LONDON: Premier League clubs shrugged aside the financial implications of the Covid-19 pandemic by spending more than £1bn in transfer window.
This was only around £180m less than last year and lays the Premier League open to accusations of dragging its feet when it comes to cash support for struggling lowerer-division clubs.
Deadline day swoops by Arsenal and Manchester United for Atletico Madrid midfielder Thomas Partey at £45m and Porto leftback Alex Telles respectively capped off a typical English summer of spending.
The final total of £1.24bn ranks third in Premier League history for a summer window and represents, according a report by the Centre for Economics and Business Research (Cebr), a net spend of £813million.
Chelsea led the English spending by signing players including Timo Werner, Kai Havertz and Ben Chilwell, while Manchester City reinforced their defence with Nathan Ake and Ruben Dias and United completed five signings on deadline day.
Only Serie A clubs, with a total of £686m, paid out even a third as much in fees as the Premier League – and the Italian top flight recouped all but £49m of that figure in player sales.
Ligue 1 clubs spent £390m gross and £51m net, while LaLiga and the Bundesliga made trading profits of £74m and £1m respectively.