Premier League clubs recorded a transfer profit for the first time in last month's transfer window, despite spending more money than ever before in January.
A record £215m was spent by top flight teams on new signings in this year's January window, according to Deloitte's Sport Business Group, yet teams still enjoyed a collective £40m profit after a series of big money sales.
West Ham sold Dimitri Payet to newly-monied Marseille for £25m while Watford cashed in on Odion Ighalo on deadline day by offloading the Nigerian striker to China for £20m.
Chelsea also benefited from the cash-rich Chinese Super League in the sale of Oscar to Shanghai SIPG for £60m.
Yet the window is not likely to represent a new era of profitability in the transfer market for Premier League clubs who can leverage new-found riches elsewhere, according to Dan Jones, partner in the Sports Business Group at Deloitte.
The unique market conditions that allowed clubs to find suitors for their players may not continue; the Chinese government, for example, has already intervened to address what it perceives as "irrational" investments by its clubs.
"It's an anomaly, I think it's a one-off," Jones told City A.M. of the Premier League's transfer profit.
"In China they've tried to cool down the market a bit. We've had a couple of big players go to France where over the last few years Paris Saint-Germain have largely had it all their own way, but now they've got Marseille coming in for Payet and Olympique Lyonnais for Memphis."
"It's often that way in January. One or two big deals can sort of sway the picture quite a lot whereas in the summer you get a lot more of a consistent trend.
"The record gross spending when you add up the summer and January is what we would have expected. And the fact that the lower-ranking teams spend big in January and the higher ranking teams spent big in the summer seams to be a fairly resilient pattern."
Across both the summer and winter windows this season, Premier League clubs – empowered by a new TV deal that guarantees them an absolute minimum £99m income -spent a record £1.4bn, a 32 per cent increase on last year.
The division's spending power was underlined in this window by the fact that a £215m outlay was achieved without any of the top six clubs making a notable signing.
Only the 2011 January window, when Chelsea and Liverpool both made headlines on deadline day with the respective signings of Fernando Torres and Andy Carroll, saw more money spent by Premier League teams.
"It was still the second-biggest January window ever, even without the drama of some January windows gone by," said Jones.
"The record January window in 2011 had a number of big moves on deadline day and was a lot more dramatic.
"The big clubs were particularly quiet this year. Gabriel Jesus' deal with Manchester City was done before the window and that aside, the only spending by a big six team was Arsenal buying someone from Hednesford Town.
"Basically the big six didn't spend a penny but at the same time United and Chelsea were getting significant money in – over £100m – from offloading the likes of Oscar, Memphis [Depay], John Obi Mikel and [Morgan] Schneiderlin."