Are The Big Clubs Broke ?
Barring a flood of deals in the last couple of days, this will go down as one of the quietest transfer windows in recent years. So far there have been very few actual sales with the majority of deals being short-term loan stints with options to buy later. The biggest deals I’ve seen announced have been in the £3m range, which is far cry from last January. The Premier League clubs alone spent over £175m last January.
By far, there has been more written and said about the state of clubs finances. Typical big spenders like Manchester United and Liverpool are facing some harsh debt loads and despite the spin coming from both clubs, it appears they have no real transfer budget to work with. I can understand clubs like Real Madrid and Barcelona not spending big. Real already spent massively in the summer and they need to trim down their squad not add to it. Barcelona are cruising along nicely and are concerned about disrupting chemistry. But where are Juventus, AC Milan, Bayern Munich, Lyon and some of the other perennial Champions League contenders? Even Chelsea, whose owner ‘wrote off’ their debt have not made any moves despite facing a transfer ban this summer and next January as well.
It’s been very quiet with only the rumour mills working overtime. Are the big club’s finances worse than they are letting on ? I’ve been reading David Conn’s columns on the financial situation that Manchester United are facing. I recommend reading his piece on the gloom facing the entire Premier League, it is quite sobering. There are many other thought-provoking articles such as this one from Simon Wilson in MoneyWeek. With UEFA’s Financial Fair Play initiative on the horizon, it is possible that clubs are trying to curtail their spending so that they are not excluded from the lucrative Champions League competition.
What are your thoughts on the lack of transfer deals?