Premier League clubs spent a record-breaking £815m in the January 2023 transfer window, according to analysis from Deloitte’s Sports Business Group.
Gross transfer expenditure was almost triple Premier League clubs’ spending in January 2022.
Following the record-breaking 2022 summer transfer window (£1.9bn), Premier League clubs have spent a total of £2.8bn overall on player transfers during the 2022/23 season, overtaking the previous record of £1.9bn set in the 2017/18 window by 47%.
Deloitte’s Sports Business Group, said: “The record spending by Premier League clubs this season is beyond anything that we’ve seen before. It is a clear indication of talent acquisition being core to Premier League clubs’ business strategies.
In securing the best available talent, clubs hope to improve results on the field, which in turn will enhance the appeal of the Premier League and further cement its position at the very top of world football.
“Premier League clubs have outspent those within the rest of Europe’s ‘big five’ leagues by almost four to one in this transfer window, allowing them to hold on to their key players, while attracting top-talent from overseas.
“However, while there is a clear need to invest in squad size and quality to retain a competitive edge, there will always be a fine balance to strike between prioritising success on-pitch and maintaining financial sustainability.”
Over 85% of gross Premier League clubs’ spending was directed towards acquiring players playing outside the UK in the 2023 winter transfer window – the highest ever share of transfer expenditure flowing outside of the Premier League.* By contrast, £25m was spent on acquiring players from the Football League, up from just £1m in January 2022, but just 3% of total gross spending.
Delloite continued: “The decline in spending across the English football system is likely to be of growing concern for members of the English Football League and could further fuel the debate around distributing finances more evenly across the pyramid. Transfer income from Premier League clubs, which has historically been an important source of club funding, now appears to be less guaranteed, with Premier League clubs choosing to prioritise talent from abroad.”
Within the Premier League, five of the top six revenue-generating clubs (Manchester City, Liverpool, Chelsea, Tottenham, and Arsenal) accounted for 54% of Premier League club gross spend, with Chelsea accounting for 37% of the league’s total spend while also breaking the British transfer record.
In January 2023, Chelsea spent more on gross transfer expenditure than the combined total of all clubs in the Bundesliga, La Liga, Serie A and Ligue 1, and more than the cumulative spend of Premier League clubs in each of the previous January windows, excluding 2018 (£430m).
AFC Bournemouth, currently 18th in the table, are the second largest spenders within the Premier League. The five clubs currently at the bottom of the Premier League (West Ham, Wolverhampton, AFC Bournemouth, Everton, Southampton) spent c.£175m, compared to the bottom five clubs in January 2022 (£150m). There are three Premier League clubs (Manchester United, Brentford, and Everton) who did not spend funds on acquiring players in the January 2023 window. Additionally, three Premier League clubs; Leeds, Chelsea and Southampton, broke their transfer records this window.