The ‘big six’ clubs are spending to solidify or break into those four Champions League spots, you’ve got another group spending to try and break into European football and reap the rewards that it brings
The big spend: Chelsea and Man Utd splash the cash as Premier League clubs smash transfer spending record
Premier League clubs have broken their transfer spending record for a season in the summer window alone.
Estimates from Deloitte’s Sports Business Group show gross spending this summer of £1.9billion (€2.19bn), surpassing the record by a margin of £487.8m (€564m)in the summer and January windows combined in the 2017-18 season.
According to Deloitte, the gross spend is 67% higher than the previous summer transfer window of £1.1bn, and 34% higher than the previous record (Summer 2017’s £1.4bn).
“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% (2017/18’s £1.86bn),” the group said.
New ownership acted as a catalyst for increased spending this summer, with Chelsea spending more than any other Premier League club; £157.8m (€182.6m) more than they did last summer (2022’s £255.3m v 2021’s £97.5m), and £53.3m more than the next biggest spenders (Man Utd’s £202m).
Liverpool and Manchester United’s respective moves for forwards Darwin Nunez and Antony are the most expensive of this summer, both worth around £85m, with Chelsea signing defender Wesley Fofana from Leicester for an initial £70m.
The Blues and United were two of the league’s biggest spenders, with Chelsea’s new owner Todd Boehly also funding moves for Marc Cucurella (£60m), Raheem Sterling (£47.5m) and Kalidou Koulibaly (£34m) while Casemiro (£60m) and Lisandro Martinez (£57m) join Antony in United’s top 10 most expensive signings of all time.
Zal Udwadia, assistant director in Deloitte’s Sports Business Group, told the PA news agency earlier in the window: “What you’ve really seen this summer is you’ve got the return of fans in full force and new broadcast deals coming into play, you’ve really got clubs with high amounts of confidence and certainty going into this window.
“You’ve got a new broadcast cycle that’s starting, where the international portion of the rights have exceeded domestic rights for the first time, and that really again highlights the global appeal of the Premier League.”
Premier League clubs signed 19 players from Football League clubs, up from just six in summer 2021, with 68% of these players signed for a fee.
Newcastle striker Alexander Isak and West Ham’s new midfielder Lucas Paqueta were among seven players to be signed for over £50m this summer, while 19 players were signed for £30m or more, with nine different clubs contributing to that list.
This summer’s transfer window also saw a different demographic of clubs among the top spenders compared to previous years, with newly promoted Nottingham Forest recording a gross spend of £126.0m, marking only the third time Deloitte has reported any club spending over £100m upon promotion to the Premier League (Aston Villa, 2019: £124.9m; Fulham, 2018: £104.3m).
Udwadia added: “The ‘big six’ clubs (are) spending to solidify or break into those four Champions League spots, you’ve got another group spending to try and break into European football and reap the rewards that brings, and you’ve got a whole tier of clubs who are spending just to stay in the Premier League, because the cost of relegation is so high.”
The summer of 2017 saw £1.43bn spent, a record until broken with a week remaining to this year’s deadline, which included Romelu Lukaku’s £75m move to Manchester United and Chelsea’s £60m capture of Alvaro Morata while Manchester City spent big on Kyle Walker, Bernardo Silva, Benjamin Mendy and Ederson.
A further £430million followed in January 2018 with big-money moves for centre-backs Virgil van Dijk and Aymeric Laporte to Liverpool and City respectively and striker Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang to Arsenal.