Premier League clubs brought in £40million more than they paid out during January, according to analysis by Deloitte’s Sports Business Group.
Spending by top-flight clubs reached a six-year high for the transfer window at £215m, but a profit was recorded for the first time in a transfer window with Premier League clubs receiving more in transfer fees from overseas clubs and Football League clubs than they paid out.
Chinese clubs, who are able to buy players until the end of February, have not been shy in splashing the cash on Premier League talent, with Oscar heading to Shanghai SIPG for a reported £52m and Odion Ighalo leaving Watford for Changchun Yatai in a £20m deal on deadline day.
Elsewhere on Tuesday, Southampton paid around £14m to Napoli for forward Manolo Gabbiadini and Robbie Brady swapped Norwich for Burnley in a £13m switch, taking spending for the 2016-17 season to a record £1.38bn.
Dan Jones, partner in the Sports Business Group at Deloitte, said: “Spending by Premier League clubs in this January’s transfer window totalled £215m, surpassing last year’s total of £175m as the second-highest ever, behind January 2011.
“The sales of Oscar, Dmitri Payet, Odion Ighalo and Memphis Depay, as well as around £20m worth of sales to Championship clubs, have helped Premier League clubs record net receipts for the first time in a transfer window.
“As was the case last year, it is clubs in the bottom half of the table who have driven expenditure this January, investing in their squads in an attempt to secure survival. This is no surprise given clubs’ reliance on the revenues generated from the Premier League’s broadcast deals.”
The top-flight’s bottom six clubs represented 50% of total spending in January, contrasting with the summer 2016 window which saw the top six account for almost 60% of expenditure.
Jones added: “Expenditure in January 2017 took the Premier League’s total transfer expenditure for the 2016-17 season to almost £1.4 billion – an increase of 32% on 2015-16 and far in excess of any other league in world football.
“The spending activity by clubs in the Chinese Super League (CSL) has grabbed many headlines in recent weeks.
“CSL clubs have spent over £150m so far during their current off-season, which began in November 2016.
“However, with the CFA having recently announced that tighter regulations around player transfer and salary expenditure are to be introduced, as well as imposing limits on the number of foreign players allowed, it will be interesting to see whether CSL clubs match this level of expenditure in future off-seasons.”
It was not just the Premier League setting records, with Championship clubs spending a total of £80m during the January window – an increase of more than 125% on last year’s total of £35m – and a record £40m on Tuesday’s deadline.