(Reuters) – Premier League clubs spent 295 million pounds ($397 million) in the January transfer window — the most since 2018 — with the bottom five teams accounting for more than 50% of expenditure, Deloitte said in a report published on Tuesday.
The gross spend in the English top flight was more than four times higher than that during January 2021 where only 70 million pounds were spent by teams, making this year’s January transfer window spend the second highest since 2003.
The midfield pair of Donny van de Beek and Dele Alli were handed chances to rebuild their faltering careers at 16th-placed Everton after making moves on Monday’s transfer deadline day.
Relegation-threatened Newcastle United were also active following their takeover by Saudi Arabia’s Public Investment Fund, signing Brazilian Bruno Guimaraes from Olympique Lyonnais for around 40 million euros ($45.03 million) among other deals.
Deloitte’s Sports Business Group added that Premier League spending accounted for nearly 50% of gross expenditure across Europe’s ‘big five’ leagues.
“This transfer window indicates the financial pressures of COVID on Premier League clubs are easing, with spending firmly back to pre-pandemic levels and remarkably among the highest we’ve ever seen in January,” Dan Jones, head of the Sports Business Group at Deloitte, said in a statement.
“The Premier League continues to lead the way globally, retaining its status as the world’s biggest domestic football league in financial terms, again supported by full stadia and securing strong overseas broadcast deals.
“Other large European leagues are also edging back to higher spending, but it is Premier League clubs that have notched up the largest total spend in this transfer window, spending almost 150 million pounds more than Serie A clubs, the closest competitor.”
Premier League clubs recruited 36 players overall in the window, down in comparison to an average of 42 during the January 2018-20 windows, but up by 16 from 2021.
($1 = 0.7423 pounds)
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(Reporting by Shrivathsa Sridhar in Bengaluru; Editing by Christian Radnedge)