PL Injuries Cost Clubs £90m, with Chelsea and Man United Suffering Most Losses.

PL Injuries Cost Clubs £90m, with Chelsea and Man United Suffering Most Losses.

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26 Mar 2022
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Between the start of the 2021/22 season and the weekend of January 18, Premier League clubs sustained a total 659 injuries, costing millions in lost salaries.

Chelsea finished top of the standings in terms of injuries under Thomas Tuchel and the coach has argued that his club would have been closer to winning the title if not for important players missing games.

Consequently, his criticisms have been bolstered by recent information that reveals the Premier League paid out more than any other major European league, with clubs losing a staggering £89.82 million due to injuries.

Premier League clubs also sustained more injuries than clubs in any other of Europe’s top leagues, totaling 659 injuries from the start of the 2021/22 season through and including the weekend of January 18.

The analysis, conducted by data specialists Howden Sport and Entertainment for the report Feeling The Strain, determines the cost based on player earnings and the number of days missed.

Chelsea sustained a startling 55 unique injuries; the club lost £14.02 million as a result of the absences, with each injury costing an average of £250,000. Surprisingly, the Premier League also had the highest rate of soft tissue injuries – muscle pulls and strains – with each injury costing an average of £200,000.

Wolves had the fewest injuries with 15, while Crystal Palace was the only team to have injuries costing less than £1 million, with 16 totaling £860,000. Covid also had a significant influence, as 81 players tested positive in December, costing teams £14.2 million, or 62% of the total cost of the 2020/21 season.

However, as if Tuchel did not already have enough on his plate with the club up for sale, the impact of injuries on his roster has been rather astounding. Romelu Lukaku, the club’s record signing for £97.5 million, Reece James, Ben Chilwell, and Christian Pulisic are among the notable absentees.

They were expected to be championship contenders this season but have managed to stay alive in the Champions League and FA Cup. Tuchel was enraged earlier in the season when Chelsea were forced to play despite Covid cases and a crushing injury list – and now we can see the full impact on his squad.

When a player misses a match, his wages continue to be paid, and thus injuries – even before considering the expense of treatment – represent a considerable financial risk as well as a possible drag on team performance. What’s remarkable is that December was the worst month for soft tissue injuries, which matches with the highest Covid-19 count.

One possible explanation is that absences and disruptions increased the burden on healthy players, compelling them to play more frequently and for longer periods of time. Another possibility is that players returning from Covid-19 were not fully fit for competition when they returned.

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