans.

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