Transfer summary: an overview of the transfer spending since 1998

Last summer was, again, quite an exciting transfer window. 3 players (Suárez, James and Di María) entered the top 5 of most expensive transfers in the history of football and some clubs broke their records to make this possible (Barcelona, Manchester United). Helped by the spending of the Reds the English Premier League spent an amount of money on new players never seen in the history of any league. Maybe hoping to be able to compete with the Bundesliga and La Liga again, after 5 years with only 3 semifinal seats in the Champions League.

In this piece I will look at the transfer spending of the Four Big leagues (England, Spain, Germany and Italy) as of 1998. Giving an overview of the ridiculousness of the increase in spending, while looking at the relation to Champions League performance in the corresponding (the season after a summer transfer round-up) season.

3 takeaways from the numbers:

Together, the 78 clubs spent €2,141,113,000 over this summer. An average of €27.5M per club.

The Premier League clubs only spend less (€1044M in total) than the clubs from the other 3 big leagues combined (€1097M in total).

The clubs from La Liga received more money from transfers (€531M) than what they spent (€480M) for the third season in a row.

The following graph shows the tendency over the last 17 years (since 1998) for the 4 mentioned leagues:

Captura de pantalla 2014-09-16 a la(s) 1.59.41 AM

As you can see the Premier League has been top spender in each year as of 2002. And although the tendency is to say that the clubs from La Liga (mainly Barcelona and Real Madrid) spend a lot of money, the competition as a whole spent more money on transfer than the Serie A for the first time since 2007.

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