Press releases

Premier League clubs spend £215m in January window

1 February 2017

  • Total expenditure in this January’s transfer window second-highest ever;
  • Premier League clubs set new record for transfer expenditure in a single season;
  • Premier League clubs record net receipts for the first time ever in a transfer window.

Premier League clubs spent £215m in the January 2017 transfer window, according to analysis by Deloitte’s Sports Business Group. This estimate brings total gross spending by Premier League clubs for the 2016/17 season to almost £1.4 billion, surpassing the previous record of £1 billion set last season by one-third. For the first time ever in a transfer window, clubs in the Premier League recorded net transfer receipts, of £40m.

Dan Jones, partner in the Sports Business Group at Deloitte, commented: “Spending by Premier League clubs in this January’s transfer window totalled £215m, surpassing last year’s total of £175m as the second-highest ever, behind January 2011. The sales of Oscar, Dmitri Payet, Odion Ighalo and Memphis Depay, as well as around £20m worth of sales to Championship clubs, have helped Premier League clubs record net receipts for the first time in a transfer window.

“As was the case last year, it is clubs in the bottom half of the table who have driven expenditure this January, investing in their squads in an attempt to secure survival. This is no surprise given clubs’ reliance on the revenues generated from the Premier League’s broadcast deals.”

The total expenditure of clubs currently in the bottom six of the Premier League was £110m, representing 50% of total spending. This follows a similar pattern to last January, when 56% of total January expenditure came from the league’s eventual bottom six, and contrasts with the summer 2016 transfer window, when almost 60% of expenditure came from the league’s current top six.

Jones continued: “Expenditure in January 2017 took the Premier League’s total transfer expenditure for the 2016/17 season to almost £1.4 billion – an increase of 32% on 2015/16 and far in excess of any other league in world football.

“The spending activity by clubs in the Chinese Super League (CSL) has grabbed many headlines in recent weeks. CSL clubs have spent over £150m so far during their current off-season, which began in November 2016. However, with the CFA having recently announced that tighter regulations around player transfer and salary expenditure are to be introduced, as well as imposing limits on the number of foreign players allowed, it will be interesting to see whether CSL clubs match this level of expenditure in future off-seasons.”

Some of the key findings from the analysis of the January 2017 transfer window by Deloitte include:

  • Premier League clubs spent £215m to acquire new players in the January 2017 transfer window (2016: £175m; 2015: £130m; 2014: £130m; 2013: £120m; 2012: £60m). A summary of Premier League clubs’ player transfer fees spending for each of the previous January transfer windows (2003-2017) is set out in the chart below.
  • Premier League clubs recorded net transfer receipts of £40m. This is the first time ever in a transfer window that Premier League clubs have received more in transfer fees from overseas clubs and Football League clubs than they have paid out to those clubs (2016: net spend of £100m; 2015: £40m; 2014: £35m; 2013: £70m; 2012: £25m).
  • Clubs currently in the bottom six of the league accounted for 50% of total expenditure, with clubs currently in the bottom half of the table spending £145m (67% of total expenditure). 
  • Deadline day expenditure by Premier League clubs totalled £60m (2016: £40m), representing the highest deadline day spend since 2011 and the second-highest ever.
  • Championship clubs spent a total of £80m, an increase of more than 125% on last year’s total of £35m, and a new record for a January transfer window for the division. Championship clubs spent a record £40m on deadline day – the same amount spent by Premier League clubs on deadline day in January 2016.
  • The Premier League was once again the highest-spending league in European football during the January transfer window. The next-highest spending league was France’s Ligue 1, with total transfer expenditure of around £130m. Clubs in the German Bundesliga spent around £85m, with Italian Serie A clubs spending around £80m. Spanish La Liga clubs spent around £20m.

End

Notes to editors

Basis of preparation 
Deloitte has collated and analysed clubs' player transfer fees for each transfer window since January 2003. 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 00:30 GMT on 1 February 2017. 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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