Summer transfer window 2016: Premier League clubs spending more money on fewer players as new broadcast deal kicks in

 
Joe Hall
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Spending spree: German international Ilkay Gundogan is one of four players already signed by Manchester City (Source: Getty)

Premier League clubs have spent well over £100m more on new players in the first week of this year's summer transfer window than they had at the same point last season, despite purchasing fewer players.

The guaranteed windfall of at least £99m from a new £8bn broadcast deal which starts this season, a loosening of financial fair play restrictions and a weakening pound have prompted teams to spend a total of £375m since the window opened last Friday.

A total of 41 players have been bought for that sum, a contrast to the £236m spent on 58 players in the first week of last year's transfer window.

After just a single day of the window being officially opened, the league's total transfer bill stood at £235m as deals agreed in May and June — such as Arsenal's £35m acquisition of midfielder Granit Xhaka and Manchester City's £23m signing of German international Ilkay Gundogan from Borussia Dortmund — were officially ratified with the Premier League.

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Last summer clubs spent a record £870m on new players, meaning 28 per cent had been spent within the first week of July alone.

If the rate of spending follows a similar pattern this year, total outlay would hit around £1.3bn.

Already Watford, Crystal Palace and Leicester City have broken their own transfer records on the respective signings of Isaac Success of £12.8m, Andros Townsend for £13.7m and Ahmed Musa for £16.6m.

On average, players bought so far this window have cost £9.2m compared to just £4.1m a year ago.

Premier League clubs recorded a collective pre-tax profit of £120m last season to complete successive seasons of profitability for the first time and they are expected to enjoy record turnover next season thanks to the influx of cash from a huge new three-year broadcast deal worth £8bn.

The new contracts for 2016-19 will guarantee each top-flight team between £100m and £160m a year, up from £60m-£100m currently.

The windfall has been cited by football finance experts Deloitte as a contributing factor towards a predicted record-breaking summer transfer window in which expenditure is expected to surpass £1bn for the first time.

Read more: Plummeting value of the pound could cause headache for Premier League clubs in the summer transfer market

Clubs may also feel freed up to spend more on transfer fees after the Premier League relaxed short term cost control rules by raising teams' maximum wage bill increase from £4m a season to £7m a season over the next three years.

Yet with their new found riches so well documented, clubs on the continent are expected to drive a harder bargain when selling to English clubs.

“If an English club is looking at a player that will no doubt drive the price up because the selling club will know they can spend big," Deloitte's Andy Bull told City A.M.

Furthermore, the weakening of the pound following Brexit means Premier League teams will have to may much more in sterling to match European clubs' valuations for players set in euros.

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