The Premier League returns for what could be its highest spending season to date with over £500m already spent
A ball has yet to be kicked in anger, but already "the best league in the world" has flexed its muscles, having spent £200m more than any other league in the world so far this summer.
Premier League clubs have already spent £517m on new players, but with over three weeks still remaining in the summer transfer window for increasingly desperate teams to meet steep asking prices, last summer's record £835m spend is under threat.
Meanwhile in Europe, only Spain's La Liga has amassed a cumulative spend over £300m, while Germany's Bundesliga and France's Ligue 1 have spent less than half of their Premier League's rivals.
Speculate to accumulate?
The Premier League's current TV rights deal is already the most lucrative in world football, guaranteeing even the league's worst-performing team at least £65m and pushing even mid-table sides such as West Bromwich Albion and Stoke City into the 30 richest clubs in Europe.
Yet from next season TV revenues will grow 70 per cent thanks to a staggering £5.1bn deal. The promise of such riches appears to have encouraged the Premier League's sides to spend with little concern for what they get in return.
With earnings of £286m, the Premier League's net spend stands at £231m, blowing away the less cavalier approach in practice on the continent (or in the Championship).