JLT research finds premier league clubs hit by spike in World Cup player injuries

06 February 2019

  • Players who participated in 2018 World Cup in Russia injured 112 times so far in 2018-19
  • Number of total Premier League injuries higher than any previous season
  • Total cost of Premier League injuries so far exceeds £130m, on track to beat previous record

Premier League Clubs have seen a 44% increase in injuries to players who competed in last summer’s World Cup in Russia, according to new research from specialist insurance broker and risk consultant JLT Specialty (JLT). 
Manchester City, who provided more players to World Cup squads than any club in the tournament’s history (16), has been the worst affected, suffering 27 separate injuries to World Cup players, costing 617 combined days lost in training and matches. Their title rivals Liverpool have suffered a comparatively low 12 injuries to World Cup players, with a total of 128 days out.

Both the frequency and severity of injuries for World Cup players has increased this season, with the number of injuries surging from 78 in 2017/18 to 112 in 2018/19 and the average number of days out per injury rising from 17 to 21 days for those who played in Russia. Injuries in August and December also increased significantly from the average between 2011-2018.

 Premier League injuries per month stats

In its latest Premier League Injury Index, representing the 2018-19 season (up to 22 January), JLT calculates that the cost of injuries to Premier League clubs so far is more than £130m, on track to beat last year’s season-end total of £213m. The total number of Premier League injuries has also increased from this point last season to 478, the highest of any season on record since the 2014/15 season.

The top six clubs have been especially hard hit, all leading the pack in terms of total number of injuries as well as Premier League points, and also shoulder the majority of the cost burden with almost £70m spent on injured players between them, compared to £60.9m for the other 14 teams. With England stars Harry Kane and Dele Alli both out injured, Tottenham are one of the top six that have been badly affected by the World Cup, seeing a total of 931 days out for all players, the second highest behind West Ham (1,156 days).

Top Six Comparisons:

 Club  Points  Total Number of Injuries  Total Days Out  Total cost of Injuries
 Liverpool  61  35  709  £9,379,500
 Manchester City  59  30  870  £17,016,278
 Tottenham Hotspurs  57  33  931  £9,337,756
 Chelsea  50  31  545  £6,635,040
 Manchester United  48  40  718  £13,954,218
 Arsenal  47  32  844  £13,622,278

Duncan Fraser, Head of Sport at JLT Specialty, commented: “Starting next season, the newly introduced winter break cannot come soon enough for Premier League clubs. The lack of a break this season, coupled with the exertions and fatigue of a draining World Cup, has combined to create the most injury-ravaged and costly Premier League season yet.”

“It is unsurprising the top six are feeling the pain the most, with the majority of World Cup players being sourced from clubs higher up the ranking table. The fact that this hasn’t led to any of the clubs dropping out of the key European tournaments is a testament to the strength and depth of modern elite squads”.

“Alongside changes in training methods and the adoption of new technology, clubs are increasingly looking at alternative insurance solutions to claim back some of an injured player’s salary or even loss of value in the event of an extended time on the sidelines.”

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JLT Group 
Corinne Gladstone
Group PR Manager 
+44 (0) 20 7895 7705
+44 (0) 7799 340658

JLT Specialty
Bahareh Green
JLT Specialty
+44 (0) 20 7528 4286
+44 (0) 7754 868151

Jack Curry / Alice Osborn / Brian Sztukowski 
+44 (0) 20 7269 1430

Injury data was collected for every competitive match played by the Premier League teams between 1st July 2018 and 23rd January 2019, all data was collected from public sources. The key data sources were Transfermarkt, Physioroom, and Sky Sports. Only injuries which caused players to miss at least one game were counted for the purpose of this report. Injury cost represents the fixed salary paid by the club to the injured player during their absence; we have partnered with Sporting Intelligence to estimate this cost for every injury.

About Jardine Lloyd Thompson
Jardine Lloyd Thompson is one of the world’s leading providers of insurance, reinsurance and employee benefits related advice, brokerage and associated services. JLT’s client proposition is built upon its deep specialist knowledge, client advocacy, tailored advice and service excellence.

JLT is quoted on the London Stock Exchange and owns offices in 41 countries with more than 10,600 employees. Supported by the JLT International Network, it offers risk management and employee benefit solutions in 135 countries.

JLT Specialty Limited (JLT Specialty) is a specialist insurance broker and risk consultant, providing market leading industry knowledge and expertise in specialist fields to some of the world's largest companies.

For further information about JLT, please visit our website www.jltspecialty.com