LONDON: The summer transfer window set another record for Premier League spending with more than £890m splashed on players, well over half of that on footballers from abroad and four per cent than last year.
The biggest spenders, Manchester City, paid the two biggest fees, £55m for Kevin De Bruyne from Wolfsburg and £49m for Raheem Sterling from Liverpool while Manchester United’s £36m signing of Monaco teenager Anthony Martial was the biggest deadline-day move.
Since the introduction of the transfer window system in 2002, gross transfer spending has exceeded £7.3bn, with more than 80pc of this being spent in summer transfer windows, according to financial analysts Deloitte.
Manchester City broke their club record twice this summer to bring in De Bruyne and Sterling as they became England’s highest gross spenders in a single window. Their total spend of approximately £160m beat the near £150m outlay of Manchester United in summer 2014, including deals for Fabian Delph, Patrick Roberts and Nicolas Otamendi.
The Premier League leaders were boosted this summer by having restrictions on their transfer spending lifted after meeting their financial fair play target. City’s spending in 2014 was capped at £49m and they were also fined £16.3m for breaching rules.
The four Premier League clubs competing in this season’s Champions League – City, United, Chelsea and Arsenal – had a combined gross transfer spend of around £340m, representing around 40pc of the aggregate gross transfer spend by Premier League clubs.
Liverpool have used the Sterling money (and more) to sign seven players, with Christian Benteke (£32.5m), Roberto Firmino (£29m) and Nathaniel Clyne (£12m) the most expensive.
Manchester United have also been busy, spending £139m to bring in Martial, Memphis Depay, Matteo Darmian, Bastian Schweinsteiger and Morgan Schneiderlin, while Chelsea left it late in the window to conduct their serious business, signing Pedro, Baba Rahman and Djilobodji.
Promoted Watford were the busiest club, signing 15 players.
Premier League clubs spent approximately £90m on deadline day, £5m more than last summer.
Manchester United’s £36m signing of Martial made the 19-year-old the world’s most expensive teenager, with the fee potentially rising to £58m. He became United’s third most expensive signing after Angel Di Maria (£59.7m) and Juan Mata (£37.1m).
Other big-money signings on deadline day included Argentina defender Ramiro Funes Mori joining Everton from River Plate for £9.5m and Virgil van Dijk moving to Southampton from Celtic for £11.5m.
West Brom turned down a fourth bid for Saido Berahino , causing the striker to indicate that he would never play for the Baggies again.
Total transfer fees paid to overseas clubs were £585m, about 10pc higher than in the summer of 2014 and 67pc of the aggregate gross transfer spend by Premier League clubs.
The Premier League clubs’ net transfer spend of £460m – the amount by which outlay to Football League and overseas clubs exceeded their income from those sources – exceeded the previous record of £410m set last summer.
The financial rewards of staying in the Premier League at the end of this season are immense.
Starting from 2016-17, the Premier League TV rights deal increases from £3.018bn to £5.136bn for three seasons.
The bottom club will pocket £99m per season with the champions earning more than £150m in prize money, even before extra money is paid for featuring in a TV match.
Across the other ‘big five’ top divisions of Europe, the next highest spending league was Italy’s Serie A, with a gross spend of £405m, followed by Spain’s La Liga (£400m), the German Bundesliga (£290m) and Ligue 1 in France (£220m).
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