Barcelona, Chelsea, and Arsenal have recorded the most significant financial losses over the past decade, according to recent research.

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The CIES Football Observatory analyzed non-academy players acquired and transferred between 2014 and 2023.

Barcelona, the La Liga giants, incurred the highest deficit of 631m euros (£540m), while Lille from Ligue 1 amassed the greatest profit – 386m euros (£330m).

Six Premier League clubs appear in the top 10 for financial setbacks.

Following Chelsea and Arsenal in the second and third positions, Manchester United holds the fifth spot, Aston Villa the seventh, Everton the eighth, and Liverpool the ninth.

The investigation ranks the top 50 clubs for both negative and positive financial outcomes, with Brentford (26th) and Brighton (29th) being the two Premier League teams in the top 50 for earnings.

Even though Stoke City has not been in the Premier League for six years, they remain among those incurring the most significant losses during the period under scrutiny by the researchers, holding the 16th position.

The study reveals that substantial deficits often stem from prominent signings departing for considerably less than the club originally paid for them. The report also highlights players who contributed to these financial setbacks.

Teams from the Chinese Super League prominently feature in the top 50 for financial losses, along with Saudi Arabian clubs Al-Nassr, Al-Hilal, Al-Ahli, and Al-Ittihad, following extensive spending last summer, which included the acquisitions of Brazil captain Neymar and Real Madrid forward Karim Benzema by the Saudi Pro League.

Barcelona invested over 1.2bn euros (£1bn) and received 613m euros (£524m), with the report referencing the Philippe Coutinho deal. The Brazilian midfielder joined from Liverpool for £142m in 2018 before departing for Aston Villa for £17m and subsequently joining Al-Duhail on loan.

Chelsea faced a deficit of 482m euros (£413m) after signing players like Christian Pulisic for £58m in 2019, later selling him to AC Milan for £20m last year. Jorginho, signed for £50m in 2018, was then transferred to Arsenal for £12m.

Arsenal recorded losses of 436m euros (£373m) after signing players like Nicolas Pepe for £72m, who left on a free transfer to Trabzonspor after four years.

Manchester City, with losses of 59m euros (£51m), and Bayern Munich, with losses of 61m euros (£52m), “possess the most favorable financial balances among the most competitive teams,” as stated in the report.

Lille achieved profits of 386m euros (£330m) from player sales, including striker Victor Osimhen, acquired for £10m and then sold to Napoli for £82m.

Sven Botman moved to Newcastle United for £32m from Lille, where he was signed in 2020 for £7.2m.

Ajax closely followed Lille, displaying a positive balance of 317m euros (£271m) in player trades.

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