As billionaire ‘super-benefactors’ fight for the right to own English football clubs, Pay As You Play takes a detailed look at the correlation between success and transfer spending.
Tactics, motivation, fitness and luck play a part; but is an expensive squad increasingly essential for success?
Which managers have excelled in the transfer market? And who blew their budgets on bad buys?
Which clubs punched above their financial weight, and which ones punched well below theirs?
What players proved to be great value for their price tag, and who ended up as a shocking waste
By converting all Premier League transfer fees since 1992 to current-day prices – using our
specially devised Transfer Price Index (TPI) system to give precise ‘football inflation’ figures – teams could be accurately assessed against one another, whether from 1993 or 2010. How would
the prices paid for Dean Saunders, Roy Keane or Frank Lampard compare with Thierry Henry, Wayne Rooney or Robinho?
All 43 clubs to have played in the Premier League up to May 2010 are analysed, with noted writers
and journalists – including Jonathan Wilson, Gabriele Marcotti and Oliver Kay – also providing their views on the club they support or report on.
All in all, it makes for an entertaining and revealing read on the world’s most popular game, and its most appealing league.
“If you really want to know what has happened to the Premier League over its 18-year history, and
why so many people have become disgusted by its rapacity and selfishness, I urge you to seek out
a copy of Pay As You Play. ... [Football analysis] is best left to the professionals, like the admirable
Mr Tomkins.” Daily Telegraph
"Another triumph of impeccable research, Pay As You Play brings much-needed factual insight to
a discussion previously dominated by half-truths" Oliver Kay, Senior Football Correspondent for
If it achieves anything at all by bringing some more intelligence to football punditry and debate,
then it’s worth every penny – now and in the future. The Irish News