New research has shown that the Premier League recorded more injuries than the other top four leagues in Europe.
It is not a good one for the most followed football league in the world. The English Premier League recorded more injuries last season than the other top four football leagues in Europe, research shows.
Although they are part of the game, injuries are footballers nightgmare with attendant impact on both the affected player and the club’s finances.
Injuries temporarily puts a setback on the career of footballers, making it a worrying phenomenon in the game.
Prominent footballers have seen their football career grind to a halt after a disastrous injury crisis. Hence, the finding of this new research put the English Premier League on top of the charts of leagues with the most injuries should be a thing of concern to all football stakeholders.
A breakdown of the statistics shows that a total of 1,231 injuries were recorded last season in the Premier League, with Chelsea topping the list of clubs with more injured players.
Chelsea recorded 97 players on their injury list throughout the 2022/23 football season with the likes of N’Golo Kante leading the list.
The injury crisis also came with a substantial financial loss to the affected clubs. The toll on Premier League club’s finances also ranks highest compared to other Leagues.
According to the research report, about £184.57m was spent by English clubs to service players on injuries. The amount was the highest among the four other top leagues.
In total, the five top leagues recorded 4,810 injuries last season against the 3848 recorded in the 2020/21 football season. This represents a 20% increase.
The English Premier League shared 25.59% of last season’s stats. Also, European clubs suffered immensely, with significant effect on their finances.
The research, which Howden, an insurance broker, conducted, discovered that European clubs had spent £513.23m treating injuries, and the figure represented a great leap of 20% from the 2020/21 football season.
French Ligue 1 giants Paris Saint Germain is said to have paid the most to injured players last season after rolling out a staggering sum of £34.22m to injured players.
Another team with a landmark record on the list is Real Madrid, who recorded the highest number of absentees last season, numbering up to 114. The Merengues also dolled out £33.95m to injured players.
Reactions and Remedies
The stats are scary and clubs need to take drastic measures to combat the rate of injuries in their squad to bolster the team and also save fund.
The discussion and emphasis is currently centering around fixture congestion to relieve teams of tight and contested fixtures to allow enough rest for players.
Also, the research postulates that the cost incurred by clubs in servicing injury lists may prove unsustainable to European football as a whole in the long term.
This has called for a greater advocacy and activism on the part of some football managers calling on football organizing bodies to review match schedules due to the strain on their players.
According to Howden, the 2021-22 season was the first time the cost of servicing injuries by clubs crossed half a billion pounds in the top five leagues.
In the English Premier League, a break down of total absences due to injuries at the end of the 2021/22 football season showed that Manchester United topped the list with 81 absences, Liverpool, 80 absences and then Chelsea with 78. Champions, Manchester City came fourth with 67 absences.
The research also shows that there was a significant rise in injuries among players under the age of 21 – 326 in 2021-22 compared to just 30 in 2018-19.
Instances of recurring injuries was also recorded. 2,091 of the 4,810 injuries affected the same players at least twice in the year.
Injury prevention should be taken as a major and urgent concern by football administrators at various levels to ensure sustainability and also promote the well-being of players.