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Winter setback in the Premier League market: “They have reached the limit”

The Premier League bubble inflated to infinity in 2023. English clubs spent 3.1 billion euros! in signings in 2022-23. A ‘pasture’ thanks to reaching 842.6 ‘kilos’ in a record winter market in which Chelsea shattered all records. The ‘blues’ bought Enzo Fernndez (121.5) for 329.5 million, Mudryk (70), Badiashile (38), Madueke (35), Malo Gusto (30), Andrey Santos (12.5), Datro Fofana ( 12) and Joao Flix (11, on loan), raising their annual investment in footballers to 611.5.

A madness ‘made in Boehly’ that led the English League to accumulate triple winter spending in January 2023 than Ligue 1 (132.4), the Bundesliga (67.3), LaLiga (35.5) and Serie A (32.4) combined (267.6). A trend that continued to rise last summer, with the 20 Premier clubs buying players worth 2.8 billion. His lucrative television contract, his rich owners, his lack of salary cap…they skyrocketed the disbursement of ‘football’ in the last decade. However, everything has changed in this window.

Spending on Premier transfers in the 2024 winter market It’s down 86%! compared to 2023. They have gone from 842.6 million a year ago to 121.3 this year.. The English championship, which has lost the lead in favor of Ligue 1 (190.9) this month, has put on the brakes in a souk in which ‘giants’ such as Van Dijk, Bruno Fernandes, Laporte, Aubameyang, Fernando Torres, Luis Daz, Luis Surez or Bruno Guimaraes.

Dragusin (25 ‘kilos’ to Tottenham) has been the most expensive signing of an English window in which Arsenal, Chelsea, Everton, Liverpool, Manchester United and Newcastle have not even moved. City have signed Echeverri (16)… but for 2025. The Argentine leads the way in football. They have bought future (Wharton (Crystal Palace), Rogers (Aston Villa), Barco (Brighton), Bergvall (Tottenham…), closed transfers (nal (Bournemouth), Phillips (West Ham), Reyna (Forest), Reguiln ( Brentford), Werner (Tottenham)…) and sold a lot (97 ‘kilos’ in total) slimming down his accounts.

Crystal Palace, with 29.1 million, is the one that has left the most in this ‘transfer market’. A figure that last year, at this time, 11 teams (Chelsea, Southampton, Arsenal, Bournemouth, Newcastle, Liverpool, Leeds, Wolverhampton, Nottingham Forest, Leicester and Aston Villa) surpassed. Symptoms of a winter slump explained in MARCA by economist Kieran Maguire.

Premier clubs already owe 2.1 billion in transfer fees from previous campaigns. This, combined with several teams being close to violating Financial Fair Play or facing charges for exceeding it, has led to spending being restricted.

Kieran Maguire, ‘Price of Football’

“Premier clubs already owe 2.1 billion in transfer fees from previous campaigns. This, combined with several teams being close to failing to comply with Financial Fair Play or having charges for exceeding it, has led to spending being restricted. And also It has had an impact that the Saudi League has not bought the footballers for sale from the Premier as it did previously. In summer the usual spending will return… but now they have to balance their accounts“says the economics professor responsible for the ‘Price of Football’ portal.

Accelerate punishments

The -10 point penalty against Everton by breaking the sustainability and profit rules of the English League after having losses of 125 million in three yearswhen the Premier only allows 105 according to its Financial Fair Play, it has been a wake-up call for the entire League. The Toffees themselves and Nottingham Forest were also accused of financial irregularities in January. and they could be sanctioned.

In summer, The Premier Assembly voted by majority (at least 14 clubs must agree) that punishments for failing to comply with Financial Fair Play will be accelerated so that the deduction of points, if any, would be done before the end of the seasons so as not to penalize the teams that do comply with the rules. Next summer it is expected that clubs will be able to modify a FPF that is less ‘hard’ than others such as LaLiga or UEFA.. Already in August 2022, ‘The Times’ published that the Premier was negotiating to impose a salary limit so that spending on the sports team did not exceed 70%, including salaries of players, coaches, transfer amortizations and proportional shares to agents.

The rapid application of punishments for breaking profit and sustainability rules has caused spending to drop

Sam Lee, ‘The Athletic’

All this has created a scenario of uncertainty that has made teams hold back in this January market. “The rapid application of punishments for failing to comply with profit and sustainability rules has caused spending to drop. We have seen how Everton have had points deducted for having too many losses. And the rest of the clubs are being careful for fear of possible sanctions. That’s why there hasn’t been much movement,” Sam Lee, journalist from ‘The Athletic’, tells MARCA. A line that also shares Marcelino Elena, former player and director of the representation agency ‘Spanish Football Sports Agency’.

We come from a couple or three expansion markets. Now, everything has returned to normal. In the Premier they will continue spending, but things have stabilized when they reached the limit, the top of their possibilities

Marcelino Elena, ‘Spanish Football Sports Agency’

“In previous markets, Premier clubs reached their ceiling and some even surpassed it. Now, they have to adjust. The pandemic, Brexit… there were situations that made the market redirect, narrow and make the clubs stop spending so much money. Then we move on to a couple or three expansion markets. Now, the ‘pendulum’ has stabilized and everything will be more normal. More restraint, prudence…The volume of investment in the Premier will continue to be large, but things have stabilized when they reached the limit, the top of their possibilities,” Elena highlights in MARCA. They have to save.



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