While the rest of the world spent €802m on transfers, they also received €632m from Premier League clubs – or almost 80% of their total spend. In other words, the spend in many of these markets was financed with player sales to the PL.
Chelsea the catalyst for EPL spending
The window closed in the majority of countries with some €1.63billion having been spent on players, a 27% hike on the prior year, as our 2023 Winter Transfer Window report reveals.
Although there were 16% fewer transfers, down to 11,170, the average paid transfer fee was €3.2m, up 37%.
Liquidity was needed to get the transfer window wheels moving again after the long-drawn out impact of the pandemic, and the English Premier League provided it: its 20 clubs accounting for 51% of the total spend.
That should certainly increase confidence in clubs’ spending habits worldwide come the Summer window.
For Winter, the eight highest-spending clubs were all from the PL, with Chelsea alone spending more money than all of the clubs in the top leagues in France, Germany, Italy and Spain combined.
Chelsea splashed out more than €350m in the January sales, including €121m on Benfica’s Enzo Fernández, the Young Player of the Tournament at the 2022 FIFA World Cup, after playing a starring role as Argentina lifted the trophy.
PL financing transfers worldwide
Fernández is the most expensive player in the history of the Premier League, which continues to increase the gap to its European rivals at every transfer window.
Excluding the PL, total spending actually fell by 14% versus 2022. In France, Italy and Portugal, the income from selling players to England’s top flight actually superseded the total spend on transfer by all clubs in their individual leagues.
In total, while the rest of the world spent €802m on transfers, they also received €632m from Premier League clubs – or almost 80% of their total spend. In other words, the spend in many of these markets was financed with player sales to the EPL.
Enzo Fernández was the story of January, and his transfer helped Benfica become one of the winners of this window. Along with clubs like Shakhtar Donetsk (which sold Mykhailo Mudryk for an initial €70m to Chelsea) and Atletico de Madrid, Benfica managed to secure high net gains in this window - through bargains and efficient negotiating.
The Portuguese Primeira Liga also took the top spot this window as the most international league - both as a seller and a buyer - with 83% and 87% of all deals involving players moving across borders, respectively.
Click here for the full report, covering an initial 21 leagues in 12 countries (with more to be added as windows close around the world).