Written by: Keith Tully
Published: 4th February 2015
Football clubs in the English Premier League spent a combined total of more than £950 million on player recruitment over the course of the past year, according to the latest figures on the subject compiled by the Deloitte Sports Business Group.
The latest transfer window in which the 20 clubs of the Premier League could buy and sell players proved to be less active than in some previous seasons but the amounts spent over the course of the year nonetheless reached a new record high.
The top English and Welsh clubs spent £130 million in an effort to improve their playing squads in the January transfer window, which was precisely the same amount as was spent during the corresponding period of 2014. However, both years saw far less cash splashed than January 2011 when £225 million was spent on reinforcements by clubs in the Premier League.
“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,” commented Dan Jones, a partner with Deloitte’s Sports Business Group.
“However, with all Premier League clubs recording record revenues, we might have expected one or two more major deals in this window.”
Both revenues and overall spending on players continues to rise each year among Premier League football clubs. The current season saw £950 million spent on player transfers, with the season before having been the first to see overall spending go beyond the £700 million mark.
There were a range of interesting findings detailed in Deloitte’s report on the most recent Football League transfer window, not least the fact that three clubs, namely Arsenal, Manchester City and Chelsea, accounted for 50 per cent of all money spent in the period. Around £45 million was spent on the final day of the window and 50 per cent of all the money spent in the month went on overseas recruitments.
January transfer windows were first introduced in 2003 and in the 13 years since there has been a total of £1.3 billion spent on players at this time of year by Premier League clubs. On average, each club in the league will do around of fifth of all their transfer dealings during the winter window, with the remaining 80 per cent of transfer dealings typically done during summer months.
Spending on player transfers in January tends to considerably higher among top English clubs than is the case in any other country in Europe. The second biggest spenders across the continent in the first month of each year tend to be from Italy but Serie A spending is only usually worth roughly half of that taken on by their Premier League counterparts.