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Page last updated at 16:24 GMT, Friday, 4 February 2011

Scudamore defends Chelsea-led January spending spree

Carroll, Dalglish and Suarez
Dalglish spent almost 60m on Carroll (l) and Suarez

Premier League boss Richard Scudamore has argued that the huge spending witnessed during the transfer window highlights a game in rude health.

Led by Fernando Torres' £50m move from Liverpool to Chelsea, about £210m was spent by English clubs - most of which stayed within the Premier League.

Scudamore said: "The point is inward investment is generally encouraged.

"What I don't buy is that they [the clubs] shouldn't be out there spending in these austere times."

Scudamore, who added that a player moving for £100m was inevitable, added: "If [Chelsea owner] Roman Abramovich has the money to spend and he wishes to do that, then in some ways that's the game and that money gets recycled around."


The move for Torres by a Chelsea side that also signed David Luiz from Benfica for £25m persuaded Liverpool to enter the market, with Kenny Dalglish signing Luis Suarez from Ajax for £22.7m and Andy Carroll from Newcastle for £35m - a record for a British player.

Coming on top of transfer window deals that saw Darren Bent move from Sunderland to Aston Villa for £18m and Edin Dzeko arrive at Manchester City in a £27m deal from Wolfsburg, there were renewed suggestions that levels of spending in the English game were at unmanageable levels.

There had also been suggestions that levels of debts were so high that government intervention might be necessary to force clubs to impose spending limits.

However, responding to questions by the Department for Culture, Media and Sport, Scudamore offered a counter argument.

"There's a point where it becomes - in anybody's mind - ridiculous, but I don't think we are that level," he said.

"Overall, income has increased, mainly due to the strong interest in the Premier League in overseas markets, although clubs are having to work extremely hard to maintain attendances and incomes from hospitality.

"Government intervention in individual sports is justified when those sports need public money to sustain high standards at the elite level or where public sector action is required to achieve higher levels of participation in sport at the grassroots level.

"English football at the elite level is not in this position although it is always ready to work with government to invest jointly in the pursuit of shared objectives, particularly in encouraging grassroots activity."

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see also
Transfers - January 2011
31 Jan 11 |  Football
Torres explains Anfield departure
04 Feb 11 |  Chelsea
Chelsea pay record fee for Torres
31 Jan 11 |  Chelsea
Liverpool sign Suarez for 22.7m
31 Jan 11 |  Liverpool
Carroll seals switch to Liverpool
31 Jan 11 |  Liverpool
Chelsea complete signing of Luiz
01 Feb 11 |  Chelsea
Transfer deadline day as it happened
01 Feb 11 |  Football

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