Why Norwich City’s finances make them the best value in the Premier League

The numbers definitely added up for Norwich City in the Premier League last season.

The numbers definitely added up for Norwich City in the Premier League last season. - Credit: Archant

While the assumption is money buys football success, Norwich City have proved you can also get relative value for a bit of canny spending.

Analysts at Football Observatory have worked out exactly how much each point won by top-flight teams last season cost them to earn.

The Swiss research centre used the fees paid for all players on the books of every top-flight club, whenever they were brought in – and seeing Norwich's cost of assembling last season's squad coming in at £21.38m. Only Reading's (£15.5m) was cheaper to assemble.

And that in turn brought the conclusion that each point last season cost City under £500,000 – the cheapest in the Premier League, and a figure dwarfed by some of their top-flight rivals.

While City finished the season 11th – a one-place improvement on the previous season – Chelsea's third place cost them nearly £5m per point. That's a lot of money when you are clocking 75 points over the course of the season.

Manchester City and Liverpool were not far behind in the inefficiency stakes, with the former's fees of £375.74m topping the table.

The same could not be said of their points tally, of course. Manchester United's 11-point dominance in taking the Premier League title was achieved more than £1.5m per point cheaper than their city rivals.

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West Brom, Swansea and West Ham – like Norwich – kept the cost of each point below £1m; as did Reading, albeit dropping out of the top flight in the process.

But the picture was far from pretty for relegated Queens Park Rangers, whose paltry 25 points were earned by a squad that cost £66.58m. That figures doesn't include wages, leaving each point costing £2.66m.

Whether Norwich's record £8.5m outlay for Ricky van Wolfswinkel signals the boat being pushed out a little bit further for the 2013-14 season remains to be seen, but City's financial prudence was not a one-season wonder.

The 2011-12 season had City recorded as the lowest wage payers in the Premier League, at an average of £1.01m per year per player – working out at £19,434 per week.

To put the figure in perspective, fellow newly promoted Swansea were next (£1.02m, £19,654) while Queens Park Rangers were already shelling out an average weekly wage of £32,569.

That season's Premier League champions were the only side to smash the astonishing six-figure mark for a player's weekly wage, with an annual average of £5.24m working out at £100,765 per week.

Those big figures are likely to have increased for each of the established top-flight clubs last season, and are almost certain to rise again for the 2013-14 campaign – possibly by a significant amount given clubs' major boost in income from their new television deal, raising the minimum TV income from £40m to £60m per club.