The transfer window closed at 11pm on Monday evening with Premier League clubs spending a record amount well in excess of Â£600 million, with Â£140 million of this being spent on deadline day itself. The previous record had been set back in 2008 when approximately Â£500 million was shelled out by clubs, but the recent figures, released by Deloitte, indicate that this has now been beaten.
We produced a similar blog at the conclusion of the January 2013 transfer window which illustrated that spending in the Premier League had far surpassed that in the corresponding top flight leagues across Europe. The more recent September 2013 figures produced by Deloitte Sports Business Group are illustrative of the fact that this trend is likely to continue.
The reason for the increase in spending has been put down to the new TV monies received by clubs in the top flight. BT has invested approximately Â£240 million to show live Premier League matches over a period of 3 years and Sky has spent over Â£2 billion for similar rights involving more matches. These new TV deals have served to widen the gap between the English Premier League and the other top European leagues including those in Italy, Spain, France and Germany. Deloitte’s figures show that around Â£335 million was spent in each of the top leagues in Italy and Spain.
The largest transfer amount was the Â£42.4 million paid by Arsenal to Real Madrid for Mesut Ozil followed by Marouane Fellaini’s Â£27.5 million move from Everton to Manchester United. Spurs topped the biggest spender charts, spending over Â£100 million on a number of new players. Spurs also recouped a world record transfer fee of over Â£85 million in selling Gareth Bale to Spanish giants Real Madrid.
The new TV monies have meant that clubs in the top flight have been able to gamble on bringing in expensive new players in order to successfully challenge for titles and European qualification. Big spending at clubs relatively new to the top flight and outside of the top 6 has also increased. Large outlays on transfers at clubs such as Norwich and Southampton is demonstrative of the fact that clubs are desperate to remain in what is arguably the most lucrative league in world football and furthermore, break into European competition which can in turn lead to further increases in revenue.
Here at Farleys we have a specialist team of sports lawyers who deal with issues ranging from complex Premier League contracts to disputes relating to grass roots football. Do not hesitate to contact us today for expert advice on any sports related matter.
By Daniel Draper, Sports Law Solicitor