Premier League clubs spend £1.2bn in summer transfer window

The closing of the transfer window saw Premier League clubs spend £1.2bn on player transfers, down by £200m the first shortened summer transfer window, according to analysis by Deloitte’s sports business group

Premier League clubs have sepnt around £1.23bn on player transfer fees in the summer 2018 transfer window, a decrease from the previous record of £1.43bn gross spend set summer 2017, and the first time the figure has fallen year-on-year since summer 2010.

The average gross player transfer expenditure for a Premier League club in the 2018 summer window was around £61m, below the £71m average for 2017.

On Thursday, which was transfer deadline day, Premier League clubs concluded player transfers-in totalling around £110m. The previous record, set in summer 2017, was £210m.

Just four clubs - Liverpool (£165m), Chelsea (£120m), Fulham (£105m) and Leicester City (£100m) - accounted for around 40% of the aggregate gross player transfer expenditure. Only three clubs bought no new players (Newcastle United, Tottenham Hotspur and Watford) as at 9 August.

Premier League clubs’ net player transfer expenditure to 9 August was £865m, well in excess of the £665m for the summer 2017 transfer window. Of the players transferred-in, just £175m (14%) relate to intra-Premier League transfers, a record low proportion across the history of the summer transfer window.

In contrast, Premier League clubs spent a record £880m to transfer-in players from overseas clubs, up from last year’s £770m. This represented 72% of aggregate gross player transfer expenditure by Premier League clubs, compared to 54% in summer 2017 (and average of 60% for all summer transfer windows).

Tim Bridge, director in the sports business group at Deloitte, said: ‘With Premier League clubs’ aggregate revenues forecast to reach £5bn in 2018/19, clubs can well-afford to significantly invest in on-pitch talent in the quest for both success and survival.

‘On balance, the earlier deadline for the transfer-in of players may have contributed towards a reduction in gross player transfer spending by the Premier League clubs. Unlike previous seasons, after 9 August, clubs cannot make late player acquisitions either reacting to their early season performances, or immediately utilising proceeds arising from any late player sales to overseas clubs.

‘Whilst the transfer window remains open for other European leagues, it will be interesting to see how any late offers from overseas clubs will be handled. It is too early to predict what the effect will be on activity over the remainder of the month, or in January’s transfer window.’

Report by Pat Sweet, Sara White

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