LONDON • Which Premier League side gives the worst bang for its buck? Turns out, it is Manchester United.
An analysis into the value for money that each top-flight club has achieved in the Premier League this season shows that Jose Mourinho's side are the biggest losers, worse even than Sunderland.
The value-for-money table compares each club's most recent published annual wage bill with the number of points that they have won in the league.
In terms of points won per £1 million (S$1.8 million) in wages, Tottenham Hotspur, second in the league table, emerge as the team that got most value for their outlay, followed by Bournemouth and Everton.
The analysis suggests that Spurs' Mauricio Pochettino, rather than Chelsea's Antonio Conte, may be the most deserving recipient of the Manager of the Season award.
The figures also highlight the wage gap between the "Big Five" clubs - Manchester City, Manchester United, Chelsea, Arsenal and Liverpool - and the rest. Those five clubs have been prepared to commit salaries of more than £200 million a year to compete for a top-four spot.
Yet clubs such as Spurs can still achieve remarkable results for a wage bill around half that figure.
The "Big Five" each had a wage bill about double or more than the £104.6 million spent by Tottenham in the 2015-16 season and, according to Spurs' annual account, their base salary bill was only £100 million, a slight drop on the previous year. Another £4.5 million of "other employment contract costs" was also charged to the income statement.
United were the biggest spenders and their struggles in Premier League football are underlined by the figures showing that they paid £3.57 million in wages for every point secured, compared to Tottenham's £1.3 million.
Among the big five, Chelsea performed by far the best in terms of value for money, as Conte's team secured the title.
Most of those managers shortlisted for the Barclays Manager of the Season award have performed well, according to the analysis. They include Conte, Pochettino, Bournemouth's Eddie Howe and West Bromwich Albion's Tony Pulis.
The failure of David Moyes at Sunderland is put into stark relief by the figures which show that the club's wage bill was similar to that of many upper- or mid-table sides including Everton, and substantially more than Bournemouth.
Of the three promoted clubs, only Burnley have survived. Their manager, Sean Dyche, is another Manager of the Season award nominee.
THE TIMES, LONDON