China catching up with Premier League spending
By Jefferson Lake
Last Updated: 03/02/16 11:34am
The Premier League remains the biggest spender in world football - but the Chinese Super League is catching up.
According to FIFA's global transfer report, English clubs spent £875m on international transfers, with Spain second on £417m.
But spending in China is on the rise - in 2015, clubs in the Chinese Super League paid out £116m on players, a jump of 65 per cent which dwarfs the Premier League's rise of eight per cent.
Those numbers continue to go up too, with big-money moves likely to continue up to the February 26 deadline in China.
Jackson Martinez became the CSL's record signing when he moved from Atletico Madrid to Guangzhou Evergrande for €42m (£31.8m) on Wednesday.
Chinese clubs also pay the highest average transfer fee - shelling out £3.3m per player compared to an overall average of £1.57m.
Businesses in China have invested huge sums in football since President Xi Jinping, an avowed fan of the sport, released a 50-point plan which included establishing tens of thousands of soccer schools and making the game compulsory for some elementary and middle-school students.
Investors have since ploughed more money into football, with the result being an overall spend of €204m by the Chinese Super League in the January transfer window alone.
That figure is second only to the Premier League, where spending was down 17 per cent compared to a rise of more than 100 per cent in China.