London - Premier
League clubs have shelled out a record £1.4 billion in transfers this
season, according to a report Wednesday that warned of over-reliance on
big Chinese spending.
The Deloitte consultancy study said top-tier English sides made £40
million in profit from the January
transfer window, the first time they have come out of the football
horse-trading in the black.
The market closed on Tuesday night with Southampton swooping for
Napoli's Italy forward Manolo Gabbiadini for at least £14 million while
Burnley completing the reported club-record £13 million signing of
Norwich winger Robbie Brady.
Deloitte said total gross spending by Premier League clubs for the
2016/17 season is now almost £1.4 billion smashing the previous record of £1 billion set last season.
The latest eye-watering outlay was "far in excess of any other league
in world football", said Dan Jones of Deloitte's sports business
In all, the 20 Premier League clubs spent £215 million on new players
during the market from January 1 until Tuesday, Deloitte said, the
second-highest amount for this window since 2011.
The bottom six teams fighting for their Premier League lives - Hull
City, Sunderland, Crystal Palace, Swansea, reigning champions Leicester
City and Middlesbrough - accounted for more than 50 percent of the
January sales spending.
But the Premier League still came out in the black as a whole.
"The sales of Oscar, Dimitri 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," said Jones.
"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 month has seen the increasingly wealthy Chinese Super League
flex its financial muscles with Brazil international Oscar leaving
Chelsea for Shanghai SIPG in a move worth £51 million.
With Tuesday's deadline day made more complicated by the fact several
Premier League clubs had important fixtures, one of the few big deals
in the closing hours of the window saw more Chinese spending as Watford
striker Ighalo joined Changchun Yatai for a fee reported to be around
But Deloitte warned the days of Chinese teams splashing out on players could be coming to an end.
"The spending activity by clubs in the Chinese Super League (CSL) has grabbed many headlines in recent weeks," said Jones.
"CSL clubs have spent over £150 million 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."