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SBD Global/February 4, 2014/Finance

Premier League Transfer Fever Loses Heat, But English Clubs Dominate Market

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Football’s deadline day for player transfers "struggled to replicate the frenzied activity of previous years," but English clubs "continued to dominate the market," with January deals set to surpass the £120M spent last winter, according to Roger Blitz of the FINANCIAL TIMES. On Friday, Chelsea Owner Roman Abramovich ensured Chelsea "made full use of the month-long transfer window" by paying around £12M ($20M) for 19-year-old Kurt Zouma from St. Etienne -- and then "immediately loaning him back to the French club for the rest of the season." Abramovich has already spent £34M ($55M) last month on winger Mohamed Salah. Football agent Jon Smith said, "The clubs are having to be cautious because financial fair play is round the corner." Chelsea believes that "it has complied with the first monitoring period of financial fair play," despite reporting a £49.4M loss last season. However, Premier League clubs "are reaping the benefit of the first season of new record-breaking broadcasting deals, which is enabling them to make the running in European transfer spending" (FT, 1/31). The SCOTSMAN reported France’s top clubs "were the second heaviest spenders in Europe in January," according to Deloitte, although their total outlay was only around 40% of the EPL. Italy spent 30% and Germany 20% of the Premier League total, while the spending of top-flight teams in Spain -- a country still gripped by the economic recession -- "was exceeded by the emerging markets of Russia and Turkey" (SCOTSMAN, 2/2). GOAL reported of the £130M ($212M) spent by Premier League clubs this January, £65M ($106M) (50%) went to foreign clubs, with £55M ($90M) (42%) being spent on players from fellow top-flight sides and £10M ($16M) (8%) going to Football League teams (GOAL, 2/1).
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