At a time when the whole world is going through a period in which there is really not too much money to spend, football, especially in the Premier League, seems to be immune to all of this. A new bumper £5.5b TV deal with Sky and BT, has helped strengthen pursues. This transfer window saw so many records being smashed and on the back of the TV deal, it looks like that is all set to be the norm.
Purse strings were loosened this summer as English clubs spent a record £670m, eclipsing a previous high of £490m. The nouveau riche clubs of Monaco and PSG couldn’t compete with Premier League clubs as the English went on a never-ending spending spree, which continued even after the deadline day had passed. Even the net spend of the clubs was over £430 million, which is again yet another record, shattering the previous record of £250 million, set last summer.
The reason for this spending spree was clearly explained by Alex Thorpe, a consultant of the Deloitte Sports Business Group, when he said, “This is the first year that Premier League clubs will benefit financially from the league’s new broadcast deals.”
Thorpe went on to say that as clubs income increases, their willingness to spend will, as well. He added that proof of this can be seen in the, “the gulf in net spending between the Premier League and other European leagues.”
Thorpe was true in that sense, as Premier League clubs spent almost double the amount of money as the Serie A clubs, who lie second in the table of expenditure, this transfer window having spent little over £360m, followed by La Liga, whose clubs have spent a smidgen over £350m.
Late deals for Mesut Ozil (Arsenal) and Marouane Fellaini (Manchester United) on deadline day rounded off a busy three months for clubs, which saw nine clubs breaking their transfer record over the summer, with some even breaking them multiple times in the same window. On deadline day alone, over £140m was spent on transfers, which was up £30m on the corresponding figure from last year.
Surprisingly, the biggest spending club in England wasn’t Manchester City, but Tottenham Hotspur, who spent all of the money they got for Gareth Bale and a trifle more as well on Roberto Soldado, Erik Lamela, Paulinho and Christian Eriksen, to name a few.
Whilst Arsenal signalled their intent to spend big with the £42.5m signing of Ozil from Real Madrid on transfer deadline day; it was incidentally, the biggest transfer fee spent on a player by a Premier League club this summer.
Manchester United left it very late, with their £27.5m capture of Fellaini on deadline day, Chelsea did their business early on, having sealed deals for midfielders Willian and Andre Schurrle for £30m and £18m respectively and remain at the top of the spending table for the last 10 years, having laid out a staggering £758m.
But more than the top four clubs, it was the mid-table clubs, who flexed their financial muscles and added to their squad. While the top four clubs increased their expenditure by 5%, the rest of the league increased theirs by such a large extent, that, the overall increase in expenditure in the Premier League, was 29%. Sunderland, Southampton and Norwich City all spent a lot of money to ensure their survival in the league and also push on to bigger and brighter things.
It is easy to ascertain the reason behind the sudden increase in expenditure among Premier League clubs; the fact is that as the financial rewards in the Premier League increases, the money spent by clubs is also bound to take an upward trajectory as they seek to benefit from the remarkable growth of the world’s most watched league.