Premier League clubs have broken their transfer spending record for a season in the summer window alone. Estimates from Deloitte’s sports business group show gross spending this summer of £1.9bn, surpassing by £487.8m the previous record, spent across the summer and January windows of the 2017-18 season.
According to Deloitte, the gross spend is 67% higher than the previous summer transfer window’s £1.1bn and 34% higher than the previous record (summer 2017’s £1.4bn). “The 2022-23 season already has the highest transfer spend since the two-window season began, exceeding the previous record by 3% (2017-18’s £1.86bn),” the group said.
New ownership acted as a catalyst for increased spending, with Chelsea spending more than any other Premier League club. They spent £157.8m more than they did last summer (2022’s £255.3m; 2021’s £97.5m) and £53.3m more than the next biggest spenders (Manchester United’s £202m).
Liverpool’s and Manchester United’s respective moves for the forwards Darwin Núñez and Antony are the most expensive of this summer, both worth about £85m, and Chelsea signed Wesley Fofana from Leicester for an initial £70m.
Zal Udwadia, assistant director in Deloitte’s sports business group, said earlier in the window: “You’ve got the return of fans in full force and new broadcast deals coming into play, you’ve really got clubs with high amounts of confidence and certainty going into this window.
“You’ve got a new broadcast cycle that’s starting, where the international portion of the rights have exceeded domestic rights for the first time, and that really again highlights the global appeal of the Premier League.”
Premier League clubs signed 19 players from Football League clubs, up from six in summer 2021, with 68% of these players signed for a fee.
This summer’s window also saw a different demographic of clubs among the top spenders compared with previous years, with Nottingham Forest recording a gross spend of £126m, marking only the third time Deloitte has reported any club spending more than £100m upon promotion to the Premier League (Aston Villa, 2019: £124.9m; Fulham, 2018: £104.3m).
Udwadia said: “The ‘big six’ clubs [are] spending to solidify or break into those four Champions League spots, you’ve got another group spending to try and break into European football and reap the rewards that brings, and you’ve got a whole tier of clubs who are spending just to stay in the Premier League, because the cost of relegation is so high.”