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Total January spend of £175m sees Premier League transfer spending surpass £1 billion in a season for the first time

2 February 2016

Premier League clubs spent £175m in the January 2016 transfer window, according to analysis by Deloitte, the business advisory firm. This brings the total gross spending by Premier League clubs for the 2015/16 season to over £1 billion, a new record. This surpasses the previous season record of £965m, set last season.

Dan Jones, partner in the Sports Business Group at Deloitte, commented: “Premier League clubs have chosen to spend significantly in this year’s January transfer window, in what has been the biggest January window for five years. A total spend of £175m this window has contributed to Premier League clubs passing the £1 billion threshold for spending in a season for the first time.

“Notably, this January’s spending has been driven in large part by clubs in the bottom half of the table. The promise of the new broadcast deal for Premier League clubs from next season onwards and the threat of missing out through relegation is contributing to clubs investing in an attempt to stay in the league.”

The combined spend by those clubs currently in the bottom six was £90m this January, representing more than half of total Premier League spending. Last year those clubs that found themselves in the bottom six on transfer deadline day had a gross transfer spend of £20m during that window, representing less than 20% of the Premier League total in January 2015.

Alexander Thorpe, senior manager in the Sports Business Group at Deloitte commented: “As the prospect of increased revenue from the new broadcast deals starting next season has encouraged clubs at the lower end of the Premier League to invest this window, so too have we seen significant spending by those clubs aspiring to Premier League status with spending by Championship clubs totalling over £30m this January.”

Some of the key findings from the analysis of the January 2016 transfer window by Deloitte, include:

  • Premier League clubs spent £175m to acquire new players in the January 2016 transfer window (2015: £130m; 2014: £130m; 2013: £120m; 2012: £60m; 2011:
    £225m). A summary of Premier League clubs’ player transfer fees spending for each of the previous January transfer windows (2003-16) is set out in the chart below.
  • This January saw the highest ever total spend by Premier League clubs on players from overseas clubs of £110m, compared with £65m in January 2015. The amount of business between Premier League clubs fell compared with January 2015, accounting for 26% of gross spending (£45m) this window, compared with £55m in January 2015. The acquisition of new players from Football League clubs totalled (£20m, 11%).
  • Premier League clubs concluded around £40m of player transfer fees on deadline day, slightly less than was seen on the January deadline day last year (2015: £45m).
  • Newcastle United, Norwich City and Watford have been the biggest gross spenders in this window, accounting for around 40% of the total transfer spending by Premier League clubs.
  • In aggregate, Premier League clubs have now spent over £1.4 billion to acquire new players in the 14 January transfer windows (2003-16). On average, the clubs’ transfer spending in January is equivalent to around one-fifth of total transfer spending in each year.
  • Premier League clubs’ net transfer spend was around £100m (2015: £40m, 2014:
    £35m; 2013: £70m; 2012: £25m; 2011: £90m), being the net amount that flows to overseas clubs and Football League clubs. Player transfers out of the Premier League generated around £30m of receivables for the clubs.
  • Championship clubs’ total gross transfer spending in January 2016 was around £35m, with those clubs currently in the top six league positions accounting for around 70% of this spending.
  • Top division clubs in Italy were the second highest gross spenders this January, with total reported transfer spending of around 30% of the Premier League total. Total transfer spending by top division clubs in both France and Spain was around 15% of that by Premier League clubs. Meanwhile gross transfer spending by German clubs was around a fifth of that seen at Premier League clubs.

 

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End

Note to editors

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 23:59 on 1 February 2016, following the close of the January transfer window at 23:00 on 1 February 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.

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

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