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Volume 7 No. 126

Finance

Spending by Premier League clubs on player signings has "fallen as a shorter summer transfer window," the falling value of TV broadcast deals and "uncertainty around Brexit prompted a pullback," according to Murad Ahmed of the FINANCIAL TIMES. On Wednesday, FIFA released figures on the amount clubs in Europe’s biggest leagues spent during the '18 summer transfer window. The numbers show that clubs in England’s top division spent a combined $1.44B on transfer fees, a "slight decrease from last year," when Premier League sides paid a record $1.46B to acquire players. It marks the "first fall during the summer window, when the majority of player spending takes place." By contrast, spending on players by clubs in Italy, Spain and Germany increased this summer compared with last year. During the summer, English sides also recouped $559.5M in player sales, "more than any other season since the start of the decade." Last year, England's top-tier clubs voted to end the league's summer transfer window before the start of this season. A senior exec at one of the EPL's biggest clubs said, "The combination of a shorter transfer window and the World Cup, which meant players were away for international duty, meant there was limited time to do deals." There is also a growing "Brexit effect," according to Simon Chadwick, a professor of sports enterprise at Salford Business School. He said that the fall in the value of the pound against the euro and dollar since the '16 referendum had, in effect, "made signing players more expensive and reduced the spending power of English clubs" (FT, 9/12).

League Championship side Bolton Wanderers "narrowly escaped entering administration after paying off an outstanding loan debt," worth a reported £4.8M ($6.3M), "at the eleventh hour," according to Mark Critchley of the London INDEPENDENT. The club "faced the prospect of insolvency and a 12-point penalty" after Chair Ken Anderson said that he failed to come to an agreement with financier BluMarble Capital. However, a revised offer was made prior to Tuesday's administration notice deadline. Anderson confirmed on Wednesday that Bolton "avoided insolvency" and would not face English Football League punishment. Anderson said, "Following on from all the speculation, I am pleased to confirm that the loan from BluMarble Capital Ltd. has been repaid." Anderson added that the club had extended loans to two other creditors, Michael James and Brett Warburton, and claimed that Bolton now has "one of the lowest debt positions in the Championship" (INDEPENDENT, 9/12).