An interesting study from the CIES Football Observatory has rated all Premier League Clubs from the ‘Most stable’ at the top, to the ‘least stable’ at the bottom.
It is part of a wider study of all European clubs, with a table published (see below) comparing all clubs in the top five European leagues (English, French, Spanish, Italian and German).
There is also a table published for those clubs in Europe outside the ‘Big Five’ leagues.
The definition for stability is the average length of time players taking part in league matches this season, have been in the first team squad at their respective club.
In general terms, the most stable clubs tend to be the most successful.
Only three teams in Europe have fielded this season players who have been in the first team squad more than five years on average: Real Madrid (5.84 years), Barcelona (5.36) and Bayern Munich (5.26).
As you can see below, Tottenham (3.89 years) are fifth in the big five European leagues, the highest placed English club.
In contrast, Fulham (1.12 years) are the 13th least stable in the main five European leagues.
Premier League clubs table, the most stable to least stable – Average number of years a club’s players have been in the first team squad:
2.99 Man City
2.06 Newcastle United
1.62 West Ham
As you can see, Newcastle have an average of 2.06 years, making them the 13th most stable.
Obviously there is a link between promoted clubs and where they are placed in this table, all six clubs to have been promoted these past two seasons are in the bottom half.
The key to building a successful and stable squad, appears to be recruiting the right players and retaining them, then only needing to make smaller numbers of signings in future seasons.
Bournemouth and Watford are third and sixth top in the table above and both have made a good start to the season.
For Newcastle, if Rafa Benitez had been properly backed, then it is likely that at least in the short-term the club would have been even lower down this stability table. However, with such limited funds, Rafa hasn’t been able to make as many changes since promotion as he would have liked to – thus helping to keep up the average number of years in the first team squad.
A huge number of players left after relegation in summer 2016, so no wonder the average is just over the two year mark, with so many of this current squad being players who were recruited to get promotion in that 2016/17 season.
As for Fulham at the bottom, they have made massive changes this summer from their promotion team and maybe at least up to a point, their poor early form is down to making too many changes to the team/squad in such a short space of time.