On July 1, the summer transfer window will be open for business and it will remain open until August 31. When the window opens, it also opens up the opportunity for Premier League clubs and their respective managers to splurge some money and strengthen their squads.
But just how much money can a team spend on a player? Is spending close to £100m on one player even a possibility or worth it? These question are being asked all over the football world and there are many sites offering bets on Griezmann, Sanchez or some other big name taking the crown as the world’s most expensive player.
Premier League’s Growth Over the Years
Transfer fees have increased significantly since the first ever three-figure transfer in 1893 when Aston Villa bought Willie Groves for £100. It took 11 years to reach the four-figure mark, which was West Ham United player Syd Puddlefoot’s transfer to Falkirk. Later in 1928, David Jack of Bolton Wanderers became the first to hit the five-figure mark after a deal was struck with Arsenal for a £10,000 transfer fee. The 1970s was when transfer fees began to skyrocket. Martin Peters started the ball rolling with a £200,000 transfer fee from West Ham United to Tottenham Hotspur. Aston Villa’s Andy Keegan wrapped up the decade following a £1,469,000 deal with Wolverhampton Wanderers, while Manchester United picked up West Brom’s Bryan Robson for £1,500,000 in October 1981.
In 1995, Andy Cole of Newcastle United was bought by United for £7,000,000. Andriy Shevchenko’s move from Milan to Chelsea was worth £30,800,000 in July 2006. However, Paul Pogba’s entry last year into the Premier League with a £89,700,000 transfer fee paid by United currently tops the list. Will transfers touch the £100,000,000 mark?
Top 5 Transfers Until Now
These are the 5 biggest transfer deals that the Premier League has seen to date. If any of the Premier League managers want to break the spending record this season, they will have to spend a lot!
- Paul Pogba’s move to Manchester United tops the list with a £89.25m transfer fee.
- In the 2013/14 transfer window Welshman Gareth Bale switched from Tottenham Hotspur to Real Madrid. The deal for the right winger was struck at £85.85m and is the second highest ever.
- Back in the 2009/2010 season, United winger Cristiano Ronaldo was picked up by Real Madrid for a tidy £79.90m.
- There were two sizeable transfers in the 2014/15 season in which centre-forward Luis Suarez left Liverpool in a £69.46m transfer deal with FC Barcelona.
- In the same season Angel Di Maria moved from Real Madrid to United in a £63.75m transfer deal.
The Teams That Spend
In the last season, Premier League clubs spent a whopping £1.17 billion, which included the hefty deals for Pogba, John Stones and Granit Xhaka.
In the 2016 summer transfer window, cash-rich Manchester City spent as much as £175.05m, followed by neighbours United with £149.55m and Chelsea who ended up spending £123.45m.
Arsenal’s Arsene Wenger, who is known to be tight-fisted, did loosen the club’s purse strings and spent £91.1m on players that included Shkodran Mustafi (£35m), Granit Xhaka (£34m) and Lucas Perez (£17.1m).
Big Clubs vs Small Clubs: Who Spends More?
While Manchester City, Manchester United, Chelsea, Arsenal, Tottenham Hotspur, Liverpool and Leicester City topped the spending list with a cumulative total of £746.88m, the other clubs spent as much as £500m between them.
In 2016, 13 of the 20 Premier League clubs broke their transfer record. This included teams like West Brom who roped in Nacer Chadli for £13m, Burnley who took on Jeff Hendrick for £10.5m and Bournemouth who bought Jordon Ibe for £15m.
Reports suggest that Leicester could break their transfer record once again this summer and are prepared to spend big after splashing £28m on Islam Slimani last summer.
Are the Premier League Clubs the Biggest Spenders?
For the most part, the English Premier League does have an edge over other leagues in European football. The top leagues spent over €3 billion in 2015. This included La Liga, Serie A, Bundesliga, Ligue 1 and the Premier League. The bulk of the spending, however, was by the Premier League which accounted for £864m in transfer fees. This was followed by Serie A at £575m, La Liga at £503m, Bundesliga £289m and Ligue 1 who spent £223m.
There are still a few weeks left before the transfer window opens (and shuts) so only time will tell just how much money will be spent and whether any crazy records will indeed be broken. Watch this space!