Liverpool are on course to become the most financially efficient Premier League winners since Arsenal’s ‘Invincibles’.
Should Jurgen Klopp’s side be able to maintain their pre-pandemic rate of over 2.8 points per game, not only will they smash the record points tally, they’ll achieve by far the lowest cost-per-win ratio in terms of wages since the 2003/04 season.
Trumping the relentless wage inflation of the Premier League era would be a landmark achievement for owner John Henry, who became known for implementing Moneyball-style ideas to win baseball’s World Series with the Boston Red Sox.
The average title-winners’ wage bill has risen from £28m (€31m) in the first ten years of the Premier League to £170m in the past ten seasons.
Liverpool’s player payroll would come in around £110m this season, giving a cost-per-point return of just over £1m for their projected 108-point total, according to new research from BetVictor.
That would be a more efficient spend than Southampton, who Liverpool have bought £187m-worth of players from in the past six years, and relegation candidates Bournemouth, Watford, and West Ham.
Liverpool’s predicted outlay of £3.1m per win is almost half that of their closest rivals, Manchester City, who are set to fork out over £6m per win.
Even last season, on their way to a 98-point total (20 more than their predicted tally of 78 for this season), City paid out £6.9m per win in wages, while Chelsea splurged a record £8.3m per win five years ago in Jose Mourinho’s most recent title-winning season.
Not since Arsenal, 16 years ago, has a title-winning club paid less per win than what Liverpool will pay, based upon current form and considering inflation.
The Arsenal of 2020, by contrast, are set to finish on par with the second least frugal teams this season, with a predicted cost per win of £8.3m — the equivalent of buying one David Luiz for every win this season.
Their cost-per-win ratio is beaten only by Manchester United, with every Solskjaer win seeing United handing out £8.5m in wages.
West Ham and Everton, who complete the cost-per-win top-four, stand out as the chief underachievers in the bottom half of the table.
However, perhaps the true Oakland A’s of this Moneyball league are Sheffield United. Despite a wage bill of £13m, the Blades are within touching distance of Champions League qualification.
Their predicted cost-per-win rate of £900k would be the lowest recorded in the Premier League since the 1998/99 season.
Per point won, they are paying less than half of their nearest rivals, bottom-side Norwich, at £229k.
The average wage bill of top-four clubs over the past ten seasons is £157m.
Champions League rivals Leicester have achieved a similar level of efficiency to Liverpool, while sixth-placed Wolves are even more cost-effective, spending £540k per point won.