Winter chill as Premier League clubs cut transfer spend to £100m in January window

football money

February 2 – Spending by Premier League clubs in January dipped significantly after three successive record-breaking windows – with teams splashing out £715 million less than in same 2023 period.

Purchases dropped sharply as increased enforcement of financial rules took hold and forced clubs to watch their pockets.

The total outlay in the past month across all five of Europe’s big five leagues was equally slashed, reaching €572 million according to figures from Deloitte, compared with €1.2 billion a year ago.

Transfer spending by English clubs typically makes up the bulk of the market. But in January, player purchases by Premier League teams accounted for just 20% said Deloitte, down from 79% a year ago. Just £100 million was spent by Premier League clubs in the winter transfer window.

Indeed it was the first January window since the summer of 2011 in which English clubs have not been the top spenders in Europe, according to Deloitte. Instead, French clubs were the busiest in the market.

Barring January 2021, when spending was depressed by the pandemic, the recent window was the quietest for top-tier English clubs since 2012.  There were only 17 permanent transfers made by Premier League clubs during the window, with a further 13 loan deals – including seven permanent and six loan deals on deadline day.

Teams were far busier cutting their squads with 150 players leaving of whom 121 went on loan – either on a temporary basis or with an option to make the move permanent.

Singificantly the Premier League has recently charged two clubs, Everton and Nottingham Forest, with breaking financial regulations, and last year levelled more than 100 charges of rule-breaking against champions Manchester City. Everton have already been docked 10 points and are awaiting judgment on a second alleged infringement.

Calum Ross, assistant director in Deloitte’s Sports Business Group, said: “The domino effect created by high-value transfers and a desire to improve on-pitch performance ahead of the final part of the season are usually key drivers of transfer spending, but this hasn’t been reflected in January’s subdued transfer window.

“As we move towards this summer’s window, and a new financial year, we expect to see spending return to similar levels we have seen in the last two record-breaking summer transfer windows.”

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