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most profitable football academies: The influence of the English Premier League can simply not be dispersed – be it gross annual viewership or financial paramountcy. It is for this reason that they have usually found themselves being subjects of criticism due to their extravagant spending history – after all, some of the most expensive transfers have been to the Premier League.
In the summer of 2023, all the Premier League clubs spent just over £2.6 billion, which is more than La Liga, Serie A, Bundesliga and Ligue 1 combined. The ever-growing influence and financial hypertrophy of the Premier League is a very valid cause for concern with respect to other leagues, hence why the European Super League movement has found shape.
The CIES Football Observatory disclosed their findings on 100 of the most profitable football academies. The data was collected by calculating the revenue generated by player sales from the academy over the last ten years. Only those players were considered who spent at least 3 years in the academy between the ages of 15 to 21.
Benfica sit at the helm of the rankings having made €516 million thanks to sales of their academy’s acquisitions. Ajax came in second while Lyon came in at third.
Despite spending exorbitantly on transfers, it must be noted that they aren’t throwing all the money away without having a Plan B. Most of these Premier League clubs have some of the best academies in the world to do the talking and some on the list may actually surprise you!
10 most profitable football academies in the world
Chelsea: Most Profitable Academy in all of England
The Todd Boehly era has been unnerved by fans and pundits alike for their ridiculous spending history as of late. However, they have some of the best structures when it comes to facilitating stars for the future.
All in all, they have raised £298.7 million through the sale of 28 players over the last ten years. Some of the popular sales include Mason Mount at £60 million, Tammy Abraham at £34 million, and Fikayo Tomori at £25 million – all of whom were the beacons of Chelsea’s youth system.
Tottenham Hotspur: A Wildcard Entrance
Probably the least expected out of the big Premier League clubs, no? One would’ve thought of Arsenal or Manchester United as they have a solid history of academic success – recent examples include Alejandro Garnacho and Bukayo Saka respectively.
However, Tottenham Hotspur has been cooking in complete secrecy. They sit at eighth in the rankings and have generated £220 million in sales. Harry Winks, Andros Townsend, and Kyle Walker-Peters have all been some notable sales for the Spurs academy.
Manchester City: Planting Future Harvests
We’ve all heard of the ‘oil money’ banter and probably use it as a driving reason to justify our dislike for their enviable success. Despite all the laughter and slander, they still have one of the best football academies to justify the annual sky-high expenditure.
They sit just behind Spurs at 9th with £218.7 million made in player sales. Some of their academy players are already enjoying the highest level of football, be it Phil Foden, Cole Palmer, and if your memory serves you right, then Jadon Sancho.
The recent trend suggests that Man City is looking to build their own legacy with their own local harvest.
Do you think their academy will outdo their heavy influx of transfers?