Europe’s top clubs paid a record price for star injuries last season, according to a new study.
Injury costs for clubs in the continent’s ‘big five’ leagues totaled £513.23million in the 2021/22 season, a 29 per cent jump from last season, said international insurance broker Howden.
Injuries themselves increased by 20 percent compared to the previous season to a total of 4,810.
Premier League in the 2021/22 season, up from 938 the season before” data-source=”Howden”>
The release of the dates comes at a time when future international calendars for men’s and women’s football are being debated, with world players’ union FIFPRO insisting structures must be in place to protect players’ workloads.
Howden calculates injury costs by multiplying a player’s cost per day – using base salary data from Sporting Intelligence – by the number of days they were unavailable due to injury.
The Premier League had the highest injury costs of any top five divisions at £184.57m, while Spain’s LaLiga was second at £109.34m.
Premier League injuries had risen to 1,231 in 2021/22 compared to 938 the season before.
Chelsea surpassed England’s injury count at 97, Manchester United were second at 81 and Liverpool – who finished last season in every competition they took part in – had 80.
United recorded the highest injury costs of £26.72m, an average cost per injury of £330,000, which is 14.5 per cent of the Premier League’s total injury costs as a whole.
French champions Paris St Germain – whose star names include Kylian Mbappe, Neymar and Lionel Messi – had the highest injury costs of any club in Europe – £34.22million.
The men’s European club competitions are set to expand from 2024/25, adding a total of 64 Champions League games.
James Burrows, Howden’s sporting boss, says Europe’s superpower clubs cannot simply buy their way out of the problem by increasing squad size unless regulations change.
“Managing the risk will involve increased rotation of playing squad members and potentially seeking adjustments to the number and frequency of games players must attend,” he said.
“We may also see an increased focus on using younger players as they tend to be more resilient to injury and tend to recover faster.”
It’s a trend that may already be emerging as Howden is observing a sharp increase in the number of injuries in the under-21 age group, from 30 incidents in the 2018-19 season to 326 in the 2021-22 season.
Premier League clubs are understood to agree that their league’s board of directors are officially demanding the Football Association scrap the replays of the FA Cup third and fourth rounds from the same season, while the PA news agency also understands that the “Big Six” clubs in the league are in favor of clubs competing in Europe being able to drop out of the Carabao Cup or join an under-21 team.
On a global level, FIFPRO would like the new calendars to include four or five week off-season breaks for all players and a similar mid-season break of one to two weeks.
It also thinks there should be a cap on the number of consecutive games – appearances of 45 minutes or more, less than five days apart – that a player can play in. FIFPRO says a higher number of performances in this “critical zone”. increase the risk of injury and can also affect a player’s longevity.
https://www.independent.co.uk/sport/football/europe-premier-league-fifpro-neymar-champions-league-b2177571.html Europe’s top clubs paid record injury prices last season – study