Premier League transfer spending sets £760m record

By Bill Wilson
Business reporter, BBC News

image copyrightGetty Images
image captionManchester United bought Juan Mata this month from Chelsea for £37.1m

Transfer spending by Premier League clubs has set a new record of £760m this season, industry experts say.

Club spending in the 2013-14 season included £130m in January's transfer window, which closed at 23:00 GMT.

That surpasses spending in last year's window of £120m, but is less than the £225m record set in 2011.

Dan Jones of the sport business group at Deloitte said spending was supported by record level of revenues driven primarily by new broadcast agreements.

"This gives Premier League clubs the ability to continue to invest significantly in their playing talent," he added.

Manchester United and Chelsea accounted for more than 60% of the league's total spending this month.

"Spending has again been driven by a minority of clubs," said Mr Jones. "Around half of Premier League clubs chose not to spend this month."

Match packages

Manchester United's £37.1m signing of Chelsea midfielder Juan Mata was the biggest domestic deal this month.

Chelsea completed a £12m move for St Etienne centre-back Kurt Zouma on Friday following their purchase of Egypt midfielder Mohamed Salah from Swiss champions Basel for a fee in the region of £11m, and the £21m signing of Benfica midfielder Nemanja Matic.

Meanwhile, Fulham bought Greece international striker Konstantinos Mitroglou from Olympiakos for about £11m, one of five players signed on Friday.

Crystal Palace signed five players including Wolves keeper Wayne Hennessey for £3m, and Blackpool winger Tom Ince. Cardiff and West Ham have both also been busy in the transfer market, bringing in a number of players.

On Friday, with the transfer deadline just hours away, spending had already passed the £700m mark for the first time, said Deloitte. The final total of £760m broke the previous record of £670m set in 2008-09.

Broadcasters BSkyB and BT paid hugely increased sums in summer 2012 when they secured packages of Premier League matches for broadcasting from the current 2013-14 season.

BSkyB paid a total of £2.28bn for the rights to 116 games per season from 2013-14 to 2015-16, while BT paid £736m for the rights to 38 games per season over the three-year period.

That was an increase of 70% on the previous rights packages, held by BSkyB and ESPN

January transfer windows in the English Championship and in Scotland also closed on Friday. The Wolves striker Leigh Griffiths completed his move to Celtic for an undisclosed fee.

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