Skip to main content

How Nottingham Forest are one of the biggest spenders in Europe this summer

Nottingham Forest's biggest summer signing, Morgan Gibbs-White, in action against Tottenham Hotspur
(Image credit: Getty)

Nottingham Forest can be forgiven for getting a little over-excited. Promotion through the Championship play-offs last season earned Steve Cooper’s side a ticket to their first Premier League campaign in 23 years – and they’ve since done everything they can in the transfer market to ensure they make the most of the opportunity.

By the time the summer transfer window closed on Thursday, Forest had signed a remarkable 21 players – a Premier League record – and splashed out almost £150 million in fees. It was a record-breaking transfer window all round, with a staggering £2.1 billion being spent by clubs in England’s top flight.

But how does the newly-promoted Nottingham club’s spending compare to other teams in England and Europe?

Nottingham Forest have a bigger net spend than Serie A, La Liga, Bundesliga and Ligue 1 combined

Jesse Lingard in action for Nottingham Forest.

(Image credit: Getty Images)

One bit of trivia that has been doing the rounds since the window closed is that Nottingham Forest’s net spend was more than every club in Serie A, La Liga, Bundesliga and Ligue 1 combined.

This is true. But it’s also true for another 17 Premier League clubs. In fact, the only teams in the English top-flight who didn’t finish the window with a bigger net spend than those leagues combined were Brighton and Leicester.

The figures, via Transfermarkt (opens in new tab), show that Forest spent £145.8m and earned £6.3m, leaving them with a net spend of £139.5m.

Here's how that compares with Europe’s top-five leagues:

  • Premier League: Expenditure £2bn, income £796m. Balance = -£1.2bn
  • Ligue 1: Expenditure £502m, income £539m. Balance = -£37m
  • La Liga: Expenditure £455m, income £408m. Balance = +£47m
  • Bundesliga: Expenditure £436m, income £476m. Balance = +£40m
  • Serie A: Expenditure £674m, income £671m. Balance = +£3m
  • Total balance of Ligue 1, La Liga, Bundesliga and Serie A = +£27m

So the net transfer activity of the other four major leagues combined came out with a profit. Only three clubs in the Premier League could say the same thing: Brighton, Leicester and Man City.

And only the Seagulls (£59.5m) and Leicester (£58m) came out with a better figure than that combined total.

Steve Cooper

(Image credit: PA)

Forst are bigger spenders than any team in Germany, France, Italy or Spain

Forest’s club record expenditure of £146.8m also puts them among the biggest spenders on the continent.

Although no deals were eye-wateringly expensive by modern Premier League standards – Morgan Gibbs-White was the priciest at an initial £25m and his was the only deal above £20m – the sheer quantity of players brought in saw Cooper’s side outspend some illustrious clubs. 

In fact, no club in Europe’s other top-five leagues spent as much as Forest: 

  • Nottingham Forest total gross spend: £146.8m
  • Barcelona (biggest spenders in La Liga): £137.7m
  • PSG (biggest spenders in Ligue 1): £132.8m
  • Bayern Munich (biggest spenders in the Bundesliga): £123.8m
  • Juventus (biggest spenders in Serie A:) £92.2m

Forest are one of Europe’s top five biggest-spending clubs

Of course, there were several clubs in England that forked out more on transfer fees than Forest. Indeed, the top five clubs for gross spend are all Premier League sides, and seven of the top 10 hail from England. 

  1. Chelsea: £253.8m
  2. Manchester United: £214.2m
  3. West Ham: £163.8m
  4. Tottenham: £153m
  5. Nottingham Forest: £145.8m
  6. Barcelona: £137.7m
  7. PSG: £132.8m
  8. Manchester City: £125.6m
  9. Bayern Munich: £123.8m
  10. Wolves: £123m

Thank you for reading 5 articles this month* Join now for unlimited access

Enjoy your first month for just £1 / $1 / €1

*Read 5 free articles per month without a subscription

Join now for unlimited access

Try first month for just £1 / $1 / €1