The English Premier League has always made the headlines for its commercialization but as at the end of the 2016/17 summer transfer window, a new level has been established in the value of players and wanting to win as the league hits $1.5bn in transfer fees. Deloitte Sports Business Group, the market leading professional services in sports, reported on Thursday, September 1, 2016, that the Premier League has spent 1.165 million pounds ($1.54bn dollars) at the end of the window.
With audiences all around the world taking a stake in the affairs of England’s elite league, the teams have responded elegantly by contributing to a 34 percent rise in spending, breaking the 2015/16 record of 870 million pounds. Dan Jones, an analyst and a Business Group Partner said, “This has been the fourth successive campaign that the record has been broken.”
From a neutral standpoint this represents a new unparalleled wavelength with regards to the splash of money in soccer, but can English teams be blamed for their spending habits? The Premier League has been blessed by the advertising deal in TV Rights. According to the Daily Mail, the root of the summer’s spending is attributed to the $5bn plus three-year broadcasting deal that has given the team’s extensive financial muscle in the market.
This has so far been evident in the transfer window when low and middle class teams signed players in excess of 10 million pounds but the same thing could not be said of low and mid-table teams in the other European leagues who settled for fees below 10 million euros or season-long loans.
Manchester United broke the world record by re-signing Pogba from Juventus for a sum of 89 million pounds, a fee that has called many pundits on the subject of “Is Paul Pogba Worth His Price?” Manchester City signed John Stones for 47.5 million pounds from Everton FC, an outrageous sum for a young defender whiles Arsenal also splashed out 37.5 million pounds for Borussia Mochengladbach star Granit Xhaka.
Arsene Wenger stated. “There are two markets in the transfer window, one for the English teams and a market for the other European teams.” Wenger was not wrong as other clubs would fight over a player but as soon as a Premier League club joins the race, the asking price is doubled because the clubs has been tagged as the teams with the financial muscle.
According to Reuters, 155 million pounds was spent on the last day of the transfer window by Premier League clubs with notable signings David Luis heading back to Chelsea from PSG for 34 million pounds, Tottenham Hotspur out muscling Everton FC paying 30 million pounds for Moussa Sissoko and champions Leicester City paying 30 million pounds for Islam Slimani.
Serie A came in second place with a whopping 590 million pounds for a depleting league followed by Bundesliga with 460 million pounds and La Liga coming fourth place with 400 million pounds.
Commentary by Raphael Minter