Scudamore defending January sales as football bucks nation's recession

Premier League boss Richard Scudamore defended the spending of top-flight clubs yesterday after more than £200m was paid out during the January transfer window.

Scudamore, the League's chief executive, also said he envisaged the day when a Premier League club would spend 100m on one player.

His comments come after around 210m was spent during the latest transfer window, despite the downturn in the economy.

The final frenetic day of wrangling saw huge deals taking place, with Spanish striker Fernando Torres moving from Liverpool to Chelsea for 50m, becoming the most expensive signing by a British club.

Torres was replaced at the Merseyside club by Newcastle centre-forward Andy Carroll, who moved to Anfield for 35m, a record fee for a British player.

Chelsea, funded by Russian billionaire Roman Abramovich, also spent 26.5m to purchase David Luiz from Benfica.

But Scudamore defended the level of spending, saying: "I don't know how we get out of the recession without spending money.

"At the end of the day, if this was any other industry where a Russian was bringing in 100m that then got recycled around, that then allowed Liverpool to spend the money at Newcastle and then allowed all these other things to happen, if we were in any other industry we would be going 'oh, this is good investment'.

"The whole point is that inward investment is generally encouraged.

"What I don't buy is that they (the clubs) shouldn't be out there spending in these austere times because if Mr Abramovich has the money to spend and he wishes to do that, then in some ways that's the game and that money gets recycled around."

Scudamore was speaking at Premier League headquarters in central London as he delivered his response to questions posed by the Department for Culture Media and Sport.

He acknowledged that Monday's transfer fees were eye-catching but denied that the spending was out of control. He said: "There's a point where it becomes – in anybody's mind – ridiculous, but I don't think we are at that level."