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Sep 1, 2012

Transfer window spending increases

The Premier League's huge new TV deal helped fuel a recession-busting rise in transfer spending during the summer.

Top-flight clubs splashed out 490 million pounds ($778 million) -- up 5 million pounds from 2011 and close to the record figure of 500 million pounds in 2008.

It also contrasts sharply with Spain and Italy, where spending has been significantly down, though Germany has also experienced a boom in transfer activity.

English clubs' spending is now subject to UEFA's financial fair play rules, but the more than 3-billion-pound ($4.76 billion) three-year Premier League TV deals agreed for next season sparked a wave of spending -- with football finance analysts saying the clubs can bank on an extra 25 million pounds ($39.7 million) annually starting next year.

"While the total spending this summer is still high, it should be considered in the context of increases of over 70 percent in the Premier League domestic broadcast deals announced earlier this year," said Alan Switzer, director in the sports business group at Deloitte. "Once overseas broadcast deals are factored in, the average Premier League club looks set to benefit from at least an additional 25 million pounds of revenue per year from next season."

The top five -- Chelsea, Arsenal, Tottenham and the two Manchester clubs -- each spent at least 30 million pounds ($47.6 million) and contributed to 55 percent of the total spending. Around 110 million pounds ($174.7 million) was spent on the final day of the transfer window, up 10 milllion pounds from last year.

Yesterday's figure was helped on its way by Javi Garcia's 16-million-pound ($25.4 million) move to Manchester City, while elsewhere Gaston Ramirez made a 12-million-pound ($19 million) move to Southampton and Hugo Lloris' transferred to Tottenham in a deal reported at an initial 8 million pounds ($12.7 million).

Chelsea's 32-million-pound ($50.8 million) capture of Eden Hazard represented the biggest outlay by an English club during the window, while Manchester United splashed out 24 million pounds ($38.1 million) on Robin van Persie.

There has also been a steep rise in the level of transfer fees going to overseas clubs.

These accounted for around 300 million pounds ($476 million), almost 50 percent up on the level seen in 2011 and represented 61 percent of total transfer fees committed by Premier League clubs, as compared with 42 percent in 2011.

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