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Premier League clubs’ transfer spending up, ahead of summer revenue uplift

1 February 2013

Premier League clubs spent around £120m in the January transfer window, according to analysis by the Sports Business Group at Deloitte, the business advisory firm. This figure is double the total amount spent in January 2012 (£60m), but far short of the record level of £225m in January 2011.  

Dan Jones, Partner in the Sports Business Group at Deloitte, commented: “Premier League clubs have been relatively restrained in their player transfer fee spending, in spite of the upcoming uplift in their broadcasting revenues of between £20m and £30m each from next season. Whilst the clubs’ total spending was £120m, after taking into account transfer income, the Premier League clubs’ net transfer spend was £70m.

Jones said: “There were relatively few active spenders in the winter window, with over half of this January’s total transfer spending coming from three clubs. Winter window activity tends to be driven by the on-pitch competition at the upper and lower ends of the Premier League table.

“Clubs are now in a reporting period that will count towards the first assessment of UEFA’s financial fair play break-even requirement for international competition and Premier League clubs are also considering the implementation of additional cost control regulation at a domestic level. Their apparent relative restraint in this transfer window may reflect an increasing focus on clubs achieving more sustainable levels of expenditure relative to revenues.“

Some of the key findings from the analysis of the January 2013 transfer window by Deloitte include:

  • Premier League clubs spent £120m to acquire new players in the January 2013 transfer window (2012: £60m; 2011: £225m). A summary of Premier League clubs’ player transfer fees spending for each of the previous January transfer windows (2003-13) is set out in the chart below.
  • The acquisition of new players from overseas clubs accounted for £75m (62%) of Premier League clubs’ gross transfer spending, followed by acquisitions from fellow Premier League clubs (£25m, 21%), and acquisitions from Football League clubs (£20m, 17%).
  • Premier League clubs concluded around £35m of player transfer fees on deadline day. The equivalent deadline day figure in January 2012 was £30m, and for January 2011 it was £135m.
  • In January 2013, Queens Park Rangers, Liverpool and Newcastle United have together contributed over 50% of the total spending. Queens Park Rangers and Newcastle United were also amongst the top three spenders in January 2012 and together with Chelsea contributed over half of the total spending of £60m.
  • In aggregate, Premier League clubs have now spent over £1 billion to acquire new players in the 11 January transfer windows (2003-13). On average, the clubs’ transfer spending in January is equivalent to around one-fifth of total transfer spending in each year.
  • Premier League clubs’ net transfer spend was around £70m (2012: £25m; 2011: £90m), being the net amount that flows to overseas clubs and Football League clubs. Player transfers out of the Premier League generated around £25m of receivables for the clubs, most significantly from Mario Balotelli’s transfer from Manchester City to AC Milan.
  • Over the past decade, Premier League clubs’ January transfer spending has typically exceeded that in other European leagues. This is due in part to the Premier League’s long-established mechanism that distributes broadcasting revenues on a more equitable basis compared to the top divisions of the other big five leagues.  
  • Top division clubs in Italy are the second highest spenders this January, with total reported transfer spending of around 70% of the Premier League total. Total transfer spending by top division clubs in France and Germany was around 30% to 45% of that by Premier League clubs. Transfer spending by Spanish clubs was minimal in this winter window, and exceeded by the amounts spent by clubs in emerging markets such as Russia and Brazil.

Premier League clubs’ transfer spending up, ahead of summer revenue uplift

 

Premier League clubs’ transfer spending up, ahead of summer revenue uplift

Ends

Note to editors:

Basis of preparation
The Sports Business Group at Deloitte has published their analysis of transfer spending following the close of every transfer window since 2003. Each year the Sports Business Group at Deloitte also release the Deloitte Football Money League and Deloitte Annual Review of Football Finance.

The information on player transfers is based on publicly available information in respect of the acquisition of players’ registrations by clubs, including from www.bbc.co.uk and www.premierleague.com, and further analysis carried out by the Sports Business Group at Deloitte. The information is based on reported transfers as at 23:59 on 31 January 2013, following the close of the January transfer window at 23:00 on 31 January 2013. Further commentary about the transfer market is included in the Deloitte Annual Review of Football Finance. The figures contained in this release will not necessarily be the same as the cost of acquiring players’ registrations as recognised in the financial statements of each club. Under accounting requirements, the cost of acquiring a player’s registration includes the transfer fee payable (including any probable contingent amounts), plus other direct costs such as transfer fee levy and fees to agents.

About the Sports Business Group at Deloitte
Over the last 20 years Deloitte has developed a unique focus on the business of sport. Our specialist Sports Business Group offers a multi-disciplined expert service with dedicated people and skills capable of adding significant value to the business of sport. Whether it is benchmarking or strategic business reviews, operational turnarounds, revenue enhancement strategies or stadium/venue development plans, business planning, market and demand analysis, acquisitions, due diligence, expert witness, audits or tax planning; we have worked with more clubs, leagues, governing bodies, stadia developers, event organisers, commercial partners, financiers and investors than any other adviser.

For further information on our services you can access our website at www.deloitte.co.uk/sportsbusinessgroup

About Deloitte
In this press release references to Deloitte are references to Deloitte LLP, which is among the country's leading professional services firms.

Deloitte LLP is the United Kingdom member firm of Deloitte Touche Tohmatsu Limited (“DTTL”), a UK private company limited by guarantee, whose member firms are legally separate and independent entities. Please see www.deloitte.co.uk/about for a detailed description of the legal structure of DTTL and its member firms.

The information contained in this press release is correct at the time of going to press.

Member of Deloitte Touche Tohmatsu Limited.

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