The football transfer window closed last night across Europe, with fans of all clubs anxiously checking their phones every few minutes to see if their side had pulled off any last minute moves. While French side Paris St Germain doubtlessly dominated the summer transfer window by signing Brazilian superstar Neymar from Barcelona for a world record £222m and following that up with the capture of Kylian Mbappe from fellow Ligue 1 side Monaco, it is once again the Premier League who have ended the window as the dominant financial power in European football. In a report released to the Associated Press, Deloitte’s Dan Jones explained that the transparent distribution of broadcast income means that Premier League clubs as a group have the financial clout to compete with all but the biggest of European clubs when it comes to negotiating for player transfers.
“Premier League clubs have broken their own record for transfer expenditure for the sixth summer in a row. “With the continued growth in clubs’ revenues, principally from broadcast rights, it is no surprise that Premier League clubs have continued to maintain their leading position in the world’s player transfer market. “Importantly, and when analysed in the context of generating record broadcast, commercial and matchday revenues, Premier League clubs are spending well within their means. For the last 15 years, annual transfer spending has remained within the range of between a fifth and a third, and averaged at around a quarter, of total revenues. “With Premier League clubs’ revenue showing no sign of decreasing in the foreseeable future, we would expect to see spending continue to rise.”
This summer also saw Premier League clubs return to their traditional position of being net importers of players after making a small profit on player trading with their overseas rivals in January. This summer, the league’s net expenditure on foreign transfers was £585million, a decrease from 2016’s record of £630million.
“While the transfer record for a single player has again been broken by a major European club, the Premier League’s clubs enjoy an unrivalled depth of purchasing power, as a result of the League’s relatively equal – and transparent – distribution of broadcast revenues,” said Jones. “Premier League clubs continue to benefit from a virtuous circle: investing record revenues to acquire some of the best playing talent from around the world, which in turn helps the Premier League secure substantial improvements in domestic and international broadcast deals, and helps individual clubs maximise commercial revenues and matchday attendances through stadium improvements and similar long-term investments.”
The Premier League’s highest spending clubs this summer were Manchester City (£215million), Chelsea (£180million), Manchester United (£145million), Everton (£145million) and Liverpool (£140million). Fans of Stoke City, Swansea, Burnley and most significantly Arsenal will be unlikely to be happy to hear this, but all four of those clubs ended up with a positive figure in the summer transfers balance sheet.