Does January Window Transfer Spending Help Premier League Clubs?

With the transfer window coming up, we can all count on one thing for certain. There will be non-stop chatter about what teams must do if they are going to “push for the top” or “avoid relegation”. Rumors and arguments will be rampant. The blogosphere will be on full hype 24/7. There will be no peace until the window finally, blessedly closes with people blathering up to the last minute about possible deals. That got me to wondering…. and making tables.

Do the results of the January window historically justify all the hype and gnashing of teeth? Do we regularly see the deals that are made make a real difference in the outcome of the season for either the teams at the top or those at the bottom?

Judging by the tables I’ve created below the answer would appear to be, “Not really.” Given the mid-season verses the end-of-season standings for the last five years it’s hard to see that the dealings in the January transfer window have had any particular impact at all. So what’s all the fuss about? Can we all just take a break from all the silliness?

Take a look at the tables below to see how much of an impact the transfer window had after 19 games compared to the end of the season (of course, not every club bought players in the January transfer window).

2007/2008 (19 games) 2007/2008 (38 games)
Top of Table
United–45 United–87
Arsenal–44 Chelsea–85
Chelsea–38 Arsenal–83
Liverpool–37 Liverpool–76
Everton–33 Everton–65
Bottom of Table
Wigan–16 Fulham–36
Fulham–14 Reading–36
Sunderland–14 Birmingham–35
Derby–7 Derby–11
2008/2009 (19 games) 2008/2009 (38 games)
Top of Table
Liverpool–42 United–90
Chelsea–41 Liverpool–86
United–41 Chelsea–83
Aston Villa–35 Arsenal–72
Arsenal–32 Everton–63
Bottom of Table
Middlesbrough–20 Hull–35
Stoke–20 Newcastle–34
Rovers–17 Middlesbrough–32
WBA–15 WBA–32
2009/2010 (19 games) 2009/2010 (38 games)
Top of Table
Chelsea–42 Chelsea–86
Arsenal–41 United–85
Utd–40 Arsenal–75
City–35 Spurs–70
Spurs–34 City–67
Bottom of Table
West Ham–18 West Ham–35
Bolton–18 Burnley–30
Hull–17 Hull-30
Porstmouth–14 Portsmouth–19
2010/2011 (19 games) 2010/2011 (38 games)
Top of Table
United–41 United–80
Arsenal–36 Chelsea–71
City–35 City–71
Chelsea–34 Arsenal–68
Spurs–33 Spurs–62
Bottom of Table
Wigan–20 Wolves–40
Fulham–19 Birmingham–39
Wolves–18 Blackpool–39
West Ham–16 West Ham–33
2011/2012 (19 games) 2011/2012 (38 games)
Top of Table
City–45 City–89
United–45 United–89
Spurs–42 Arsenal–70
Arsenal–36 Spurs–69
Chelsea–34 Newcastle–65
Bottom of Table
QPR–17 QPR–37
Wigan–15 Bolton–36
Rovers–14 Rovers–31
Bolton–13 Wolves–25

8 thoughts on “Does January Window Transfer Spending Help Premier League Clubs?”

    1. Most of the time, January transfers are a waste of money (and highly overpriced) but one success story was from the 2005-06 season when Harry Redknapp was hired by Portsmouth in December ’05 with Pompey in the relegation zone.

      In the January transfer window, Redknapp made several astute signings including Benjani and Sean Davis. But the most important signing was Pedro Mendes from Tottenham.

      Mendes was the key player involved that season in keeping Portsmouth up. Most memorable were the two goals he scored against Manchester City to steal a 2-1 win in added time.

      Does anyone remember other astute January transfer window signings?

      The Gaffer

      1. some January EPL signings

        Suarez, Jelavic, Pogrebnyak, Papiss Cisse, Darron Gibson, Gylfi (important loan), Maynor Figueroa, Shawcross, Antonio Valencia, Wilson Palacios, Skrtel, Ivanovic, Evra, Vidic, Hangeland..

        1. Nice list with some real quality. Now, the question would be did their acquisition have an impact on where the team finished at the end of the year as opposed to where they were at the time of the window?

          Cisse for sure. No way Newcastle finishes 5th without him.

  1. Stunned you all into silence, did I? Well, good. Now when the inevitable stories start, “Who Does Your Team Need To Pick Up?”, “Who Is [fill in coach] After?”, we can all relax and ignore the hype knowing full well that it really doesn’t matter.

    The Table(s) never lie.>/b> :-)

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