Despite a relatively underwhelming transfer deadline day yesterday, the Premier League continues to dominate spending across Europe, with almost £130million splashed by clubs in England's top-flight in January 2013.
The total expenditure comes to more than twice the amount outlaid in this country the same time last year, with £35million being spent on transfer fees on deadline day alone, according to figures released by Deloitte.
Serie A clubs were the second highest spenders this January, with Italy's total reported top-flight transfer pay-out of around 70 per cent of the total for the Premier League - a large chunk of which went towards bringing former Manchester City striker Mario Balotelli back to the San Siro, this time with AC Milan.
By comparison, total transfer spending by top division clubs in France and Germany came to around 30 to 45 per cent of that by England's elite. Meanwhile, La Liga investment remained minimal in this winter window, and was exceeded by the amounts spent by clubs in emerging markets such as Russia and Brazil.
The Premier League's outlay in January 2012 came to just £60million, but this year's final figure still fell well short of the record £225million sum spent in the 2011 mid-season window, when Chelsea stumped up £50million to sign Fernando Torres and Liverpool paid more than that to bring Andy Carroll and Luis Suarez to Anfield.
Deadline day spending in that record January window came to a whopping £135million - more than the entire amount spent by Premier League clubs last month. However, this year's disburse takes the combined total pay-out to over £1billion for the 11 January transfer windows.
In 2013, 62 per cent of the money shelled out (£75m) was on players from abroad, while 21 per cent (£25m) was paid directly to rival Premier League clubs, leaving the remaining 17 per cent (20m) going towards recruiting players from the Football League.
David Beckham's move to Paris St Germain grabbed most of the headlines on deadline day, even though the former England captain was under no time constraints to agree his five-month deal, because he is a free agent. Nonetheless, his charm offensive, in which he also revealed that his entire wages paid by PSG will be donated to a local children's charity in Paris, warranted widespread attention.
Elsewhere, AC Milan's £19million capture of Balotelli was greeted with street parties and fireworks in the Italian capital, but the 22-year-old's exit prompted no further action from the reigning Premier League champions, City, who were one of four clubs to spend absolutely nothing last month.
In fact, just three of England's top-flight clubs - Queens Park Rangers, Liverpool and Newcastle - accounted for more than half of the spending in January 2013, with basement boys QPR, under the stewardship of wheeler-dealer Harry Redknapp, breaking their transfer record for a second time when they signed defender Christopher Samba from Anzhi Makhachkala for £12.5million.
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