English teams spent more than £500m on new players over the summer, a record amount, as the clubs reaped the rewards from the new broadcasting deals.
“New owners at Premier League clubs combined with the increase in broadcast payments to clubs for the 2007-08 season, are key drivers of the unprecedented rise in spending,” financial group Deloitte and Touche said.
“Transfer spending by English clubs (in the top four divisions) has exceeded £500m this summer, around two thirds higher than the previous record of 300m spent in summer 2006.”
Premiership clubs have wasted little time in spending the additional revenue from their improved television deals, with several clubs embarking upon unprecedented shopping sprees.
The biggest spenders were Manchester United (£51m), Liverpool (£50m), Tottenham (£40m) and newly promoted Sunderland (£35m).
Twelve Premier League clubs spent more than £20m on transfers, up from three a year earlier.
“This summer’s transfer spending by English clubs has beaten all previous records, but as Premier League clubs will receive around £300m of extra broadcast payments during the 2007-08 season the increase in transfer spending is not a surprise,” said Paul Rawnsley, a director in Deloitte’s Sports Business Group.
“Looking further a field, it comes as no surprise to see (Spanish giants) Real Madrid and Barcelona spending at least as much as their English rivals on transfers,” said Alan Switzer, who is also a director in Deloitte’s Sports Business Group.
“Broadcast revenues are again the key to explaining the high transfer spending by the two giants of Spanish football, who unlike their Premier League counterparts can sell their own broadcast rights.”