London (AFP) – English Premier League clubs spent a record £1.4 billion ($1.8 billion, 1.5 billion euros) on players in a summer transfer window but were still living “well within their means” according to figures published by football analysts Deloitte on Friday.
The window, which closed in England on Thursday, also saw teams from English football’s top tier set a new deadline day spending record of £210 million.
The late splashing of cash took the league’s overall transfer spending figure since the very first transfer window in January 2003 past £10 billion.
The total amount spent by Premier League clubs in this transfer window was up 23 percent on last year’s record figure. Premier League clubs have also broken the record for spending in a single season (£1.430 million) and calendar year (£1.645 million).
But with several potential deals collapsing late on Thursday, the league’s net spend — the difference between the cost of players bought and sold — was £20 million below last summer’s record of £685 million.
Abu Dhabi-owned Manchester City spent the most of any Premier League club this window — £215 million — despite their bid for Arsenal’s Alexis Sanchez falling through, with £52 million going on signing full-back Benjamin Mendy from Monaco, a world record for a defender.
They were followed by Chelsea (£180 million), Manchester United (£145 million) and Everton (£145 million).
Only four clubs — Swansea City, Arsenal, Burnley and Stoke City — recorded net transfer receipts.
Belgium striker Romelu Lukaku’s £75 million move from Everton to United was the biggest single amount paid by any Premier League club for one player this window and represented more than half of the Red Devils’ spending.
– ‘No surprise’ –
But Deloitte’s Dan Jones insisted Premier League clubs’ spending was sustainable given a background of hugely increased revenues, particularly from broadcast rights.
“Premier League clubs have broken their own record for transfer expenditure for the sixth summer in a row,” said Jones.
“With the continued growth in clubs’ revenues, principally from broadcast rights, it is no surprise that Premier League clubs have continued to maintain their leading position in the world’s player transfer market,” he added.
“Importantly, and when analysed in the context of generating record broadcast, commercial and matchday revenues, Premier League clubs are spending well within their means.
“For the last 15 years, annual transfer spending has remained within the range of between a fifth and a third, and averaged at around a quarter, of total revenues.
“With Premier League clubs’ revenue showing no sign of decreasing in the foreseeable future, we would expect to see spending continue to rise.”
Despite Paris Saint-Germain spending a world record 222 million euros ($264 million) to sign Neymar from Barcelona, the Premier League remained the biggest overall transfer window purchaser among the big five European leagues, shelling out almost twice as much as the 800 million euros spent by Italy’s Serie A on new players.
The Spanish transfer window, however, does not close until late Friday.
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