A remarkable summer transfer window closed on Thursday with a number of new spending records set – including the most expensive ever deadline-day signing in Manchester United’s £82m purchase of Antony.
That deal helped set a new Premier League spending record of about £1.9bn – smashing the previous record of £1.4bn in 2017 – and dwarfing the rest of Europe.
Nine of the 20 top-flight clubs spent in excess of £100m as total expenditure bounced back after two seasons of Covid-impacted decline.
Other records included:
- Premier League clubs spending more than Spain’s La Liga, Italy’s Serie A and the German Bundesliga combined
- Chelsea spending more in one window than any other club in Premier League history
- Manchester United smashing their own summer spending record
- Nottingham Forest signing more players in one summer than any other British club in history
The combined outlay of the 20 clubs during the window, which was open from 10 June until 1 September, was 67% higher than the previous summer’s total of £1.1bn.
According to financial services firm Deloitte, the 2022-23 season already has the highest transfer spend since the two-window season began – exceeding the previous record of £1.86bn, set in 2017-18, by 3%. And that is before the January transfer window has even opened.
Some of Deloitte’s other key findings from the window include:
- Gross spending across all of Europe’s ‘big five’ leagues – Premier League, La Liga, Serie A, Bundesliga and Ligue 1 – increased by 52% to £3.88bn
- Premier League clubs were responsible for 49% of that spending, the highest proportion since summer 2008 and nearly three times that of the second-biggest spenders Serie A (£646m)
- Premier League clubs’ net transfer spend surpassed £1bn for the first time ever
- Premier League clubs signed 169 players, compared to 148 in summer 2021 and 132 in summer 2020
- The proportion of players being signed for a fee increased to 66% in summer 2022 from 45% in summer 2021
- Championship clubs’ gross spend more than doubled on the previous summer to £86m but was still some way off pre-Covid levels (2017-19 three-year average: £169.4m)
Tim Bridge, lead partner in Deloitte’s Sports Business Group, said: “The record level of spending during this transfer window is a clear indication of Premier League clubs’ confidence, as fans return to stadia and a new broadcast cycle begins.
“It’s now become part and parcel of the Premier League that clubs are willing to pay significant sums to maximise performance. This season, the desire to acquire playing talent has reached new levels as the pressure for clubs to stay in the competition is higher than ever.”