Page last updated at 11:41 GMT, Tuesday, 2 February 2010

Premier League clubs' January transfer spending slumps

Premier League clubs' spending in January

Premier League clubs spent £30m in the January transfer window, the lowest since the mid-season window was introduced in 2003.

The outlay of fees compares with about £170m spent in January 2009, Deloitte's Sports Business Group said.

Deloitte said the limited spending had been expected as clubs were more sceptical of the "near-term impact" a player bought in January can have.

About 70% of transfers were loan arrangements, the group said.

That included Robbie Keane's move from Tottenham to Celtic for the rest of the season.

Transfers included Adam Johnson's sale from Middlesbrough to Manchester City and Benni McCarthy leaving Blackburn to West Ham United - both for undisclosed fees.

As many clubs do not disclose financial details, Deloitte only provides estimates on money spent on transfers.

Belt tightening

Last year's spending was influenced by new club owners and managers, with over half of the spending done by Manchester City, who had just been bought by Sheikh Mansour bin Zayed Al Nahyan, and Tottenham Hotspur, who had recently appointed Harry Redknapp as manager.

Robbie Keane
Robbie Keane's move from Spurs to Celtic was one of many loans agreed

Deloitte added that the tightening of club finances and credit availability had helped to "dampen down the market".

"The relatively low level of transfer spending by Premier League clubs in January 2010 is broadly consistent with the situation of top division clubs in France, Germany, Italy and Spain," said Dan Jones, partner at Deloitte's Sports Business Group.

Although clubs across Europe were cutting down on their mid-season buys, Premier League clubs' spending in January still "significantly exceeds" that by clubs in France, Germany and Spain, the report added.

However, Italian Serie A clubs have reportedly spent about £30m on player transfers, Deloitte said.

Next month, the group is expected to confirm several Premier League clubs in the top 20 of the world's richest clubs.

However, its Football Money League is based on revenue alone and does not take debt into account.

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