How the PL splashed an eye-watering £1.26b on new players this summer

Thursday, October 8th, 2020 00:00 |
Newly signed Arsenal midfielder Thomas Partey (right) with Harambee Stars’ Michael Olunga when Ghana and Kenya clashed in a past Africa Cup of Nations (Afcon) qualifier at Kasarani. Photo/PD/SPORTPICHA

London, Thursday

The coronavirus pandemic was set to usher in a new era into the football world - following years of extravagant spending, a time of huge financial certainty was upon us.

When the pandemic struck, the world of sport was brought to a halt, and many argued football would be hit the hardest. There was no way back.

Questions started to be raised - how will clubs make it through the brunt of the crisis - before sides began their desperate attempts to tighten their purse-strings.

The likes of Liverpool and Tottenham controversially decided to put staff on furlough when it hit, before making a U-turn on their decisions after huge backlash from English fans, while Arsenal were another to make 55 staff redundant later on to lessen the financial impact - even letting go the club’s iconic Gunnersauras mascot on deadline day to save some cash.

Furthermore, throughout the last couple of months, top-flight clubs have been pleading with the Government to allow fans to return to games as it’s their major source of revenue while they have argued they can’t help the EFL’s £250million bail-out.

But fast forward seven months from when football was stopped in its tracks, Premier League clubs have just gone on to spend an eye-watering £1.26 billion in the summer transfer market. Yes, you heard that right.

This summer, Premier League clubs emphatically dispelled the myth of troubled times ahead as they frantically went in search of ways to strengthen their squads to make a statement of intent.

In fact, despite these unprecedented times, this summer’s spending is down just 10 per cent on the five-year average. 

However, domestic deals between Premier League and EFL clubs can still be done until October 16, meaning there is plenty of time for the figure to keep soaring.

Only in 2015 and 2016, did Premier League clubs spend slightly less than they have done this summer - with all 20 top-flight clubs releasing £1.10bn and £1.25bn respectively.

But in 2019, Premier League clubs forked out £1.41bn while in 2018 it was £1.30bn, and in 2017 it was £1.46bn.

And while many pleaded their struggles that awaited them amid the pandemic, five clubs smashed their transfer record too this summer.

Chelsea splashed out £72m on Kai Havertz from Bayer Leverkusen and Wolves forked out £35.6m on Portuguese youngster Fabio Silva from Porto despite a lack of first-team matches under his belt.

Furthermore, Aston Villa spent £28m on Ollie Watkins from Brentford, newly-promoted Leeds gave Valencia £27m for Rodrigo while Sheffield United purchased Rhian Brewster from Liverpool for £23.4m.

Chelsea’s successful £72m pursuit of Havertz led the way in terms of biggest buys in the Premier League this summer. -AFP

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