The numbers have been crunched on how much money sides had to fork out last season in the Premier League based on the injuries they suffered across the year.
Manchester City faced the highest average injury bill according to insurance broker JLT as they paid out roughly £611,204 for each injury sustained by a player over the year.
In total it ran to a cost of £177million last season, up £20million on the campaign of 2015/16.
Other headlines from the report were the fact that Sunderland sustained 58 injuries across the campaign, and had at least three players minimum unavailable for every match day across the year.
Youngsters in the game certainly weren’t immune from injury as they are actually the most injury prone when you look at Under 21 groups, with the Under 21-25 age bracket suffering the most severe injuries that leave them sidelined for 43-45 days on average.
With a £20million uplift on the prior season, that’s a 12% rise in costs associated with injury and across 524 official matches, JLT’s study showed that there were 713 injuries incurred over the campaign.
Manchester City’s cost of £18.3million actually came from the lowest number of injuries in the top flight – 30 – but it was £0.5million more than any other club paid out.
To compare that, Bournemouth sustained 37 injuries over the course of the year but that only cost them a reported £3.2million, so that means their annual injury bill was nearly £520,000 lower than the Etihad outfit.
Of course applicable wage rates paid by both clubs are telling on that front.
The research undertaken also showed that there was a correlation between injuries sustained and the final league position attained in the Premier League table, but that probably isn’t a surprise when teams miss key players and have to rely on youth or shifting people around into more unfamiliar positions.
Again as a comparison here, Champions Chelsea average 1.66 players missing each match day across the year, whilst Sunderland was a whopping 7.37 players missed as they slipped to relegation.
On the youngster front, last season showed they were more prone to injury than more senior colleagues, JLT looked back as far as 2011 and this isn’t a new trend and maybe that’s something the Premier League and football on a wider scale will want to look at. Over 25’s fair far better as they enter the peak of their careers.
Whilst defenders are more likely to gain an injury at 6.3% per match, strikers sit on a level of 5.6% per match but goalkeepers seem to be suffering more injuries than ever before with the average time out now polling at 46 days – 10 days longer than the average for other positions.
Of course goalkeepers buck the trend in most being over 30 before they make the position their own and age obviously impacts on speed of recovery and the nature of a goalkeeper is more ‘impact’ in physical exertion.
Knee and back injuries were also a common theme last season, with each keeping a player sidelined for an average of 70 and 44 days respectively. Knee injuries were also the most costly for clubs, coming to almost the £50million mark across the year.
Hamstring issues were the most common injury though, accounting for 18% of the 713 injuries tracked.
Head of Sport at JLT Speciality, Duncan Fraser commented.
‘We seem to be seeing a case of injury-flation this year. Over the last six seasons there has been a steady increase in the cost of injuries as players become more and more expensive and the Premier League becomes more and more competitive. While the medical treatment of every twist, torn ligament, cartilage, and broken bone has advanced greatly, there is still no magic remedy to summon players back to match fitness within a week. Injuries don`t just make it harder to manage a team, there is also a direct cost associated with it, in the form of salaries paid to players who can`t take part in matches. As a result of this clubs are increasingly looking to insure their players with the use of a Wageroll Protection policy to avoid a scenario where teams have at time hundreds of thousands of pounds sat on the bench. That way, if a player gets injured for an extended period of time, they can claim a certain percentage of their salary back.’
For the full report they compiled please Click Here.
West Bromwich Albion