The Premier League is undeniably the most exciting league in the world, Leicester City proving last season that the impossible is possible with a little self-belief and team spirit. However, the most striking thing is that they did it without the megabucks billions of clubs like Manchester United, Manchester City and Chelsea. On that remarkable note, RealSport has broken down each Premier League club’s transfer and wage budgets so you can have some understanding of what sort of financial situation you’d be getting into. Without further ado, here are the Premier League clubs financial situations. We’ve included all the club’s transfer budgets, wage budgets and current wage spend at the start of the game.
Arsenal: Transfer Budget £39.4m – Wage Budget £3m (£2.4m Current Wage Spend)
In fairness, £39.4m is a good enough transfer budget considering that your starting wage costs gives you some room for manoeuvre to adjust your budgets. Moreover, Arsenal signed Shkodran Mustafi and Granit Xhaka over the summer, plugging two key gaps in the squad to save you the work. Your squad only needs a couple of small additions for greater depth, so your budget is adequate for this task. The club is described as rich and has an estimated value of £780m, including a loan debt of £318m. Arsenal also compete in the Champions League so do have European Financial Fair Play (FFP) considerations to bear in mind.
Bournemouth: Transfer Budget £3.6m – Wage Budget £885k (£880k Current Wage Spend)
Whilst Bournemouth’s finances are described as secure on FM17, they are stretched very finely and, resultantly, you don’t get much money to begin with. Your wage spending is extremely close to your budget and, thus, doesn’t offer you much room for adjustment. Moreover, your board won’t be too accommodating in terms of increasing your budgets as per any requests you make given that the Cherries are still a fairly new team in the Premier League. However, Bournemouth are a team focussed primarily on nurturing youth, so there’s no expectation for you to make any marquee big-money signings. Bournemouth are valued at £179m with a loan debt of £40.5m.
Burnley: Transfer Budget £10m - Wage Budget £582k (£525k Current Wage Spend)
Surprisingly, for a team that spends a majority of its time in the Championship, Burnley are actually a very well-run club and they’re described as ‘rich’ on FM17. They’re valued at £125m and have a very minor loan debt of £7.5m, which can be paid off fairly easily after a season or two in the top flight. Despite this, however, the board are reluctant to part with their hard-earned cash and can only offer you a small transfer budget of £10m. You do, though, have some breathing room in terms of wages, which you can manipulate. Tell the board that you can achieve a top half finish, though, and they’d be willing to part with an extra £3m. Now we’re talking!
Chelsea: Transfer Budget £40m – Wage Budget £2.98m (£2.7m Current Wage Spend)
Chelsea are in an extremely good way, financially speaking. Billionaire-owner Roman Abramovich, who loves the club, backs them monetarily and is willing to invest a hefty £40m into your first season in charge. You will also have a decent enough amount of leeway with your wage budget as you start with an extra £200k p/w to spare. That’s either a world-class player’s wages or those for two or three squad players. In fairness, Chelsea are in some good form at the moment, but there’s no guarantee Conte’s 3-4-3 will be anywhere near as effective on FM. There’s definitely some work to be done to this Blues squad. You should have no troubles asking for extra money from the board, though, as Chelsea are valued at £1B and have zero loan debt to contend with. The Blues also have no FFP to deal with, so happy spending!
Crystal Palace: Transfer Budget £10.6m – Wage Budget £1.4m (£1.3m Current Wage Spend)
The Eagles have been a Premier League mainstay for a good few years now and they’re consistently challenging for top eight places, giving them an outside shot of playing in the Europa League. It’s for this reason that Crystal Palace are financially well-run. They’re labelled as ‘rich,’ valued at £272m with a small loan debt of £10.75m. However, the board are only ‘happy to stay’ and do not express their love for the club, hence a takeover may be in the offing. Resultantly, they will only trust you with a measly £10.6m and £100k p/w for extra wages. Hunt around for some cheap bargains to improve your squad and finally achieve that coveted European spot!
