Press releases

Premier League and Championship see transfer spending records tumble

1 September 2016

  • New Premier League summer transfer window spending record, as clubs exceed £1 billion for first time;
  • Clubs’ spending means 2016/17 season as a whole is already a new record;
  • Championship gross spending breaks previous record;
  • Record summer transfer deadline day Premier League spend of £155m;
  • Summer saw new record fee paid for a player by an English club.

The 2016 summer transfer window saw Premier League spending at a record level for the fourth consecutive year, according to analysis by Deloitte’s Sports Business Group. Following a record-breaking deadline day, Premier League clubs’ gross spending totalled £1.165 billion, a 34% increase on the previous record of £870m set last summer.

Dan Jones, Partner in the Sports Business Group at Deloitte, commented: “This is the fourth consecutive year the summer transfer spending record by Premier League clubs has been broken. At the start of the 2013/14 season, the summer transfer spending record had stood at £500m, and the fact that this record has more than doubled since then is a clear indicator of the financial growth of the league.

“As has been the case for a number of years now, the increases in broadcast revenue, with the 2016/17 season being the first of the new broadcast deal cycle, is the principal driver of this spending power. The increase in the value of these deals and the comparatively equal revenue distribution of these by the Premier League has again allowed clubs throughout the division to invest significantly in this summer’s market.

“For those clubs traditionally at the upper end of the table who have been investing most significantly, their commercial revenue growth has also been a critical enabler of the increases in spending.

“We also saw a new record level of Premier League summer deadline day spending this window, with £155m spent in the final 24 hours. This, when considered with a new overall spending record, as well as the fact this summer saw a new record for the highest fee paid for a player by any English club are further indicators of the ever increasing purchasing power of the Premier League.”

Jones continued: “Membership of the Premier League has never been as lucrative as it is today and as such we have seen this have knock-on effects in terms of the spending in the Championship. This summer saw a record £215m gross spend by Championship clubs, more than twice the previous record, driven by the investment of recently relegated clubs seeking an immediate return to the Premier League as well as by that of ambitious Championship clubs seeking entry to the world’s richest football league.”

Key findings from the analysis by Deloitte’s Sports Business Group include:

  • Premier League clubs have committed to around £1.165 billion in respect of player transfer fees in the summer 2016 transfer window, above the previous record £870m gross spend set last summer;
  • The average gross spend for a Premier League club in the 2016 summer window being c.£60m;
  • Premier League clubs concluded player acquisitions totalling around £155m on deadline day, a new record. The previous record, set during the summer 2013 window, was £140m. The deadline day figure in the summer 2015 window was around £90m;
  • Total gross spending by Premier League clubs in the calendar year 2016 is a new record. Premier League clubs spent a total of £1.34 billion on acquiring players during both the January (£175m) and summer 2016 windows;
  • The four Premier League clubs competing in this season’s UEFA Champions League - Arsenal, Leicester City, Manchester City and Tottenham Hotspur - had a combined gross transfer spend of c.£385m this summer transfer window, representing around a third of the aggregate gross transfer spend by Premier League clubs;
  • Gross transfer fees to overseas clubs from Premier League clubs were £720m, c.23% above that seen in summer 2015 (£585m). This represented 62% of aggregate gross transfer spend by Premier League clubs, as compared with 67% in summer 2015;
  • Across the other ‘big five’ top divisions of Europe, the next highest spending league was Serie A, with a gross spend of £590m. The Bundesliga was next with a gross spend of £460m, followed by La Liga with £400m and Ligue 1 with £165m;
  • Premier League clubs’ net transfer spend was £685m in summer 2016, being the net amount that flows to overseas clubs (£630m) and Football League clubs (£55m), was above the previous record of £460m set last summer;
  • Since the introduction of the transfer window system, gross player transfer spending has exceeded £8.6 billion, with over 80% of this being spent in summer transfer windows.

End

Note to editors

 

George Parrett
Deloitte LLP
+44 (0) 20 7007 7285
gparrett@deloitte.co.uk

Basis of preparation

The information on player transfers is based on publicly available information in respect of player registration acquisitions by clubs, including from www.bbc.co.uk and www.premierleague.com, and further analysis carried out by the Sports Business Group at Deloitte. The information is based on reported transfers as at 00:15 on 1 September 2016. Further commentary about the transfer market is included in the Deloitte Annual Review of Football Finance. The figures contained in this release will not necessarily be the same as the cost of acquiring players’ registrations as recognised in the financial statements of each club. Under accounting requirements, the cost of acquiring a player’s registration includes the transfer fee payable (including any probable contingent amounts), plus other direct costs such as transfer fee levy and fees to agents.

About the Sports Business Group at Deloitte
Over the last 20 years Deloitte has developed a unique focus on the business of sport. Our specialist Sports Business Group offers a multi-disciplined expert service with dedicated people and skills capable of adding significant value to the business of sport. Whether it is benchmarking or strategic business reviews, operational turnarounds, revenue enhancement strategies or stadium/venue development plans, business planning, market and demand analysis, acquisitions, due diligence, expert witness, audits or tax planning; we have worked with more clubs, leagues, governing bodies, stadia developers, event organisers, commercial partners, financiers and investors than any other adviser.

For further information on our services you can access our website at www.deloitte.co.uk/sportsbusinessgroup

About Deloitte
In this press release references to Deloitte are references to Deloitte LLP, which is among the country's leading professional services firms.

Deloitte LLP is the United Kingdom member firm of Deloitte Touche Tohmatsu Limited (“DTTL”), a UK private company limited by guarantee, whose member firms are legally separate and independent entities. Please see www.deloitte.co.uk/about for a detailed description of the legal structure of DTTL and its member firms.

The information contained in this press release is correct at the time of going to press.

Member of Deloitte Touche Tohmatsu Limited.

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