A recent study has shown that Premier League clubs have paid out an incredible £134 million in wages to injured players in the first-half of the 2017/18 season. Research from JLT Speciality proves that Manchester United spent a whopping £16 million on injured stars with West Ham United suffering 41 different injuries.
Manchester United tickets remain one of the most in demand in the market and fans from across the globe travel from far and wide to Old Trafford to see some of the clubs prised assets. They are one of the biggest clubs in world football and possess one of the highest wage bills to match, paying injured players a total of £15.8m up until the start of February.
Injuries to the likes of Zlatan Ibrahimovic, Eric Bailly, Daley Blind and Marouane Fellaini have proved costly as United continue to trail their city rivals who top the Premier League table.
It doesn’t read well for United, their high wage bill sees them top of the average cost per injury with an average of £869,881 in wages paid out to inactive players. At the other end of the scale, Bournemouth have paid out just £144,531 in wages to injured players, the lowest in the top flight.
There is plenty of football to be played with Premier League tickets remaining extremely popular all over the world. This is a huge year for football, especially with preparations for the 2018 World Cup well underway. Keeping players in top form and condition is very important and injuries are likely to take their toll on some of the biggest top-flight stars.
Despite the intriguing results, the number of injuries is down on this point last season. However the rise in wage costs has been a particular factor when considering the results.
The JLT Premier League Football Injury Analysis data was collected for every competitive match played by the Premier League teams between 1st July 2017 and 31st January 2018 with data only considered for those that resulted in a player missing at least one game through injury.
The results also proves that West Ham have suffered the most injuries this season with 41 and Brighton the least with 14, while the average cost incurred to top-flight clubs as a result of injuries stands at £6.7m as figures looks set to surpass the total cost to clubs in wages of injured players will exceed last season's total of just over £175m.
JLT's research also suggests that teams took a financial blow during the hectic December festive period, with the average number of new injuries peaking at 19 per week during the Christmas and New Year fixture schedule. This is the most exciting time for fans searching for Premier League tickets with fixtures coming thick and fast. It's little wonder many managers, including United boss Jose Mourinho and City manager Pep Guardiola, complained about the fixture pile up and safety of their players.
Duncan Fraser, Head of Sport at JLT, said: "With the average cost of injuries rising for another year, and the number of injuries also rising at this point last season, the overall total lost by clubs looks set to eclipse the 2016-17 season total.
"With many of the soft tissue injuries being down to fatigue, these figures will raise questions about fixture pile ups, especially with the rising costs involved.
"Many will welcome the fact that the Premier League is considering the implementation of a winter break, which may mitigate injuries and associated costs that result from a strenuous winter schedule."
Moreover, Manchester City can count themselves amongst the healthiest teams in the league with only 16 injuries so far this season, culminating to a total of 442 days with players sidelined - The second lowest figure in the Premier League behind Southampton.
The JLT research found that hamstring injuries have been the most common, with 91 in the Premier League so far this season, but knee injuries are the costliest at £36.7m overall. On-loan Liverpool striker Daniel Sturridge limped off after three minutes in West Bromwich Albion’s defeat at Chelsea on Monday night to become the latest big-name star added to the list - Earning wages in excess of £120,00 a week.
The Premier League season is sure to have plenty more twist and turns on the way between now and the end of the season. Football fans searching for football tickets will be desperate to seeing the world’s famous players out on the pitch as opposed to the treatment room.