Everton: Transfer Budget £45m – Wage Budget £1.56m (£1.4m Current Wage Spend)
Everton actually were recently bought by a new set of owners who’re keen to invest some serious money into the club to turn them into title contenders year-on-year. This bodes extremely well for you, the manager, and you start with a lovely kitty of £45m. Tell the board that you can win the Premier League, however, and they promptly raise your budget to a possible £70m. They’ll also throw in an extra £500k p/w wages for good measure. With this sort of money, you’d be a key player or two away from a serious title challenge, especially as the Toffees’ squad is already in a good position to begin with. Moreover, the club is worth £351m, with a loan debt of £72m. Everton certainly poses a fun challenge for FM fanatics.
Hull: Transfer Budget £6m – Wage Budget £699k (£675k Current Wage Spend)
Things aren’t looking too rosy for the Tigers at the moment. They’ve borrowed (loan debt £70m) nearly as much as they’re worth (£90m) and it’s left the club in a stable, but still somewhat precarious, financial situation. The chairman is willing to listen to offers and, as such, is only willing to invest £6m to try and stay in the Premier League. Hull have a fair few personnel problems, in terms of both the quality and quantity of their squad, and this sort of money won’t be enough to keep you in the top-flight. It’s a different sort of challenge to beginning an Everton career, but a challenge nonetheless. Best of luck!
Leicester: Transfer Budget £9.5m – Wage Budget £1.59m (£1.4m Current Wage Spend)
Off the back of winning the Premier League, a fairly small loan debt of £35m and a rich owner who loves his club; things are looking good for the Foxes! They’re valued at £440m after their remarkable title win and have extra revenue coming in from their Champions League appearances. You do, however, only have £9.5m to work with, though that’s because Leicester concluded a majority of their business before the game was released and the budgets were set. You don’t really need to add too much to your squad since they managed to keep hold of Mahrez and Vardy, though N’Golo Kanté could do with some replacing. Increasing your expectations with the board will earn you an extra £6m and £500k p/w in wages, which allows you to have some more leeway in the transfer market.
Liverpool: Transfer Budget £40m – Wage Budget £2.78m (£2.3m Current Wage Spend)
Although Liverpool have a fairly large loan debt of £289m, the club itself is worth £800m and the owner is rich and loves the club. Resultantly, you start with a minimum budget of £40m and a significant amount of wiggle room with your wage budget; you have £400k p/w spare to mess around with how you deem fit. Furthermore, tell the board that the title is within reach and you could reach a possible transfer budget of £61m, plus an extra £800k p/w for wages. This sort of money will go a long way to bringing in some quality additions to turn Liverpool into genuine title contenders, particularly a striker and a goalkeeper.
Manchester City: Transfer Budget £28.9m – Wage Budget £3.65m (£3.4m Current Wage Spend)
Surprisingly, City don’t provide you with the huge mega budget that you’d expect from one of the richest clubs in the world, though it’s because they spent a significant amount of money over summer already and these budgets are inclusive of this factor. In fairness, your squad doesn’t need too much work, so £28.9m, plus £200k p/w wiggle room for wages should be enough to see you through your first season. The club itself, however, is worth £1.17B and has no loan debt to worry about so grabbing an extra few million from the board shouldn’t be too problematic. Be weary, however, as City like to spend big, but do have to contend with FFP regulations due to their involvement in the Champions League.
Manchester United: Transfer Budget £31.3m – Wage Budget £4m (£3.7m Current Wage Spend)
Bankrupting Manchester United would be an extremely difficult task, but do be careful not to spread too many transfers over 48 months as the Red Devils, despite being one of the richest in the world, have a loan debt of £539m to pay off. They are worth £1.2B, however. Like City, United spent a lot of money over summer to be title contenders once again, including the world-record transfer of Paul Pogba. Luckily, you’re not José Mourinho and should be able to do a lot better with his current crop of players. As such, your initial budget of £31.3m should be sufficient for your first window, plus a spare £300k p/w in wages.
Middlesbrough: Transfer Budget £3m – Wage Budget £1m (£1m Current Wage Spend)
Boro are very much at the end of their tether in terms of finances and they’re stretched as far as they can go. The club itself is financially stable and the chairman loves them, but it does mean you get no spare wage budget and a very small transfer budget. Fortunately, Boro did some decent business over the summer and the likes of Alvaro Negredo and Victor Valdes should help you survive in the Premier League. You also have a very insignificant loan debt of £2.5m, especially when compared with the £195m value of the club as a whole.
