“The net spend boys will be quiet tonight” is a phrase has somehow become enshrined as a meme in recent Liverpool transfer lore, alongside “Salah announced” and others that will not be mentioned here. The idea of “net spend” is one that has often been a point of contention between those supporters who have generally been satisfied with Fenway Sports Group’s investment in the club versus those who feel the owners could be doing more.
For every world record defender and world record goalkeeper signing, there have been some, albeit muted, grumblings that “it’s just the Coutinho money” or that these types of signings should be de rigueur in this era of ballooning television money. The Liverpool Echo has shed some light on what exactly the “true” net spend figures for this past summer look like (as well as they can be known without complete transparency into the contractual dealings), and the numbers are quite illuminating.
According to the Echo, the club’s inbound transfer outlay came to approximately £160.85 million, with about £35.75 million coming in the other direction from sales etc. This leads to a net spend figure of roughly £125.1 million, not taking into account contingent amounts, add-ons, options and other items. Factoring those elements in can be tricky, since sales are also subject to contingent amounts, but the summer’s ultimate net spend could rise to approximately £129.35 million.
The inbound transfers include of course the already familiar Naby Keïta, Alisson Becker, Xherdan Shaqiri, and Fabinho. The most notable outbound names were Danny Ings, Loris Karius (in a loan deal that could become permanent), Ragnar Klavan, and Danny Ward. The net spend amount does not factor in Virgil van Dijk’s arrival, which carried its own hefty price tag, in January of this year.
Speaking of the Coutinho money (a base payment which was estimated to be in the region of £106 million), that figure just became slightly larger. The Brazilian recently made his 25th appearance for Barcelona, triggering a milestone that obligates his current club to pay an additional £4.4million to Liverpool.