According to a report published by City of London insurance firm Howden Group Holdings Limited, top football clubs in Europe were hit with a massive $767 million cost incurred on players who suffered injuries with the Qatar World Cup contributing significantly to their injuries.
The amount represents a nearly 30% annual jump in the cost to clubs of seeing their players sit on the sidelines.
Howden Group Holdings report further showed that big clubs in Europe’s top five leagues suffered $767 million hit from injuries in the 2022/23 season, up from $605.9 million the previous season. The report calculates the cost of injuries from players’ salaries and the amount of time they are injured.
Premier League clubs took the biggest hit, accounting for over 40% of the cost across the five big leagues in Europe. Two months after the World Cup in Qatar, there were 49 injuries in the Premier League, more than in any other top division. Germany’s Bundesliga was second, with 46 injuries.
The report also highlights that players who participated in the Qatar World Cup spent an average time of eight days out on injuries in January 2023 compared to before the tournament in October 2022. Knee injuries proved to be the most expensive, costing $590,000 per player.
Spanish LaLiga giant Real Madrid and Manchester United were among the most affected, as both teams had a combined total of 141 injuries over the 2022/23 season.
The decision to hold the 2022 World Cup in Qatar during winter instead of its traditional June and July date, which coincided with clubs’ off-season break, led to fixture congestion and players playing under extremely hot temperatures, leading to players breaking down to injuries.
Some of the matches included water breaks to combat fatigue. However, this resulted in players participating in an increased number of games throughout the season.