Record spend for top-flight clubs

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Published: Tuesday 3rd February 2015 by The News Editor

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Premier League clubs spent a record £950million in the 2014-15 summer and winter transfer windows.

Spending in the 2015 winter market equalled the £130million invested the previous year. Deadline day had a low-key feel about it, but clubs still spent more on the final day of this window – £45million – than they did on 2014 deadline day (£35million).

The final figure of £130million was well down on the record winter spend of £225million in 2011, when Chelsea broke the record for a transfer between British clubs with their £50million purchase of Fernando Torres from Liverpool.

But the overall spend across the 2014-15 season puts the previous best of £760million from the 2013-14 season in the shade and underlines the increased buying power of English top-flight clubs as they benefit from enhanced broadcasting revenues.

Dan Jones, partner in the Sports Business Group at Deloitte, said: “Given the record level of spending seen in the summer, it is not entirely surprising that we haven’t seen a new record for the January window. However, with all Premier League clubs recording record revenues, we might have expected one or two more major deals in this window.

“Despite the relative restraint we have seen in the January window, 2014-15 is still a record season for Premier League spending. Last season saw Premier League spending surpass the £700million threshold for the first time, and the revenue growth at Premier League clubs is such that they have been able to record a combined transfer spend this season of over £950million.”

Some of the other key findings of Deloitte’s research were:

:: The acquisition of new players from overseas clubs accounted for £65million (50 per cent) of Premier League clubs’ gross transfer spending, followed by acquisitions from fellow Premier League clubs (£55million, 42 per cent), and acquisitions from Football League clubs (£10million, eight per cent).

:: Manchester City, Chelsea and Arsenal have been the biggest gross spenders in this window, accounting for around 50 per cent of the total Premier League spend.

:: In aggregate, Premier League clubs have now spent over £1.3 billion to acquire new players in the 13 January transfer windows (2003-15). On average, the clubs’ transfer spending in January is equivalent to around one-fifth of total transfer spending in each year.

:: Premier League clubs’ net transfer spend was around £40million (2014: £35million; 2013: £70million; 2012: £25million; 2011: £90million), this being the net amount that flows to overseas clubs and Football League clubs. Player transfers out of the Premier League generated around £30million of receivables for the clubs, including from the transfer of Andre Schurrle to Wolfsburg.

:: Over the past decade, Premier League clubs’ January transfer spending has typically exceeded that of other European leagues. This is due in part to the Premier League’s long-established mechanism that distributes broadcasting revenues on a more equal basis compared to the other big five leagues.

:: Top division clubs in Italy are the second-highest gross spenders this January, with total reported transfer spending of around 50 per cent of the Premier League total. Total transfer spending by top division clubs in both Germany and Spain was around 40 per cent of that by Premier League clubs. Meanwhile gross transfer spending by French clubs was around a quarter of that seen at Premier League clubs.

Published: Tuesday 3rd February 2015 by The News Editor

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