Trans­fer spend­ing in­creases de­spite big losses

The Daily Telegraph - Business - - Sport / Covid Crisis - By Jeremy Wil­son

Premier League clubs have now spent more on trans­fers dur­ing the Covid-19 pan­demic in this cur­rent trans­fer win­dow than they did last year, ac­cord­ing to the lat­est anal­y­sis of their player trad­ing.

Con­fir­ma­tion of Wolver­hamp­ton Wan­der­ers’ £27.6mil­lion sign­ing of Nel­son Semedo (right) has taken the total net out­lay to £624.4mil­lion, sur­pass­ing the £614.8mil­lion that was spent dur­ing the sum­mer of 2019 be­fore Covid-19 struck.

The Premier League say that the clubs lost £700mil­lion last sea­son due to the pan­demic, and are los­ing £100mil­lion a month with­out fans, but there has been no ob­vi­ous im­pact in the trans­fer mar­ket com­pared with last sum­mer.

The £624.4mil­lion fig­ure, cal­cu­lated by fi­nan­cial an­a­lysts Vysy­ble, in­cludes re­ported fees agreed, as well as sales, and so rep­re­sents the total dif­fer­ence in col­lec­tive out­go­ings and in­com­ings.

Much of the spend­ing has been driven by Chelsea’s de­sire to in­vest heav­ily again in the club’s play­ing squad, but there have also been size­able deals through­out the di­vi­sion.

The tim­ing of the spend­ing, how­ever, could be awk­ward, with the Premier League sign­ing a let­ter to Prime Min­is­ter Boris John­son which asked for a Covid-19 bailout across sport.

Yet with its £9.2bil­lion three-year broad­cast deal largely in­tact, the Premier League is cur­rently also in talks with the Cul­ture Sec­re­tary Oliver Dow­den and the English Football League about whether it can pro­vide fi­nan­cial help to res­cue the wider football pyra­mid.

John Pur­cell, a fi­nan­cial an­a­lyst from Vysy­ble, said that the “trans­fer mar­ket had been buoy­ant” but also stressed that Premier League clubs had been ac­cu­mu­lat­ing sig­nif­i­cant eco­nomic losses and ques­tioned whether they would be will­ing or able to bail out another group of eco­nom­i­cally loss-mak­ing football clubs in the EFL.

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