Press releases

Premier League transfer spending reaches a new record of £870m

Total spending in 2015, across both the January and summer windows, reaches £1 billion for the first time

2 September 2015

Player transfer spending by Premier League clubs in the summer 2015 transfer window reached a new record, according to analysis by the business advisory firm Deloitte. Gross spending totalled £870m, 4% up on the previous record of £835m set last summer.

Alex Thorpe, Senior Manager in the Sports Business Group at Deloitte, commented: “This summer has seen another record level of transfer spending, as Premier League clubs continue to use increases in their revenue to invest in playing talent. Gross spending of £870m by clubs across the league has broken the record of £835m set last summer. Total spending in 2015, across both the January and summer windows, is also a new record, reaching the £1 billion mark for the first time.

“With all 20 of the Premier League clubs now ranked in the top 40 globally by revenue, we have seen clubs across the league compete successfully in the market for international talent. Premier League clubs’ gross spending on players from overseas clubs this summer totalled more than half a billion pounds.

“Looking across Europe, Premier League clubs’ gross and net spending this summer is more than double that of any other European league. The driving force behind this is the growth and distribution mechanism of the league’s broadcast rights.

“Earlier this year we reported the remarkable rebalancing of revenues and costs, such that Premier League clubs collectively generated pre-tax profitability for the first time since 1999, with clubs set to enjoy a further revenue boost when the next broadcast deals start in 2016. Therefore, despite a new record level of player transfer spending this year, collectively Premier League clubs have a chance to invest in playing talent whilst remaining profitable in a way that was previously not the case.”

Some of the key findings from the analysis by Deloitte include:

  • Premier League clubs have committed to around £870m in respect of player transfer fees in the summer 2015 transfer window, above the previous record of £835m gross spend set last summer.
  • Premier League clubs concluded player acquisitions totalling around £90m on deadline day. The equivalent deadline day figure in the summer 2014 was around £85m.
  • Total gross spending by Premier League clubs in the calendar year is a new record. Premier League clubs spent a total of £1 billion on acquiring players during both the January (£130m) and summer windows.
  • Manchester City have recorded the highest ever gross spend by a Premier League club in a summer transfer window, spending c.£160m on new talent this window.
  • The four Premier League clubs competing in this season’s Champions League - Arsenal, Chelsea, Manchester City and Manchester United - had a combined gross transfer spend of c.£340m this summer transfer window, representing around 40% of the aggregate gross transfer spend by Premier League clubs.
  • Gross transfer fees to overseas clubs were £585m, c.10% above that seen in summer 2014 (£530m). This represented 67% of aggregate gross transfer spend by Premier League clubs, as compared with 63% in summer 2014.
  • Across the other ‘big five’ top divisions of Europe, the next highest spending league was Serie A, with a gross spend of £405m. La Liga was next with a gross spend of £400m, followed by the Bundesliga with £290m and Ligue 1 with £220m.
  • Premier League clubs’ net transfer spend of £460m, being the net amount that flows to overseas clubs (£410m) and Football League clubs (£50m), was above the previous record of £410m set last summer.
  • In aggregate Football League clubs benefited from net transfer fees inflow of around £50m from Premier League clubs in summer 2015.
  • Since the introduction of the transfer window system, gross player transfer spending has exceeded £7.3 billion, with over 80% of this being spent in summer transfer windows.

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 20:00 on 2 September 2015. 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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