Premier League clubs spent just £100million in one of the quietest transfer windows in recent memory.
That figure, as estimated by leading finance company Deloitte, is down from a staggering £815m last January and an average of just over £319m since the 2016-17 season, when the value of domestic television rights first jumped past £5billion in a three-year cycle.
A relative plateauing of broadcast revenues and the threat of sanctions under the league’s profit and sustainability rules – with Everton already docked 10 points this season – have been cited as potential reasons for the lack of activity this month.
Tim Bridge, lead partner in Deloitte’s Sports Business Group, said: “After record-breaking spending in the last three transfer windows, Premier League clubs’ spending this January has been subdued.
“The more prudent approach is likely driven by the high level of spend invested during the summer window, but may also have been influenced by a heightened awareness of the Premier League’s financial regulations and the potential repercussions of non-compliance.
“Securing the highest-quality player talent remains pivotal for Premier League clubs, but we’ve seen in this window that retention has been of higher priority than attraction.”
Spending stood at around £70m going into deadline day – in line with the Covid-affected January 2021 window, when Said Benrahma, Amad Diallo and Morgan Sanson were the only arrivals league wide for fees in excess of £10m.
Thursday’s deals, including Morgan Rogers’ move from Middlesbrough to Aston Villa pushed that figure to £100m, but Radu Dragusin’s move to Tottenham for a reported £26.7m on January 11 remained the biggest of the month.
Arsenal, Chelsea, Everton, Liverpool and Manchester United have not made a single addition, while Manchester City’s £12.5m signing Claudio Echeverri was loaned straight back to River Plate.