“After three record-breaking transfer windows, there was a slowdown in January,” Tim Bridge of Deloitte Sports Business Group told the BBC.
While clubs from the much-loved Premier League spent a whopping £815m a year ago, this year they have spent just £100m on signings. If we do not count the strange covid years, this is the most economical January in the last 12 years.
“The more cautious approach was probably caused by high investments in the summer, but new financial regulations and the consequences of non-compliance could also have influenced it,” Bridge thinks.
The Premier League has introduced rules on profitability and sustainability. Simplified? If you want to spend, you have to earn money. Otherwise, the inspectors threaten points and monetary penalties. A few months ago, the Premier League took away 10 points from Everton for non-compliance in the 2021/22 season, and in mid-January it was reported that Nottingham Forrest and Everton again did not comply with the rules last season.
The amount of the penalty is now decided by an independent commission. “And it’s sent wind into the offices of other clubs, there’s certainly a sense of nervousness,” says Rob Wilson, a professor specializing in football finance at Sheffield Hallam University.
Together in England, they counted 17 largely unremarkable transfers and 13 loan spells over the winter. The loan of Tim Werner from Leipzig to Tottenham can probably be considered the most interesting move. No big deal, see?
In the volume of money, the Premier League surpassed, for example, the French Ligue 1, where 65 million pounds more was spent on transfers in the winter.
British experts see several reasons for poor January. For example, only two managers changed during the season, who would like to oxygenate the team. What was missing was a transfer bomb that would set off a domino effect of change. And the BBC mentions that the absent fighters in Liverpool or Manchester City managed to be replaced by youngsters like Conor Bradley or Oscar Bobb, which did not force the club bosses to urgently look for replacements.
An influx of money from another rich competition could shake up the frozen English market. “Because there is no money in the market, clubs have had to look abroad to sell someone. But Saudi Arabia has been much quieter than in the recent past,” noted Professor Wilson.
But the Arabian Peninsula is not currently welcoming more crowds of top footballers, but is rather saying goodbye to those who nodded recently and are not satisfied in Saudi Arabia.
This also affected the events in England, where the fans were not satisfied again. The market was boring this year.