Premier League clubs shattered their single-season spending record during an incredible £1.9 billion ($2.1 billion) spree during the summer window.
Deloitte’s Sports Business Group estimated the gross spending by the 20 English top-flight clubs during the transfer window that ended on Thursday was the highest in the history of the competition.
Despite the cost-of-living crisis gripping Britain, Premier League teams needed just one window to break the £1.86 billion mark set in the summer and winter transfer periods combined during the 2017-18 season.
According to Deloitte, the gross spend on a total of 169 players was also 34 per cent higher than the previous record for a single window of £1.4 billion in the summer of 2017.
It was 67 per cent higher than last year’s total Premier League summer window spend of £1.1 billion.
“Gross spend was so high among Premier League clubs this summer that, before this season’s January transfer window had taken place, the 2022/23 season already has the highest transfer spend since the two-window season began, exceeding the previous record by 3 per cent (2017/18’s £1.86 billion),” Deloitte said.
Nine Premier League clubs spent over £100 million each as expenditure recovered dramatically after two seasons of decline caused by the financial fall-out from the coronavirus.
In total, the Premier League spent more than Spain’s La Liga, Italy’s Serie A and Germany’s Bundesliga combined.
Tim Bridge, lead partner in Deloitte’s Sports Business Group, said: “The record level of spending during this transfer window is a clear indication of Premier League clubs’ confidence, as fans return to stadia and a new broadcast cycle begins.
“It’s now become part and parcel of the Premier League that clubs are willing to pay significant sums to maximise performance.
“This season, the desire to acquire playing talent has reached new levels as the pressure for clubs to stay in the competition is higher than ever.”
– Chelsea splurge –
New ownership at Chelsea, with Todd Boehly’s consortium taking over from Roman Abramovich, acted as a catalyst for the increased spending.
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With a £255 million splurge, Chelsea spent more in one window than any team in Premier League history.
Their spending was £53 million more than Manchester United, who were the next biggest in this window at £202 million.
United’s £82 million signing of Ajax forward Antony on deadline day was the fourth biggest transfer in Premier League history.
Liverpool’s move for Benfica forward Darwin Nunez could eventually beat that fee, with the initial £67 million outlay potentially rising to £85 million depending on contract clauses and add-ons.
Chelsea’s biggest deal during the window was the £70 million purchase of French defender Wesley Fofana from Leicester.
Boehly also funded moves for Marc Cucurella (£60 million), Raheem Sterling (£50 million), Kalidou Koulibaly (£33 million) and Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang (£10.3 million)
At Old Trafford, Casemiro (£60 million) and Lisandro Martinez (£51 million) joined Antony in United’s top 10 most expensive signings of all time.
Champions Manchester City strengthened their squad with the £50 million move for Borussia Dortmund striker Erling Haaland, who has already started to repay that fee with nine goals in five games.
Newcastle striker Alexander Isak and West Ham midfielder Lucas Paqueta were among seven players to be signed for over £50 million this summer, while 19 players were signed for £30 million or more.
Even Nottingham Forest, back in the Premier League for the first time since 1999, recorded a gross spend of £126 million on an astonishing 21 players.
That was only the third time Deloitte has reported any club spending over £100 million immediately after promotion to the Premier League.