January transfer spending slashed year-on-year in first fall since 2012, say Deloitte
By Richard Cooke
Last Updated: 01/02/19 7:17am
Premier League clubs spent £180m during the January transfer window - the first time the figure has fallen since 2012, according to football finance experts at Deloitte.
Nearly a third of the total expenditure was accounted for by Chelsea's £55m outlay for Christian Pulisic from Borussia Dortmund.
Last year's winter transfer window saw top-flight clubs shell out £430m, with big-money moves including Virgil van Dijk at £75m and Aymeric Laporte for £50m.
However, most of the major transactions this January saw players leaving Premier League sides, with Brahim Diaz moving from Manchester City to Real Madrid for £15.5m, Mousa Dembele moving to Guangzhou R&F from Tottenham for £11m, and Schalke shelling out £9.6m for Manchester City's Rabbi Matondo.
Tim Bridge, director in the Sports Business Group at Deloitte, said: "As we approach a decisive phase of the season, Premier League clubs' January transfer spending has been relatively muted in comparison to what we have seen in previous years."
January spending was at £225m in 2011 but fell to £60m in the following year.
It doubled the following year, and remained steady at £130m in 2014 and 2015, before jumping to £175m, £215m and £430m over the last three seasons.
The £180m transfer bill means total gross spending by Premier League clubs in the 2018/19 season is an estimated £1.4bn, the second-highest season ever following record spend of £1.9bn in 2017/18.
Other findings from Deloitte included the so-called Big Six accounting for 43% of the January expenditure, lower than last January when this figure stood at 62%.
Equally, those in the bottom six of the table spent £20m - compared to £70m in the same period last season.
Championship clubs spent £60m in the window, more than double last year's total of £30m, Deloitte added.