Chelsea made only two major acquisitions during the period in question – Yossi Benayoun from Liverpool and Ramires from Benfica – but the club’s policy of staggerring agents’ fees over a number of years would account for their hefty outlay.
Moreover, the majority of the sum is understood to have been spent on the contract renewals of major stars such as France internationals Nicolas Anelka and Florent Malouda, as well as Brazil international defender Alex and Ghana midfielder Michael Essien.
Overall top flight clubs cut their spending on agents’ fees by more than £3m last year but still spent a combined total in excess of £67m.
Last season’s leaders, Manchester City, halved their outlay from £12.8m to just under £6m, while Liverpool’s spending rose from £6.6m to over £9m in a period when they were embroiled in a drawn out takeover process.
A total of 742 transactions, some of which did not involve agents’ fees, took place in the year to the end of September 2010 compared to 792 for the previous year.
AGENTS’ FEES | THE BREAKDOWN
TOP FIVE SPENDERS
Manchester City £5,952,261
BOTTOM FIVE SPENDERS
West Bromwich Albion £614,195
Birmingham City £1,518,529
Blackburn Rovers £1,623,232