January transfer spending slumps as pandemic hits football finances
Written by Hit Music Radio News on 02/02/2021
Premier League clubs spent just £70m in the January transfer window, the lowest level since 2012, as the coronavirus pandemic weighed on their finances, new figures from Deloitte show.
The sum compares to £230m splashed out a year ago – with the end of the Brexit transition period also cited as a factor.
Just 24 transfers were completed by England’s top-flight clubs, compared with an average of 46 across the last three seasons, according to the report.
Other major European leagues were similarly subdued, with spending across the German, Spanish, French and Italian top-flights down from €660m to €195m.
Recent analysis by Deloitte suggested the world’s top 20 revenue generating clubs would miss out on more than €2bn in revenue over the course of this season and last as a result of the pandemic.
It has meant matches largely being played behind closed doors or with severely reduced spectator numbers.
That lost revenue could “act as the catalyst in creating a shift in how clubs approach the transfer market over the next few seasons”, the report said.
Still, the Premier League’s net spending of £950m (players bought minus players sold) for the 2020/21 season set a new record.
Deloitte said the January fall in spending came “as clubs exercised caution amid the highly uncertain environment created by the COVID-19 pandemic”.
It was also the first window since the introduction of a post-Brexit points-based system for English clubs to sign foreign players.
Three quarters of the spending was accounted for by just three transfers: Said Benrahma completing a permanent move to West Ham, Amad Diallo to Manchester United and Morgan Sanson to Aston Villa.
Dan Jones, partner at the Deloitte’s sports business group, said: “Premier League clubs were understandably cautious in the January transfer window given the ongoing financial impact of the COVID-19 pandemic.
“Despite this, Premier League clubs’ very busy summer window, at a time when the rest of European football was more restrained, saw total net expenditure for the 2020/21 season reach a new record level of £950m.
“It remains to be seen if the relatively low activity in January will continue throughout 2021.
“We certainly do not expect to see another new record this summer.”
© Sky News 2020