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


  1. Guy December 22, 2012
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  2. Mox Nix December 23, 2012
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