Premier League - Spree sets new spending record
Analysts have revealed that 2011 was a record year for Premier League transfer spending, with a staggering £710 million being spent over the course of the year.
Research by the Deloitte group shows that Premier League clubs spent £485m this summer - an increase of 33 per cent on last year's spending - and £225m in January, making this year a record for transfer expenditure.
Arsenal, Chelsea, Liverpool, Manchester City and Manchester United have all spent over £50m on signing players this summer alone as football continues to defy the economic difficulties experienced by the rest of the country.
The previous record spending level was £675m in 2008, when Sheik Mansour's takeover of Manchester City heralded a new era of spending at Eastlands which has not stopped since. Analysts put the record down to increased expectations among top clubs and predict that the high spending will continue.
"Apart from last year, summer spending has held up around this £400m-£500m mark. That seems to be the norm for the last four or five years and there is no compelling reason to think why it's going to drop," said Dan Jones, partner in the Sports Business Group at Deloitte.
"Football is not immune to what is going on in the wider economy but it is pretty resistant to it. Football's revenues are continuing to increase and I don't think it will fall.
"This is a record calendar year because if you look at the top five clubs they have all had reason to spend.
"There is a new-ish manager at Liverpool, a new manager at Chelsea, ambitious owners at Manchester City, a team looking to refresh in Manchester United after a lot of retirements, and Arsenal needed to spend too."
Liverpool were one of the most active clubs in the transfer market this summer, with Craig Bellamy completing his return to Anfield from Manchester City just minutes before last night's 11pm deadline.
The Merseysiders have brought in four British players this summer - Bellamy, Jordan Henderson, Stewart Downing and Charlie Adam. Deloitte found that this summer Premier League clubs have spent around £165m on English players - a huge increase on the £50m spent last summer.