Daily Mail - - Football - NEIL ASHTON

PREMIER LEAGUE clubs have spent a stag­ger­ing £130mil­lion in agents’ fees in the last year. Liver­pool head the list af­ter com­mit­ting £14m to the game’s mid­dle men in the past two trans­fer win­dows alone. The in­cred­i­ble fees be­ing paid to agents have been high­lighted in a report sanc­tioned and agreed by all 20 clubs play­ing at the high­est level. The fig­ures, which ac­count for money spent be­tween Septem­ber 2014 and Oc­to­ber 2015, show that ev­ery side in the top flight has spent at least £1.5m on agents, with Wat­ford the only club to shell out less than £2m. Manch­ester clubs United and City are in the top three, just be­hind Liver­pool, with £13.9m and £12.4m re­spec­tively, with Chelsea com­plet­ing the top four. De­spite a cou­ple of rel­a­tively quiet trans­fer win­dows, Arse­nal have paid agents al­most £12m, while West Ham’s Eu­ropa League spend­ing spree saw them rack up more than £7m. The two win­dows saw 172 in­com­ing trans­fers in the Premier League, while 573 plays left or were loaned out. Added to the 542 new and re­newed con­tract deals, there were al­most 1,300 deals which could have seen pay­ments made to agents over the year. The to­tal of £130m is up al­most £15m on the previous year, although Liver­pool’s to­tal is al­most iden­ti­cal to their 2013-14 fig­ure, and Chelsea, who spent al­most £17m that year, were the top spenders. The in­crease in clubs’ TV pay­ments means that the upward trend is likely to con­tinue, with the Jan­uary trans­fer win­dow promis­ing more spend­ing. How­ever, it’s a dif­fer­ent case in the Foot­ball League. De­spite nine Cham­pi­onship clubs spend­ing more than £1m on agents, the to­tal was only £26m, around a fifth of the amount spent in the Premier League. League One side Bury are the high­est-ranked side who did not give a penny to agents, while all the League Two clubs put to­gether spent just over £1m.

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