Premier League clubs had remarkably quiet January transfer windows, with the total spending in the league hitting $126 million. While this is still a large sum of money, it is just a fraction of the fees that these teams previously spent on new players. For reference, English top-flight clubs racked up over $1 billion in transfer fees during the same time in 2023.

Last January’s spending spree was highlighted by a series of massive moves from Chelsea. The Blues signed nine players in the month alone, with Enzo Fernandez’s $130 million move being the most expensive deal. This means that the West London club spent more on the midfielder last season than all of the Premier League teams combined this January.

Summer spending handcuffed Premier League clubs in January

The most expensive winter signing for English sides during the current campaign came from Tottenham Hotspur. Spurs signed Radu Dragusin for about $27 million from Genoa. While the final fee could be boosted by a few extra million in add-ons, it is still just a small slice compared to past deals.

In total, there were only 17 total permanent January signings in the Premier League. Another 13 loan deals, seven of which included buy options, were also completed as well. Nevertheless, Premier League teams recorded the lowest January spending during a non-COVID campaign in 12 years.

While January spending was down in the English division, transfer fees in the 2023/24 season overall were still high. A massive spending spree by these clubs in the summer aided the overall transfer record. Premier League teams combined to spend over $3 billion throughout the current campaign. This is the second-highest transfer spend ever in the division.

Summer spending hindered clubs from making more major moves during January. Premier League officials are cracking down on their teams racking up serious debt from overspending. Everton, Nottingham Forest and Manchester City are all facing charges of breaching Financial Fair Play (FFP) laws.

The Toffees have already received a 10-point penalty for recording losses that exceed the current limit. However, the Merseyside club picked up another charge just a month later. Forest and City will face an independent panel regarding the charges as well.

Spending likely to resume following the end of the season

As a result, clubs are undoubtedly being more careful with their spending in the transfer market. Everton’s aforementioned points punishment has certainly seemed to scare teams into resisting splashing cash on new players.

Deloitte’s Sports Business Group partner Tim Bridge echoed these sentiments in a recent interview. The financial company, among other things, tracks spending by sports teams from all over the world.

“The more prudent approach is likely driven by the high level of spend invested during the summer window but may also have been influenced by a heightened awareness of the Premier League’s financial regulations and the potential repercussions of non-compliance,” stated Bridge.

“Securing the highest quality player talent remains pivotal for Premier League clubs, but we’ve seen in this window that retention has been of higher priority than attraction.”

While January spending was down, experts believe that the trend is unlikely to continue. Premier League teams will spend significant money on new players during the summer months. Financial years run on a similar schedule as the Premier League. This upcoming July and August will be a new financial year, which means clubs can open up to spend more money.