Premier League clubs embarked upon a £155million deadline-day spree as spending during the summer transfer window smashed through the £1billion barrier for the first time.
Analysis carried out by Deloitte’s Sports Business Group shows the latest window, which closed on Wednesday night, saw top-flight clubs invest at record levels for the fourth successive season, with the first wave of new broadcast-deal cash fuelling a major recruitment drive.
Partner Dan Jones said: “At the start of the 2013-14 season, the summer transfer spending record had stood at £500million, and the fact that this record has more than doubled since then is a clear indicator of the financial growth of the league.”
Moussa Sissoko’s last-gasp move from Newcastle to Tottenham after a day of brinkmanship and David Luiz’s surprise return to Chelsea from Paris St Germain reportedly accounted for in excess of £60million of the late rush.
In total, Premier League clubs spent 1.165billion during the summer window, an increase of 34 per cent on the same period 12 months ago, when £870million changed hands, and the average gross investment amounted to around £60million.
Slightly under a third of that overall figure – in the region of £385million – was paid out by Champions League quartet Arsenal, Leicester, Manchester City and Tottenham, although it was Manchester United who set a new British transfer record with their £89million capture of France international midfielder Paul Pogba.
The fee Juventus received for Pogba contributed to a £720million flow of cash from the Premier League to overseas clubs, representing 62 per cent of the total, although the ratio fell by five per cent on 2015 levels.
Jones continued: “As has been the case for a number of years now, the increases in broadcast revenue, with the 2016/17 season being the first of the new broadcast deal cycle, is the principal driver of this spending power.
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“The increase in the value of these deals and the comparatively equal revenue distribution of these by the Premier League has again allowed clubs throughout the division to invest significantly in this summer’s market.
“For those clubs traditionally at the upper end of the table who have been investing most significantly, their commercial revenue growth has also been a critical enabler of the increases in spending.
“We also saw a new record level of Premier League summer deadline day spending this window, with £155m spent in the final 24 hours.
“This, when considered with a new overall spending record, as well as the fact this summer saw a new record for the highest fee paid for a player by any English club, are further indicators of the ever increasing purchasing power of the Premier League.”
Top-flight clubs have now spent a collective £1.34billion during the current calendar year, another new high.
Comparative figures against Europe’s other top leagues show gross spending of £590million in Serie A, £460million in the Bundesliga, £400million in LaLiga and £165million in Ligue 1.
Back in England, there was a knock-on effect too in the Sky Bet Championship as relegated Newcastle contributed to a record £215million gross spend, although the Magpies raked in around £68million from the sales of Sissoko, Georginio Wijnaldum and Andros Townsend alone.
Jones said: “This summer saw a record £215m gross spend by Championship clubs, more than twice the previous record, driven by the investment of recently relegated clubs seeking an immediate return to the Premier League as well as by that of ambitious Championship clubs seeking entry to the world’s richest football league.”