London - English Premier League clubs' gross spending on transfers in the January transfer window reached a five-year high of £175m, financial consultants Deloitte said on Tuesday.
The figure represented the biggest collective mid-season outlay by English top-flight teams since 2011 (225 million), when Liverpool sold Fernando Torres to Chelsea for a then British-record 50 million and used the proceeds to buy Andy Carroll and Luis Suarez.
Teams at the bottom of the table were the most active, reflecting the importance of avoiding relegation in a year when new television rights deals worth up to 8 billion are due to take effect.
"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," said Dan Jones from Deloitte's Sports Business Group.
The combined spend by the Premier League's bottom six clubs was 90 million - over half of the league total - whereas the equivalent figure in January 2015 was 20 million, less than 20 percent of the total.
Overall, spending in January took the Premier League's transfer outlay for the 2015-16 season to 1.045 billion - a new record.
Stoke City's 18.3 million capture of French midfielder Giannelli Imbula from Porto, concluded late on Monday, was the biggest deal.
Outside the Premier League, clubs in Italy's Serie A were the second-highest gross spenders in January, with a reported outlay of around 30 percent of the English top-flight's total.
Top-tier clubs in France and Spain spent around 15 percent of the English total, while gross transfer spending in the German Bundesliga was a fifth of that seen in the Premier League.