Pencils down, hand in your papers, the transfer window is now shut. How do this season’s transfers (2011-12) compare with previous years?
Let’s look at Gross Spending, Gross Revenues, and Net Spending for the Premier League from 1992-Present.*
Gross buying activity was down considerably to €82.1 from the 2010-11 season when €271.4m was spent bringing in players, a drop of 69%. €82.1m represents the lowest level of gross spending since the 2002-03 season.
Gross selling activity also dropped by €109.9m (-70%) from the 2010-11 season.
Overall, net spend in January for the Premier League was down significantly from the 2010-11 season, dropping by €79.5m (-68%). The last time spending was lower was in the 2002-03 season when the league spent a mere €16m in January.
The big question is what is driving the lower transfer spending? Are difficult financial markets still threatening owner wallets? Is this a normal ‘off’ year for spending in January? Or are the clubs actually lowering expenditure as the first year of Financial Fair Play monitoring is in effect? I suspect that FFP is actually affecting club spending decisions and reducing transfer values, we will have to look at the full year’s transfers to get the whole picture.
*2009-10 is treated as an outlier because of the extraordinary turmoil in the financial markets which disrupted normal transfer spending trends
All stats used come from the fantastic TransferMarkt.