Financial News

  • 2 September 2014, 13:25

Premier League Clubs Smash Spending Records

Premier League clubs spent a record 835m in the summer transfer window that closed on Monday, a 30% increase on the previous highest figure set last summer.

The huge surge, up almost 60% on two seasons ago, is driven by record domestic and international broadcast deals, which are worth more than 5bn over three seasons.

Clubs spent 85m on the final day alone - with Manchester United's signing of Colombian striker Radamel Falcao the most high-profile acquisition, and England striker Danny Welbeck's 16m move to Arsenal the most notable departure from Old Trafford.

United's spending of 153.1m in this window is the highest ever gross spend by a Premier League club, and a clear indication of the desperation at Old Trafford to reverse the decline of last season.

Falcao cost just 6m of that, representing the loan fee to Monaco, but with wages of more than 250,000 a week, the total could reach 20m for just one season.

Spending was dominated by United and the four Champions League teams: Arsenal, Chelsea, Liverpool and Manchester City. Together, they had a gross transfer spend of more than 490m.

The majority of total spending flowed out of the English game, with 530m going to overseas clubs. Of the net spend of 410m, 350m went to foreign clubs.

Across the other "big five" top divisions of Europe, the next highest-spending league was La Liga, with a gross spend of 425m. Serie A was next with a gross spend of 260m, followed by the Bundesliga with 250m, and Ligue 1 with 100m.

It was a chastening window for young English talent, with some of the most promising home-grown players of the last decade left out of favour or moved on by leading clubs.

Welbeck's move to Arsenal at least ensures that one of the brightest products of United's youth system will continue to play at the highest level, but others were not so fortunate.

Teammate Tom Cleverley could not engineer a move after turning down personal terms from Aston Villa, and is likely to find himself at the back of a long queue to get into Louis Van Gaal's first team.

Dan Jones, partner in the Sports Business Group at Deloitte, said: "We continue to see the increased resources that Premier League clubs enjoy, as a result of improved broadcast deals, translate into investment in players.

"Last season, the average Premier League club received over 25m more in central broadcast distributions than they did in 2012/13, which has helped fuel a new record spend this summer.

"With Premier League clubs in a stronger position to afford increased transfer and player costs than ever before, the key challenge remains pursuing their ambitions responsibly.

"Regulations are now in place at both a league and continental level encouraging clubs to balance their costs with revenue.

"We hope that while increased revenues continue to allow the league to attract top players, they will also result in a more profitable picture across the league in the years to come."