Premier League’s £295m January Spending Spree
Premier League clubs spent a total of £295m in the January transfer window, more than quadrupling last year’s total of £70m.
The total marks the second highest January transfer spend ever according to analysis by Deloitte’s Sports Business Group.
Gross expenditure (i.e. before including player sales) in the January 2022 window exceeded pre-COVID levels (Jan 2022: £295m, Jan 2016-20 five year average: £246m), up from £70m in January 2021.
Premier League clubs recruited 36 players overall in the window, down in comparison to an average of 42 in the Jan 2018-20 windows, but up by 16 in comparison to 2021 (20).
Furthermore, Premier League clubs’ net expenditure (i.e. player purchases less player sales) of £180m is the highest ever since the January transfer window was introduced in 2003, emphasising the significance of the financial resources available to Premier League clubs.
Premier League spending accounted for nearly 50% of gross expenditure across Europe’s ‘big five’ leagues.
Dan Jones, partner and head of the Sports Business Group at Deloitte, commented: “This transfer window indicates that the financial pressures of COVID on Premier League clubs are easing, with spending firmly back to pre-pandemic levels and remarkably among the highest we’ve ever seen in January.
“The Premier League continues to lead the way globally, retaining its status as the world’s biggest domestic football league in financial terms, once again supported by full stadia and securing strong overseas broadcast deals.
“Other large European leagues are also edging back to higher spending, but it is Premier League clubs that have notched up the largest total spend in this transfer window, spending almost £150m more than Serie A clubs, the closest competitor.”
The five clubs currently at the bottom of the Premier League spent c.£150m in this year’s January transfer window, over 50% of total expenditure. Gross spend amongst these clubs is up £145m on that of clubs in the same position during last year’s January window, which contributed just 7% (£5m) of the overall total (£70m).
Newcastle United is responsible for the highest proportion (c.£85m) of Premier League clubs’ overall spend and over half of the bottom five clubs’ gross transfer expenditure.
As in the January 2021 window, three of the Premier League’s top six revenue generating clubs (Liverpool, Man City and Tottenham) spent in this year’s January transfer window, spending c.£75m, in comparison to c.£25m in January 2021.
Across Europe, total gross spend in the ‘big five’ leagues this window reached €735m, exceeding last January’s total by €460m, but still some way below the c.€965m of January 2020.
Net expenditure across these five leagues also exceeded the January 2021 total, by €225m (Jan 2022: €300m, Jan 2021: €75m), but was €110m lower than the January 2020 net expenditure of €410m.