Transfer spending tipped to break £1billion barrier

Anthony Martial was a big-money arrival at Manchester United on deadline day.
Anthony Martial was a big-money arrival at Manchester United on deadline day.
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Spending on transfers by Premier League clubs’ next summer is likely to soar past the £1billion mark when the huge new television deals come on stream.

The new three-year domestic rights deal which starts in 2016 is worth £5.136billion - a 70 per cent increase on the current deal - and the signs are that the top-flight clubs could bank another £3billion over three years for overseas rights.

This transfer window has seen a new record set of £870million spent by Premier League clubs, with Manchester City splashing out the most, and the increase in income from the new television deals is likely to see the £1billion mark passed next summer alone - that landmark has already been reached taking both the summer and January figures [£130million in January] together.

In previous seasons, the year a new television deal begins has usually been accompanied by a surge in spending. Figures from business analysts Deloitte show that summer transfer spending went up by 28 per cent in 2013 and 80 per cent in 2007.

Even in 2010, when restrained spending during the summer took place and actually saw a 20 per cent fall on the previous year, that was followed by an astonishing amount of transfer activity the following January, setting a £225million record for that month which has stood ever since.

Next summer’s spending by the top clubs is also likely to be boosted by an increase in Champions League television income, though UEFA say proportionately more is being spent on wages than on transfers.

Alex Thorpe, senior manager in the sports business group at Deloitte, said the Premier League was continuing to outstrip the rest of Europe.

He said: “Looking across Europe, Premier League clubs’ gross and net spending this summer is more than double that of any other European league. The driving force behind this is the growth and distribution mechanism of the league’s broadcast rights.

“Earlier this year we reported the remarkable rebalancing of revenues and costs, such that Premier League clubs collectively generated pre-tax profitability for the first time since 1999, with clubs set to enjoy a further revenue boost when the next broadcast deals start in 2016.

“Therefore, despite a new record level of player transfer spending this year, collectively Premier League clubs have a chance to invest in playing talent whilst remaining profitable in a way that was previously not the case.”