(WFI) English Premier League clubs splashed out around £485 million ($786m) in the summer transfer window – a 33% increase (£120m/$194m) on summer 2010.
Research by Deloitte’s sports business group revealed that EPL clubs concluded around £100m of deals by the close of the transfer window at midnight on Wednesday.
The equivalent deadline day figure for the January transfer window was around £135m; for summer 2010 it was around £35m.
Arsenal and Chelsea both rushed through deadline day signings, with Arsene Wenger signing Mikel Arteta from Everton for £10m and Andre Villas-Boas recruiting Raul Meireles from Liverpool for a similar fee.
Other significant EPL transfers included Peter Crouch’s move from Tottenham to Stoke City in a £12m deal, Craig Bellamy’s move from Manchester City for an undisclosed fee, and Spurs landing Scott Parker from West Ham for about £5m.
Arsenal, Chelsea, Liverpool, Manchester City and Manchester United have each exceeded £50m of transfer spending this summer.
These clubs have committed to around 66% of Premier League clubs’ transfer fees in the summer 2011 transfer window.
“Premier League clubs have spent around £485m which is significantly up on last summer and at a similar level to that seen in the busy summers of 2007 to 2009,” said Dan Jones, a partner in Deloitte’s sports division.
“This summer’s spending is largely focused amongst the top end Premier League clubs most strongly competing for domestic and European success and the consequent financial rewards.”
Transfer fees to overseas clubs were around £205m, 25% down on the level in summer 2010.
This represents 42% of total
transfer fees committed by Premier League clubs. This level of spending significantly exceeded transfer fees received from overseas clubs.
Deloitte said clubs in Spain, Belgium, Netherlands, France and Italy have benefited most this summer from the EPL’s overseas spending.
Deloitte points out an interesting trend that has emerged in the EPL’s spending on home-grown talent. Clubs invested around £165m on English players – about 34% of their total spending.
“The football authorities’ encouragement for home-grown
players has contributed towards the increased scale of fees for the transfer of young English talent this summer,” Jones said.
“The resurgence of transfer spending is also apparent in other top European leagues.
“Despite domestic difficulties delaying the start of their seasons, transfer spending is considerably up amongst clubs in Serie A and La Liga.”
This summer’s transfer spending raises questions about how many clubs will be able to comply with UEFA’s Financial Fair Play rules, which are being phased in over the next few years.
Commenting on the issue, Jones added: “As in England, in order to meet UEFA’s break-even requirements clubs will need an appropriate balance of revenue generation against these expenditures.”
On the continent, gross transfer spending by top-flight clubs topped last year’s investment; Italy (around £400m), Spain (around £300m) and France (around £165m).
Spending by top division clubs in Germany was at similar level to summer 2010.
Deloitte’s report revealed that the English Football League – the three tiers below the EPL – have spent around £30m in the summer.
Net of amounts received from EPL and overseas clubs, it said that Football League clubs benefited from a net inflow of around £60m this summer. In summer 2010 it was only £25m.
By INSIDER editor Mark Bisson
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