INJURIES cost Europe’s top clubs a staggering half a BILLION pounds last season.
And Prem teams suffered more than any other league — with a record number of stars being sidelined.
The Premier League suffered sky-high numbers of crocked players
Chelsea had the most injury hit record in terms of player value per missed games
The Football Injury Index report reckons the high-pressing style is leaving it’s mark
Crocks and illness in the top flight rose by 30 per cent last term, according to the Football Injury Index report by analysts and insurance brokers Howden.
And while 181 of those were Covid-related absences, there were still 1,050 injuries, almost double the 562 in 2019-20.
Chelsea, with 97 injuries and ‘lost’ wages of £29.9million, were the worst hit.
And Howden said the trend may have decided the title race.
Liverpool, missing players on 80 occasions, suffered 13 more injuries than Manchester City — missing out on the title by a point — and were struggling for legs in their Champions League final defeat to Real Madrid.
The figures show Chelsea, Liverpool, Manchester United and City all had players out of action for around 1,100 days in the campaign.
James Burrows, head of sport at Howden, said: “This research confirms what leading club managers have been saying.
“Injuries are on the rise across Europe.
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“The reasons for this will be the subject of much debate — but Howden’s extensive research shows there’s a 20 per cent rise season on season in injured players.
“With football’s authorities currently negotiating the game’s calendar, the Injury Index provides a deep insight into the human and financial cost of congested fixture lists.
“It helps answer the question of whether there is just too much football played.”
But sky-high wages at Paris Saint-Germain, Barcelona and Real saw those three clubs have the biggest ‘cost’ of injured stars, with the French champions paying £34.2m to players unable to perform.
But the physical toll of the Prem suggests an aggressive style is a factor — and likely to be more of a concern after the World Cup.
The report said: “Despite undeniable advancements in sports science and physiotherapy, one possible explanation is the change in styles of play.
“A high-pressing style is perhaps leaving its mark.
“Compare this to the figures in Ligue 1 (691 in 2021-22) where the tempo is slower, and this explanation looks to ring true.”