Southampton: Transfer Budget £31m – Wage Budget £1.49m (£1.2m Current Wage Spend)
Like Everton, Southampton is another interesting challenge to undertake on FM17. The chairman is rich, the club is valued at £412m, they have a loan debt of £62m and, as such, provide a large starting transfer budget of £31m. Moreover, if you convince the board that you can achieve Champions League qualification, they may be persuaded into raising your transfer budget to £53m. A lot could be achieved with that sort of money. Furthermore, dependant on what you set as your expectation, wage budgets could rise to up to £2m p/w, giving you an extra £800k p/w to manipulate.
Stoke: Transfer Budget £9.5m – Wage Budget £1.29m (£1.1m Current Wage Spend)
Another mainstay of the Premier League seeking to challenge for Europa League places, Stoke are rich, valued at £273m and have a loan debt of £59m. However, the board don’t have much faith in you, or they’re too financially constrained, so you only start with a transfer budget of £9.5m. Telling them that you can achieve Champions League qualification will only grab you an extra £6m, which isn’t too much to work with.
Sunderland: Transfer Budget £12m – Wage Budget £1.04m (£1m Current Wage Spend)
Sunderland are considered to be a rich club on FM17, though a relegation could put them in some serious financial difficulty given their loan debt of £184m, which is dangerously close to their overall club value of £191m. Resultantly, you’re only given £12m for new signings and literally nothing in terms of wages. With the squad that they have, lacking some key experience in vital positions, keeping Sunderland in the Premier League will be tough.
Swansea: Transfer Budget £23.6m – Wage Budget £1.2m (£1.1m Current Wage Spend)
Swansea are pretty secure financially as the club is valued at £212m and they only have a loan debt of £16.5m, yet they’re struggling in the league this season. I don’t think they had a good enough transfer window and failed to replace the outgoing André Ayew. Luckily, they provide you with £23.6m for new signings, which will be adequate to make a couple of decent additions to stay in the Premier League or more. Telling the board that you expect to achieve Europa League qualification will also earn you a budget of up to £35m.
Tottenham: Transfer Budget £50m – Wage Budget £1.87m (£1.5m Current Wage Spend)
Tottenham are already on the verge of becoming Premier League champions. They have a great, young squad and it honestly doesn’t need too much work to get them to the level that they want to be at. You get the biggest starting transfer budget on the game (£50m), which is more than enough to invest in your squad. Plus you have some decent room in terms of wages. Perhaps look for some more wide players or another box-to-box midfielder. However, Spurs are in the process of building a new stadium (hence the loan debt of £632m), thus budgets may decrease slightly in the future as this is paid off. The club are worth £915m, which will only increase once the stadium is built.
Watford: Transfer Budget £8m – Wage Budget £1.05m (£950k Current Wage Spend)
Watford are a club on the rise, although they do like to chop and change their managers! They have a tiny loan debt of £2.2m and are valued at £273m, meaning their finances are secure enough. They have a squad good enough to stay in the Premier League, though £8m isn’t really enough to push on for a Europa League spot. A couple more seasons in the Premier League with signs of progress and then the money could start to flow.
West Brom: Transfer Budget £9.7m – Wage Budget £1m (£850k Current Wage Spend)
Like Watford, West Brom are a financially secure club with a decent value (£184m) and a small loan debt (£10m). However, again like Watford, the emphasis is on secure, not rich. Thus, you only receive a £9.7m transfer budget, with limited potential for increase; it can reach £14m depending on how you manage your expectations. The Baggies did well to lure Nacer Chadli to the club over the summer, but a few more key signings will be needed to improve on their current stature. The money you’re given won’t be enough, though.
West Ham: Transfer Budget £6m – Wage Budget £1.44m (£1.4m Current Wage Spend)
Lastly, we have West Ham. Having recently moved into the very cheap London Stadium, the Hammers loan debt has decreased and they now only owe £77m. However, they’re only valued at £120m overall. Hence, you receive a small transfer budget of £6m and there isn’t much scope for manipulation given the proximity of your wage budge to your weekly wage costs. Your squad, however, is good enough to achieve a Europa League spot, particularly because of the magic of Dimitri Payet, which could bring in more money in the future.