Ajax squad cost: How does Europe’s surprise package rank amongst the giants?
The name Ajax Amsterdam now strikes fear in the hearts of Europe’s elite.
However, that wasn’t the case a decade ago. The Dutch side hadn't reached the knockout rounds of the Champions League since 2005-06.
This season’s fairytale underlines how great Erik Ten Hag's side is, having cruised past two of Europe’s greatest squads, Juventus and holders Real Madrid.
Ajax overturned a first-leg deficit by thrashing Los Blancos 4-1 at the Santiago Bernabeu, winning 5-3 on aggregate. This is before silencing the much-dreaded Juventus 3-2 on aggregate in the quarterfinals.
The Dutch story continues with Ajax now leading Tottenham Hotspur 1-0 after beating the Premier League outfit at their new Stadium on Tuesday. The results seem overwhelming for a squad that has just been assembled on a diminutive amount of money.
Game Yetu now compares the ‘cheap’ squad that is tearing Europe apart with the insanely spending giants.
Paris Saint Germain (82 billion Kenya Shillings)
Since Qatar Sports Investments purchased the French club in 2012, three successive last 16 exits mean PSG are nowhere near their dream of winning the Champions League despite the aggressive spending.
The Ligue 1 boast of players like Neymar, Kylian Mbappe, Edinson Cavani, Thiago Silva and Leandro Paredes, with the initial cost of the whole squad amounting to approximately Sh82 billion.
Manchester City (77.2 billion Kenya Shillings)
Pep Guardiola’s side is another example of Arab investment in football, one which has seen the club shoot from mid-table contenders to champions of the Premier League.
Financially, the Manchester-based club have been consistent in spending, since Sheikh Al Mansour purchased the club, with almost half of their squad members commanding more than 35 million euros.
They have one of the most expensive fringe players in the world in Riyad Mahrez who cost them 69m euros from Leicester City and one of the most expensive defences in football costing a combined 187 million euros.
Manchester United (74.8 billion Kenya shillings)
The hiring of 1999 Champions League hero Ole Gunnar Solskjaer as permanent manager this season sparked hope among faithful but the sacking of former manager Jose Mourinho highlighted just how big-spending Manchester United are.
The Portuguese reportedly walked away with £22.5m, and that doesn’t include the money used to build their squad. The current squad cost an incredible total of ksh 74.8 billion with €189.9m spent on Paul Pogba and Romelu Lukaku alone.
Liverpool (67.2 Billion Kenya shillings)
The Merseyside based side may have purchased Loris Karius for a mere £4.7m fee but stepped up to bring in €75 million goalkeeper Alisson after Karius’ horror show in last season’s UCL final.
High profile arrivals like Virgil van Dijk, Naby Keita and Fabinho have seen the club’s expenditure escalate in recent times.
Barcelona (64.8 billion Kenya Shillings)
The arrivals of Philippe Coutinho for €120m and Ousmane Dembele for €105m took the Catalans’ spending on a new high despite the club using less money to acquire most of their star players in the past.
Real Madrid (53.7 billion Kenya Shillings)
Florentino Perez’s leadership has seen the club spend large amounts of money to bring in star players which has earned them five Champions League titles plus the name ‘the Galacticos’ for their star signings.
However, the departure of Cristiano Ronaldo seems to have brought the club’s expenditure down
Juventus (48 Billion Kenya Shillings)
The 100-million-euro summer arrival of Cristiano Ronaldo stands out in Turin, but the purchases of significantly older players have brought down their spending. The likes of Martin Caceres, Andrea Barzagli, Leonardo Bonucci and Blaise Matuidi arrived in after their 30th birthday, making deals much cheaper for Juventus to complete.
Tottenham Hotspur (35.4 billion Kenya shillings)
Over the years, Tottenham have been known as mild spenders, which was evident recently when they became the first Premier League club not to make a single signing in back-to-back transfer windows.
But the price tags of players like Moussa Sissoko who arrived from Newcastle, Erik Lamela who came in from Roma and Lucas Moura from PSG are believed to be responsible for the 34.4-billion-shilling figure.
Ajax Amsterdam (10.7 billion Kenya shillings)
Erik Ten Hag's side’s Champions League squad cost them just Sh10 billion, with many of their players coming in for a small fee or for nothing. Most of their players are homegrown including Wednesday’s goalscorer Donny Van de Beek, Matthijs de Ligt, Noussair Mazraoui, among others.
Surprisingly, new Barcelona signing Frenkie de Jong arrived for as little as 113.36 Kenyan Shillings (€1). The cost of the likes of Daley Blind and Dusan Tadic is responsible for the 10.7-billion-shilling sum.
At 10.7-billion-shillings, Ajax are way below the giants they have managed to stun in this season’s Champions League.
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