Welcome to the inaugural Sport360 Premier League Stock Exchange – or 360SE for short.
Now, this is not a market which will command your life quite in the way the real thing does, but we’ve decided to add a little twist to the usual rankings you’ll see elsewhere.
Using club reputation and squad worth, we’ve assigned an initial ‘stock’ value to each of the 20 Premier League sides and once the 38-game slog kicks off, it will shift into a rolling, performance-based rankings system.
After each gameweek, we’ll focus only on output and results to assign a new value – higher or lower – to assess the best and the rest.
For example, if Manchester City beat Cardiff City, that’s an expected result so the Citizens’ stock will rise from, say, 500 to 502 while the newly promoted sides would remain at 200.
Conversely, if the defending champions lost, then their value would fall to 480 while Cardiff’s is boosted to 225.
Bear in mind, this is subjective rather than pure science but it will be interesting to see how the table will look come May 2019.
Below is how the 360SE looks before heading into the first clash of the season as Manchester United host Leicester City at Old Trafford on Friday night.
The new-look summer transfer window in the Premier League could lead to increased spending in January, according to a leading industry analyst.
The window closed on Thursday night, the eve of the new top-flight season. There was a late flurry of activity led by Everton and Fulham, but overall spending was reduced.
The 20 top-flight clubs – or 19 of them, with Tottenham inactive all summer – combined to spend £110million on deadline day and £1.23billion over the window as a whole, compared to £210m and £1.43bn 12 months ago.
Tim Bridge of Deloitte’s sport business group is awaiting the knock-on effect of the earlier closing of the window.
Bridge told Press Association Sport: “The fact that clubs are not able to make purchases on the back of three or four results feels to be a healthy move, in terms of the financial stability of the league.
“The key question for me is if you take a team that last year lost its first three games and then purchased heavily on the last day of the window – does that mean that that spending is going to flick across to January?
“Does that mean therefore that January is going to be a much more active market? (But) the market in January is much more challenging, does that mean that the transfer values are going to stay at a relatively lower level?
“Nothing would surprise you in the way Premier League clubs work – if they were to go out and spend a lot in January, you wouldn’t be surprised.”
For the first time since the summer of 2010 Premier League transfer spending has fallen, Deloitte report reveals. Still at a massive £1.23bn pic.twitter.com/PZsgVY3Mob— James Benge (@jamesbenge) August 9, 2018
Last season’s January window saw Premier League clubs spend £430m – almost double the previous January record of £225m in 2011 when strikers Fernando Torres and Andy Carroll joined Chelsea and Liverpool respectively.
“The 17-18 season, the spending in January was massive in comparison to other years,” said Bridge.
“We’d had anomalous years in the past, with the Andy Carroll transfer and that sort of thing, but January has traditionally been a difficult month to make a lot of headway in the transfer market.”
Despite the slight reduction in this summer’s gross figure, Premier League clubs’ net spend stands at a record £865m – but that figure could be reduced with the window still open throughout the rest of Europe.
It remains to be seen whether other leagues will follow suit in future years by closing the window before the season begins. The window in Italy closes on August 17, the day before the Serie A campaign begins.
Bridge added: “Clubs around Europe may feel this gives them an advantage in the transfer market so they may have a desire to leave their transfer window where it is.
“It gives them time to compete in the market without the Premier League.
“Have the European clubs been holding back, almost, and waiting for the Premier League window to close? It’s quite intriguing really.”
The 25-year-old, a target for Manchester United, starred as England reached the semi-finals in Russia, where Puel believes his player announced himself as “one of the best” centre-halves in the world.
Puel was not exactly watching through his fingers but when asked if he expected other clubs to want to sign Maguire on the back of his displays this summer, the Frenchman admitted he was not surprised.
“Yes, of course I did. It’s a difficulty but my first feeling was that it is amazing for this player to show their quality and it’s good publicity for Leicester,” said Puel, who feels Maguire now has the confidence that he belongs on the world stage.
“When he came back after the World Cup he could maybe feel almost cocky. He could have been, but he’s not. He came back with humility and with desire and will.
“He is one of the best, there are a lot of good players from this World Cup, but he showed a good attitude like the man he is.”
Maguire is thought to have been Manchester United’s number one transfer target as they looked to sign a central defender ahead of Thursday’s transfer deadline.
Talks between the two clubs reportedly took place but the move did not materialise and Maguire is likely to play against United at Old Trafford when the new Premier League season begins on Friday night.
Puel outlined some of the qualities he thought made Maguire of interest to United.
He said: “I was happy with the progress of Harry in the second half of last season. He played with consistency and good progress, was strong in his defensive aspect and with quality to start with the ball.
“I like a player with a possibility to start from the back and Harry is this player. He showed this in the national team.
“He’s a fantastic player and a fantastic man because he listens a lot, he wants to improve, he has a good personality and character but always with good respect for the staff and his team-mates.”