Foreign football clubs are cashing in on demand from top English sides for some of the world's best players.
Michael Owen joined Newcastle United from Real Madrid for £17m
Of the £286m ($523m) spent on players by English Premiership clubs in 2005, about half went to continental European sides, accountancy firm Deloitte said.
Among the top summer transfer spenders were Newcastle United, who bought England forward Michael Owen from Real Madrid on Wednesday for £17m.
Spending by English clubs currently far exceeds that in Europe, Deloitte said.
Gross transfer spending during the summer 2005 transfer window by English Premiership clubs was twice that of clubs in Italy's Serie A and Spain's Primera Liga.
Top English sides also spent three times more than their counterparts in France and Germany.
Cash-rich Chelsea, owned by Russian oil billionaire Roman Abramovich, were the top summer transfer spenders, with reported fees of about £56m, Deloitte said.
They were followed by Newcastle United (£38m), Liverpool (£19m) and Tottenham Hotspur (£16m).
Chelsea have spent more than £300m on player acquisitions since July 2003, accounting for about a third of all spending by Premiership clubs, Deloitte said.
The £286m spent by English Premiership sides during the January and summer transfer windows in 2005 was higher than last year's total of £260m.
However, overall transfer spending was relatively restrained compared with the beginning of the decade, when the league's top clubs splashed out £320m in both the 2000/01 and 2001/02 seasons.
European clubs accounted for £140m of English clubs' spending during 2005 - although that was slightly lower than last year's figure of £155m.
Lower league English sides also benefited from spending by Premiership clubs, with more than £50m going to the second-flight Football League.
"Many overseas clubs benefit from player transfer spending by English clubs," said Dan Jones, a partner in the Sports Business Group at Deloitte.
"The Premiership's financial success and the clubs' improved financial discipline means that, in general, more English clubs can invest in players," he said.
"Wage bills are also under better control in English clubs than their counterparts in other major leagues."