Premier League spending surpasses €1 billion for fifth straight summer
Premier League clubs have spent more than €1 billion on combined transfers for the fifth summer in a row. This figure shows the incredible spending power of clubs in England's top flight as it dwarfs transfer spend from other major leagues around Europe. In comparison, La Liga has spent around €600 million this summer while Bundesliga clubs have splashed out €415 million and Ligue 1 clubs just €375 million.
With just under two weeks left for Premier League clubs to acquire their targets before the new early closing date of the transfer window on August 9th, this figure is sure to increase dramatically by deadline day. However, there is still some way to go before this summers spend catches the all-time record of €1.6 billion spent by English top-flight clubs last summer.
The €1 billion transfer spend barrier was first broken by Premier League clubs back in the summer of 2014 and has been increasing year on year ever since. That summer, Angel Di Maria was the league's most expensive arrival, joining Manchester United for €75 million. He joined Falcao, Luke Shaw, Ander Herrera, Marcos Rojo, and Daley Blind in arriving at Old Trafford as United spent almost €200 million on new players.
Four clubs, including Manchester United, spent more than €100 million on transfers in 2014 - Arsenal (€101 million), Chelsea (€106 million), and Liverpool (€151 million). Now the precedent had been set there was no turning back. In February 2015, Sky and BT Sports announced a record television deal for the rights to broadcast the Premier League in the UK. The deal was worth over €6.5 billion and provided English top flight clubs with spending power far in excess of their continental rivals.
However, there were consequences for England's elite teams. Clubs around the world wanted a piece of the pie and started quoting extraordinary prices when Premier League sides came knocking for their assets. In the summer of 2015, seven out of the ten most expensive transfers were from players bought by Premier League clubs. That summer, spending by English top-flight teams surpassed €1.2 billion.
The trend continued in the summer of 2016 when English sides parted with €1.37 billion to bring in new players. Paul Pogba's world-record €105 million return to Manchester United was the headline transfer from that summer. Arsenal and Machester City joined United in spending over €100 million on players during that transfer window while traditionally smaller clubs such as Leicester, West Ham, Watford, and Crystal Palace spent over €60 million each on new players.
Last summer witnessed the biggest outlay by Premier League sides yet. No fewer than six players arrived at their new English clubs for fees in excess of €50 million. Chelsea and Manchester City broke the €200 million mark while Everton became the first club outside of the top six to spend more than nine figures on new players, spending an astonishing €158 million. In total, Premier League teams spend a combined €1.6 billion.
While the €1 billion barier has been broken again this summer, it has felt like a surprisingly quiet transfer window for English clubs thus far. Only Liverpool has spent more than €100 million on new players and it seems like we are still waiting for this window to burst into life.
With just under two weeks remaining, there will need to be some major movement if the trend of ever-increasing transfer spend by England's elite clubs is to continue.
All figures and data for this article were obtained from Transfermarkt.com.