The early summer transfer deadline in the Premier League sparked a drop in spending for the first time since 2010.
Figures released by Deloitte’s sport business group showed top-flight clubs spent an estimated £1.23billion before Thursday’s pre-season deadline – down £200million from last summer’s window.
Just 14 per cent of that figure, £175m, was spent on transfers between two Premier League clubs – an unforeseen consequence of the league’s window closing before the rest of Europe, according to Deloitte’s Tim Bridge.
“I think the early closing of the window appears to have made clubs more reticent to sell players to other clubs in the Premier League,” Bridge told Press Association Sport.
“Equally, it appears to have removed the element of panic-buying, whereby a club may have a poor start to the season and think ‘we’ve got to go out and spend to safeguard our future in the Premier League’. It’s had quite an impact that we may not have expected.”
Despite the drop in the gross figure, the net spend by Premier League clubs to this point is a record £865m – inflated by a busy deadline day for the likes of Fulham, with five signings, and Everton whose additions included Barcelona pair Yerry Mina and Andre Gomes.
That figure could still be reduced if players are sold to overseas clubs, and Bridge continued: “It leaves you thinking ‘where does it go in the next three weeks?’.
“Have the European clubs been holding back, almost, and waiting for the Premier League window to close? It provides them the opportunity to approach players in the Premier League like they’ve never been able to before – it’s quite intriguing really.
“The net expenditure is a record as it stands but you’d think with three weeks left for European clubs to buy Premier League players, and Premier League clubs by the looks of it not having done their selling yet, it might not stay that way.”
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