Saints, Leeds and Leicester cash in during transfer window but stay favourites for EPL return

September 6 – Player transfer spending in England’s second tier EFL Championship witnessed a surge in gross spending in the summer window just closed, reaching £140 million. This represents a substantial increase of 63% compared to summer 2022, but it remains below the pre-pandemic levels of the 2017-2019 three-year average, which stood at £170 million.

That said, the window saw a record-breaking figure of £320 million in net transfer receipts across the division, as the Championships’ newcomers relegated from the Premier League looked to offload their most valuable assets.

The impact of Leicester City, Leeds United, and Southampton on the EFL’s player transfer numbers is dominant. T

hey collected a substantial £300 million by themselves, surpassing the total Football League receipts from the past two summers, according Deloitte Business Group figures.

The trio’s financial impact extends beyond their revenue intake, as they were responsible for almost half of the Championship’s £140 million spending on top.

However, only £15 million was used to buy players from other Championship clubs.

This data again underscores the attraction of the Premier League’s riches and the willingness of clubs to invest significantly to regain their top-flight status. While Championship clubs are displaying financial prowess in net transfer receipts, the influence of these relegated giants on the league’s financial landscape remains pronounced, even as they continue their pursuit of a return to the pinnacle of English football.

Transfer spend of the three relegated teams:

Southampton:

Romeo Lavia (€62.1 million), Tino Livramento (€37.2 million) and James Ward-Prowse (€34.8 million) were the standout departures in a busy window that recouped €181.84 million for the south coast side, who only spent €21 million this window. Despite finishing rock bottom of the Premier League last season, the Saints generated the most transfer profit of any team in the Championship this summer.

Leeds:

Leeds United were one of the very few championship clubs to outspend their transfer income. Tyler Adams was the only notable profitable exit, leaving for €26.9 million, as the club opted to send the majority of its most valuable players on loan to prevent selling them, with the aim of being back in the Premier League this time next year. That being said, the club kept young talent in Willy Gnonto and Crysencio Summerville, but have significantly weakened through losing experienced quality in Brendan Aaronson, Luis Sinisterra and Jack Harrison by way of loan transfers.

Leicester:

Fuelled by the sales of James Maddison and Harvey Barnes for a combined €90 million, the Foxes spent €40 million this summer to bolster a squad already too strong for the Championship with experienced talent in Harry Winks, Stephy Mavididi and Conor Coady.

Matchday 6 of the Championship kicks off on Friday 16 September, as Hull host Coventry and Southampton face off against fellow Championship newcomers Leicester City at St Mary’s.

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