The coronavirus pandemic was set to usher in a new era into the football world – following years of extravagant spending, a time of huge financial certainty was upon us.
When the pandemic struck, the world of sport was brought to a halt, and many argued football would be hit the hardest. There was no way back.
Questions started to be raised – how will clubs make it through the brunt of the crisis – before sides began their desperate attempts to tighten their purse-strings.
Thomas Partey was the deadline day’s biggest deal, with Arsenal signing him for £45million
Partey shirts begin to sell in Arsenal’s club shop after they paid Atletico his release clause
Kai Havertz’s move to Chelsea from Bayer Leverkusen was the biggest deal of the summer
The likes of Liverpool and Tottenham controversially decided to put staff on furlough when it hit, before making a U-turn on their decisions after huge backlash from English fans, while Arsenal were another to make 55 staff redundant later on to lessen the financial impact – even letting go the club’s iconic Gunnersauras mascot on deadline day to save some cash.
Furthermore, throughout the last couple of months, top-flight clubs have been pleading with the Government to allow fans to return to games as it’s their major source of revenue while they have argued they can’t help the EFL’s £250million bail-out.
But fast forward seven months from when football was stopped in its tracks, Premier League clubs have just gone on to spend an eye-watering £1.26BILLION in the summer transfer market. Yes, you heard that right.
Frank Lampard also spent big on fellow Germany international Timo Werner from RB Leipzig
*Summer transfer window only*
2020 – £1.26bn
2019 – £1.41bn
2018 – £1.30bn
2017 – £1.46bn
2016 – £1.25bn
2015 – £1.10bn
This summer, Premier League clubs emphatically dispelled the myth of troubled times ahead as they frantically went in search of ways to strengthen their squads to make a statement of intent.
In fact, despite these unprecedented times, this summer’s spending is down just 10 per cent on the five-year average.
However, domestic deals between Premier League and EFL clubs can still be done until October 16, meaning there is plenty of time for the figure to keep soaring.
Only in 2015 and 2016, did Premier League clubs spend slightly less than they have done this summer – with all 20 top-flight clubs releasing £1.10bn and £1.25bn respectively.
But in 2019, Premier League clubs forked out £1.41bn while in 2018 it was £1.30bn, and in 2017 it was £1.46bn.
And while many pleaded their struggles that awaited them amid the pandemic, five clubs smashed their transfer record too this summer.
Chelsea splashed out £72m on Kai Havertz from Bayer Leverkusen and Wolves forked out £35.6m on Portuguese youngster Fabio Silva from Porto despite a lack of first-team matches under his belt.
Furthermore, Aston Villa spent £28m on Ollie Watkins from Brentford, newly-promoted Leeds gave Valencia £27m for Rodrigo while Sheffield United purchased Rhian Brewster from Liverpool for £23.4m.
Chelsea’s successful £72m pursuit of Havertz led the way in terms of biggest buys in the Premier League this summer.
Ruben Dias holds up his new Manchester City colours after signing from Benfica this summer
Manchester United wrapped up the deadline day signing of Alex Telles from Porto
1) Kai Havertz (Chelsea) – £72m
2) Ruben Dias (Man City) – £61.2m
3) Timo Werner (Chelsea) – £47.7m
4) Ben Chilwell (Chelsea) – £45.2m
5) Thomas Partey (Arsenal) – £45m
Manchester City sit second in that table after offloading £61.2m on Ruben Dias from Benfica, taking Pep Guardiola’s spending on his City backline over an astonishing £400m.
Timo Werner’s £47.7m arrival at Chelsea was the third most expensive signing this summer while Ben Chilwell’s £45.2m move to Stamford Bridge comes fourth.
And finally, Arsenal’s deadline day signing of Thomas Partey from Atletico Madrid in a £45m deal makes up the top five after they paid the Spanish side’s release clause.
So while gloomy times appeared to be on the horizon in England, the Premier League smashed that theory to pieces despite pleading their financial worries.
In fact after a hectic deadline day, the Premier League took their net spend to more than an astonishing £800m.
But the same can’t be said for Europe’s other elite leagues. The net spend in the Bundesliga, La Liga and Serie A fell drastically from last summer’s numbers.
In England however, it doesn’t appear the Premier League will be restraining their transfer spend anytime soon, no matter what obstacles stand in front of them.
Leeds sealed a last-minute £21m deal for Brazilian winger Raphinha from Rennes
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