• Saturday, May 18, 2024
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In Numbers: How Premier League January spending slumps to £180m

Premier League January spending

Premier League clubs put the brakes on spending during the January transfer window with a total sum £180m, falling for the first time since 2012.

Top-flight teams prioritised loan deals, often with an option to buy in the summer, rather than permanent signings as club executives shy away from what one has described as being asked to pay crazy money for players.

Football managers and pundits described it as one of the quietest transfer windows experienced in almost a decade.

The spending of Premier League clubs in January accounted for 51% of transfer fees paid out by Europe’s top five leagues.

Nearly a third of the total expenditure was accounted for by Chelsea’s £55m outlay for Christian Pulisic from Borussia Dortmund.

2018 winter transfer window saw top flight clubs shell out £430m, with big money moves including Virgil van Dijk bought for £75m and Aymeric Laporte for £50m.

Most of the major transfers this January saw players leaving Premier League sides, with Brahim Diaz moving from Manchester City to Real Madrid for £15.5m, Mousa Dembele moving to Guangzhou R&F from Tottenham for £11m and Schalke shelling out £9.6m for Manchester City’s Rabbi Matondo.

Tim Bridge, director in the Sports Business Group at Deloitte, said: “As we approach a decisive phase of the season, Premier League clubs’ January transfer spending has been relatively muted in comparison to what we have seen in previous years.”

January spending was at £225m in 2011 but fell to £60m in the following year.

It doubled the following year, and remained steady at £130 in 2014 and 2015, before jumping to £175m, £215m and £430m over the last three seasons.

The £180m transfer bill means total gross spending by Premier League clubs in the 2018/19 season is an estimated £1.4bn, the second-highest season ever following record spend of £1.9bn in 2017/18.

Other findings from Deloitte included the so-called Big Six accounting for 43% of the January expenditure, lower than last January when this figure stood at 62%.

Equally, those in the bottom six of the table spent £20m compared to £70 in the same period last season.

Championship clubs spent £60m in the window, more than double last year’s total of £30m, Deloitte added.

Across the summer and January transfer windows combined, Premier League clubs spent an estimated £1.4 billion. That figure is the second highest for an entire season following record spend of £1.9 billion in 2017/ 2018.

The Premier League remains the highest importer of overseas talent, with 72% of the players bought by clubs in 2018-19 coming from abroad.

Chelsea completed the biggest signing with the acquisition of winger Christian Pulisic from Borussia Dortmund for £58m, but they loaned the USA international back to the Bundesliga leaders until the end of the season.

Chelsea also brought in Argentina striker Gonzalo Higuain on loan from Juventus for the remainder of the campaign – with the option to buy him outright for 36m euros (£31.4m) this summer.

Bournemouth were one of the busiest clubs, completing three deals. Striker Dominic Solanke came in from Liverpool for £19m, as did right-back Nathaniel Clyne on loan, while Wales defender Chris Mepham joined from Championship side Brentford for £12m.


Anthony Nlebem