Premier League soccer clubs spent a record 815 million pounds ($1.00 billion) in the January transfer window, an analysis from Deloitte’s Sports Business Group said on Wednesday.
The biggest spenders were Chelsea, responsible for 37% of the total – equivalent to more than the combined spend by all clubs in the Bundesliga, LaLiga, Serie A and Ligue 1, it said.
The London club, lying 10th in the league, paid a British record 106.8 million pounds for Argentina midfielder Enzo Fernandez from Benfica on Tuesday’s transfer deadline day.
The top-flight English clubs’ expenditure was almost three times higher than in January 2022. Over the whole of the 2022-23 season they have spent 2.8 billion pounds on player transfers, beating the previous record of 1.9 billion pounds set in 2017-18.
Relegation-threatened Bournemouth were the second largest spenders within the Premier League.
“Premier League clubs have outspent those within the rest of Europe’s ‘big five’ leagues by almost four to one in this transfer window…,” said Tim Bridge, lead partner in Deloitte’s Sports Business Group.
“However, while there is a clear need to invest in squad size and quality to retain a competitive edge, there will always be a fine balance to strike between prioritising success on-pitch and maintaining financial sustainability.”
Having spent north of £300m, more than five times as much as any other Premier League club, Chelsea better hope they are winners. Todd Boehly’s assault on the transfer market demands scrutiny but what’s certain is that their squad is considerably stronger for it.
A British-record £106.8m deal for Enzo Fernandez, following a protracted transfer saga, capped another extraordinary window for the Blues, the Argentine being one of eight new faces.
The spending splurge takes their outlay for the season past £600m and leaves head coach Graham Potter with selection headaches all over the pitch, but there is plenty for supporters to get excited about as Chelsea prepare for the second half of the campaign.
Mykhailo Mudryk, an £88.5m signing from Shakhtar Donetsk, was electrifying on his debut against Liverpool, while Joao Felix’s performance against Fulham – before the sending off that marred it – showed he could have a transformative impact too.
Noni Madueke will hope to showcase his huge talent, his £29m arrival from PSV Eindhoven equipping Chelsea with an entirely new front three, while Benoit Badiashile has already slotted into the defence and big things are expected for Andrey Santos, Malo Gusto and David Datro Fofana.
The financials are mind-boggling. The lengthy contracts too. But the overriding feeling among fans is one of excitement and understandably so.