Premier League clubs’ relative restraint during the current January transfer window is a result of the increasing dominance of the leading six clubs, according to a leading football finance expert.
Flush from a new £8.3bn, three-year television deal, England’s top-flight teams spent a record £1.2bn on new signings in the summer, yet they have invested less than 10 per cent of that sum so far this month.
Dan Jones of Deloitte’s Sports Business Group believes that is down to the success of Chelsea, Liverpool, Tottenham, Arsenal, Manchester City and Manchester United in separating themselves from the pack.
“I’m not surprised that it’s not been a massive January window so far – that’s not a shock,” he told City A.M.
“The six biggest spenders in the summer were the top six teams, who are also the six biggest by revenue, and they are all going very well. The degree of competition at the top, I don’t think those six are thinking they need to go out and spend in January.”
Everton, who sit seventh, have been by far the biggest January spenders, with an outlay of £35m on midfielder Morgan Schneiderlin from United and £11m on Charlton teenager Ademola Lookman.
Is Premier League TV bubble bursting?
Viewing figures for Premier League matches on Sky Sports – the cornerstone of Premier League growth – have fallen this season, but Jones is sceptical of fears that English football’s TV bubble could burst.
“If it started to really affect the subscriber base then I think it would be much more of a challenge than just audience figures,” he said.
“Aggregating audiences is difficult in TV at the moment anyway. I suspect football looks relatively good in terms of the way it’s holding up in a changing media environment, and that’s the key.
“Is it still the best subscription-driving, live audience-driving, unscripted drama content you can get? I think you’d still say it was.”