Echoing with my Top 10 List of Europe’s Most Expensive Benchwarmers (2007-08) article, this week the Daily Mail thought about taking a look at the added values of players selected on the substitute bench, for last week-end’s English Premier League matches. Or, in other words: “How expensive was your team’s bench at the weekend”? The results are pretty frightening.
According to the Mail, “players who cost their clubs a total of £300.5m (€416m) in fees —including 58 internationals— were on the bench in last weekend’s 10 top-flight games. Shivering stuff. And those figures do not take into account Bosman free transfers or the value of players developed by a club’s youth system!!
The Mail‘s article points the spotlight to Sunderland’s Craig Gordon (tagged as the “most expensive goalkeeper in Britain” with his £9million (€12.4m) transfer), who was named among the substitutes for the game against Derby. Meanwhile the combined cost of Chelsea‘s replacements for the visit of West Ham reached a huge £67.6m (€93.6m) (that’s Sheva (£30m), Wright-Phillips (£21m), and Makelele (16.6m)… Hilario and Ben Haim were bought on a free transfer).
Second in the rankings we find Liverpool, who totalled £37.5m (€52m) with their superstar benchees Javier Mascherano and Ryan Babel, while completing the podium, none other than Manchester United (£34m, or €48m, with their Michael Carricks and Louis Sahas). Reading were the only club without an international among their subsititutes, while Bolton were the only club whose replacements did not cost a transfer fee.
The Mail‘s article concludes on a nostalgic note: “How times have changed. In the first season of the Premier League (when only three subs were permitted), the bench at most clubs was populated by a combination of young emerging players, journeymen pros and and cheap squad players — with the occasional big-money signing returning to full fitness. These days it is not uncommon for a former European Footballer of the year, World Cup winner or Britain’s most expensive teenager to be on the sidelines“.
Here’s the full ranking:
|Shevchenko — £30m; Wright-Phillips — £21m; Makelele — £16.6m; Hilario — free; Ben Haim — Bosman free|
|Mascherano — £17m; Babel — £11.5m; Kuyt — £9m; Hobbs — nominal fee; Itandje — free|
|Carrick — £18.6m; Saha — £12.2m; Kuzsczak — £4m; Fletcher — youth team; O’Shea — youth team|
|Walcott — £12m; Gilberto — £4.5m; Senderos — £2.5m; Lehmann — free; Bendtner — nominal fee|
|Defoe — £7m; Boateng — £5.8m; Huddlestone — £2.5m; Lee — £1.3m; Cerny — free|
|Gordon — £9m; Chopra — £5m; Stokes — £2m; Miller — free; Harte — free|
|Davies — £8m; Harewood — £4m; Maloney — £1m; Berger — free; Taylor — free|
|Johnson — £8.6m; Jagielka — £4m; Wessels — free; Hibbert — youth team; Anichebe — youth team|
|Enrique — £6.5m; Emre — £3.8m; Carr — £2m; Harper — nominal fee; Viduka — Bosman free|
|Ashton — £7.25m; Ljungberg — £3m; Collins £1m; Spector £0.5m; Wright — free|
|Bianchi — £8.8m; Jihai — £2m; Hart — £0.6m; Etuhu — youth team; Ball — free|
|Savage — £3m; Roberts — £3m; Reid — £2.5m; Pedersen — £1.5m; Brown — Bosman free|
|Kapo — £3m; Forssell — £3m; O’Connor — £2.6m; Parnaby — Bosman free; Doyle — youth team|
|Nugent — £6m; Taylor — £0.4m; Kanu — free; Ashdown — nominal fee; Hreidarsson — free|
|Huth — £6m; Cattermole — youth team; Tuncay — Bosman free; Steele — youth team; Hutchinson — youth team|
|Earnshaw — £3.5m; Mears — £1m; Fagan — £0.75m; Leacock — £0.375m; Price — nominal fee|
|Baird — £3m; Healy — £1.5m; Warner — nominal fee; Bocanegra — free; Seol — £1m|
|Cotterill — £2m; Taylor — £0.75m; Pollitt — £0.2m; Granqvist — £0.75; Skoko — free|
|Cissé — £0.6m; Long — £0.5; Bikey — nominal fee; Federici — youth team; Rosenior — £1m|
|Stelios; Al Habsi; Wilhelmsson; Teymourian; Alonso — all Bosman free transfers|