Fear of missing out on English football’s biggest ever payday drove the Premier League’s relegation-threatened clubs on a spending spree in January, with Championship sides hoping for promotion also splashing the cash.
An analysis by business consultants Deloitte of the transfer window that closed on Monday showed that the six clubs at the bottom of the table accounted for more than half of all Premier League spending.
That 90 million pounds, out of an overall figure of 175 million, compared to 20 million paid out by the bottom six in January 2015 when they made up less than 20 percent of the total.
Next season will see Premier League clubs share more television revenue than ever thanks to a record-breaking 5.1 billion pound deal with broadcasters Sky and BT that runs from 2016 to 2019.
That has increased the rewards of staying up while clubs battling for promotion have more of an incentive to spend.
“This January’s spending has been driven in large part by clubs in the bottom half of the table,” said Dan Jones, a partner in Deloitte’s Sports Business Group.
“The promise of the new broadcast deal for Premier League clubs from next season onwards and the threat of missing out through relegation is contributing to clubs investing in an attempt to stay in the league.”
Spending by second-tier Championship clubs in the January transfer window was around 35 million pounds, with promotion hopefuls Middlesbrough paying a reported nine million for Scotland striker Jordan Rhodes.
Clubs in the top six positions accounted for 70 percent of second tier spending.
No Premier League club received less than 64 million pounds when the money was shared out last season with Aston Villa, who narrowly avoided the drop in 17th place, taking 68.6 million.
Winners Chelsea received 99 million, according to Premier League figures.
Under the Premier League agreement, half of the UK broadcast revenue is split equally between the clubs with 25 per cent paid in merit payments and the remainder coming in ‘facility fees’ based on television exposure.
Newcastle United (18th), Norwich City (17th) and Watford (10th) were the Premier League’s biggest gross spenders in the window and accounted for about 40 percent of the total.
Newcastle spent a reported 12 million on Tottenham Hotspur winger Andros Townsend and the same on Swansea City’s England midfielder Jonjo Shelvey.
Sunderland (19th) made a clutch of signings while Bournemouth (16th) and Swansea City (15th) were busy, but Villa, last and seemingly doomed to relegation with 10 points between them and Norwich, spent nothing.
Deloitte’s said January also saw the highest ever total spend by Premier League clubs on players from overseas, the total of 110 million pounds comparing to 65 million in the same period last year.
The amount of business between Premier League clubs fell, accounting for just 26 percent of gross spending.