We all know football, or at least the upper echelon of it, is awash with money and this season has already seen record breaking expenditure by the top clubs. By the time the transfer window slammed shut on August 31, Premier League clubs in England had spent over £1 billion according to transfermarkt.
People, especially those who don't like football, shake their heads in bewilderment at the amount of money being spend and compare transfer fees to 'real life' costs. Manchester United signed Paul Pogba for £90 million, an NHS hospital costs around £75 million. Go figure.
There is of course a well-publicised shortage of housing around the country. We thought it would be fun, and enlightening, to look at each Premier League club and compare their spending with the cost of housing in their postcode. How many houses could have been purchased instead of a shiny new footballer or two?
Despite the disparity in the cost of housing throughout the country the results we found were staggering. Over 1500 families could have been housed in new homes on Merseyside if you combine Liverpool and Everton's spending. Even in ritzy Chelsea, where the average home costs over a million pounds, nearly 100 properties could have been purchased for the money laid out by the local football club.
Who topped the league?
There was a familiar look to the top of the table with the north-west powerhouses of the two Manchester and Liverpool clubs filling the top four places. There was also, perhaps unsurprisingly given the differing property values, a very southern look to the bottom of the league table.
However, let's go through the clubs one by one and compare their outlay to the cost of a home in their postcode according to data from Zoopla:
Arsenal, spent £96.05m, equivalent to 116 homes at £828,863
Real estate around the Emirates Stadium isn't cheap yet, despite Arsene Wengers famous parsimony, the Gunners could still have built a new street of over 100 new homes in N7.
Bournemouth, spent £33.79m, equivalent to 114 homes at £296,648
The south coast resort is a Mecca for retirees and holidaymakers. Plenty of bungalows and second-homes could have been built for the fees paid by the Cherries for Jordan Ibe and company.
Burnley, spent £21.00m, equivalent to 198 homes at £106,056
Back in the big time and splashing the cash, the fee Burnley paid for Steven Defour alone could have bought 75 new homes in the Lancashire market town.
Chelsea, spent £120.11m, equivalent to 104 homes at £1,152,206
The kings of the West End have, as usual, being free with their cheque book and even in swanky Hammersmith the millions they spent could buy a fair number of mansions.
Crystal Palace, spent £50.58m, equivalent to 152 homes at £328,244
Across the river Palace haven't quite spent as much some of their London rivals, but Christian Benteke's right leg alone is worth about 20 new homes in Croydon.
Everton, spent £46.07m, equivalent to 629 homes at £73,245
The blue half of Merseyside are looking for a new stadium but they could have built a real estate empire with their transfer outlay of over £44 million.
Hull City, spent £17m, equivalent to 213 homes at £79,684
A last minute shopping spree meant the Tigers paid out enough to buy a couple of hundred new homes in time for the 2017 City of Culture celebrations.
Leicester City, spent £65.88m, equivalent to 316 homes at 208,387
Even at an average purchase price north of 200K, the reigning Premier League champions could still have afforded to buy up plenty of properties near their King Power stadium.
Manchester City, spent £174.05m, equivalent to 1,624 homes at £107,191
With the money they spent on transfers, cash rich City could have sent a tsunami through the local property market. May not have made much of a dent in Prestbury however.
Manchester United, 157.25m, equivalent to 829 homes at £189,668
The biggest spenders of all, the Reds beat their neighbour’s in house values too.
Middlesbrough, spent £21.25m, equivalent to 316 homes at £67,285
Not the biggest spenders but thanks to the north - south divide would still have picked up three times as many homes than Chelsea who spent more on one player.
Southampton, spent £44.12, equivalent to 215 homes at £205,281
There is a buoyant property market around St Marys but the Saints would still have marched in with an impressive number of properties.
Stoke City, spent £19.67m, equivalent to 163 homes at £120,719
Cash was tight in the Potteries but big name loan signing Wilfrid Bony could have had his choice of nearly 150 homes if Stoke had invested in bricks and mortar.
Sunderland, spent £27.12m, equivalent to 273 homes at £99,486
They smashed their transfer record and the £13.6m the Black Cats paid for Didier Ndong alone could have bought over 130 homes on its own.
Swansea City, spent £32.22m, equivalent to 265 homes at £121,783
Not much money being spent in the valleys but still enough for portfolio of properties ex-manager Brendan Rodgers would be proud of.
Tottenham, spent £70.13m, equivalent to 216 homes at £325,109
Daniel Levy is renowned as one of the toughest negotiators in football but the Spurs chairman would have found it easy to bag a hatful of properties around White Hart Lane with this amount of cash.
Watford, spent £57.33m, equivalent to 168 homes at £341,924
Hertfordshire is, apparently, the best place in the UK to bring up a family, and the Hornets could have purchased plenty of family homes with their wad of transfer cash.
West Brom, spent £22.44m, equivalent to 163 homes at £137,291
The club were recently sold to an investment group but might they have got a better return from the many homes they could have purchased around the Hawthorns?
West Ham, spent £52.96m, equivalent to 117 homes at £452,553
The Hammers have moved to a new stadium and could have bought plenty of homes for their players despite the rocketing property prices in Stratford.