Record-breaking transfer spending raises questions about Premier League inequalities, says football finance expert

Business news

Wednesday 31 January 2018

Press contact

Press Team

January’s record-breaking transfer spending raises questions about the inequalities within the Premier League, says a Coventry University football finance expert.

Premier League clubs have already broken the £225 million record for total spending in a January transfer window, which was set in 2011, with several hours left before the deadline and the chance of some last-minute deals still to come.

However, most of this spending has been by the ‘big six’ clubs with the rest of the division opting for low-risk signings and bargain deals, says Dr Andrew Jones.

Dr Jones, a research assistant with Coventry University’s Centre for Business in Society, who specialises in football clubs’ finances, said:

The record-breaking transfer spending taking place in this January window raises further questions about the increasing inequalities present in the Premier League.


By the close of the transfer window each of the ‘big six’ clubs will have signed at least one player, and total spending for these clubs could break the £200 million barrier.


For much of the rest of the division, the threat of relegation, allied to stronger financial regulations and the widening gulf in commercial revenues, means that many clubs are chasing low risk loan signings and bargain deals


Although Brighton, Huddersfield and Southampton have broken their transfer records this month, the overarching theme of this January window has been the activity of the top six clubs.


In contrast to January 2017, where Gabriel Jesus was the only ‘first team’ player purchased by a top six club, this window has seen several major moves.


However, as analysts Deloitte point out, this spending is now ‘within the means’ of clubs thanks not only to the level of income from television rights, but also the vast sums that the ‘big six’ now generate in commercial revenues.”


For further press information, please contact Alison Martin, press officer, Coventry University, on 02477659752 or email