Aleksandar Mitrovic cost Fulham £18 million and is their top goal scorer, however, he has not been able to keep The Cottagers in the Premier League. The amount of money splashed on players does not guarantee safety in the top flight. Fulham owner Shahid Khan has found this to his cost. Even Aleksandar Mitrovic could not save them.
Fulham were promoted via the playoffs and immediately went on a spending spree. Forking out large sums on various players to keep them in the top flight. The strategy has not worked.
Shahid Khan made a determined assault to get into the Premier League. After winning the playoffs, Fulham had a shopping list. The Cottagers wanted to emulate the three teams that were promoted the previous season. All three remained in the top flight after their first season. Khan, as a billionaire, fitted in well with the Premier League, as most of the owners are billionaires.
Aleksandar Mitrovic Proves Spending Big Doesn’t Mean Success
Bringing in Jean Michaël Seri from Ligue one team OGC Nice and André-Frank Zambo Anguissa from Marseille for the midfield set them back £47 million. Enticing Aleksandar Mitrovic from Newcastle United making the loan move permanent cost them £18 million.
Even Alfie Mawson who was secured from relegated Swansea City cost them £15 million. In total, Fulham brought in 15 new players for the 2018/19 season at a total cost of £100 million. Thinking that this would keep them safe in the top flight is the main reason the money was spent.
The Cottagers have found themselves at the wrong end of the Premier League table, and relegated after the 4-1 loss to Watford. Spending so much with no guarantee of security was the wrong tactic.
Players will leave during the summer transfer window, looking for either Premier League or Champions League football. An exodus of those players is almost guaranteed. Fulham recouping the money spent is not.
Other relegated clubs were aware of the risks. Huddersfield Town for example, after a successful first season where The Terriers secured survival with a very low spend. This season has not been as good for Huddersfield.
Relegated at the end of March after the loss to Crystal Palace (where they secured their first ever Premier League win on the season opener the year before), The Terriers have spent more wisely. Chairman Dean Hoyle has not been excessive with spending. After all, Huddersfield Town very nearly folded in 2003, and it is certain no one wants to go back there.
Bringing in 10 new players, the Terriers spent less than half of what Fulham did. Terence Kongolo was their most expensive at £18 million, breaking their previous transfer record for a player. Karlan Grant was the latest player to join in the January window, costing under £2 million from Charlton Athletic.
The latter has already scored three goals for the Terriers and is their joint top scorer. This goes to show that it doesn’t matter how much money is spent on players, the Premier League is a tough league to survive in. Unless you are a top-six club of course with a seemingly endless supply of money to spend.
The cost of players is also starting to become ridiculous – £66 million for a goalkeeper paid by Liverpool. £120 million paid for Kylian Mbappe by Paris Saint-Germain. It’s understandable people want to buy the best players, however, it will soon be a multi-billionaires market. None of the “smaller” clubs will be able to compete, it’s very likely that before long the Premier League will split. The top few clubs that can afford the insane prices will break away, that will be a sad day for football.
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