LONDON (Reuters) - Foreign clubs are the main beneficiaries of the Premier League’s transfer dealings and will continue to be so with forthcoming increases in broadcast revenue, financial analysts predicted as the summer window finally closed this week.
Although many fees remain unofficial, it was generally agreed that of the 10 most expensive deals involving English clubs since the end of last season, seven of the players were bought from other leagues.
Germany’s Bundesliga benefited most, with VfL Wolfsburg, Hoffenheim and Bayer Leverkusen receiving almost 100 million pounds ($153.09 million) between them for Kevin de Bruyne (sold to Manchester City), Roberto Firmino (Liverpool) and Son Heung-min (Tottenham Hotspur) respectively.
Gross transfer fees to overseas clubs of 585 million pounds were 10 per cent up on the previous year, according to the annual analysis by the Deloitte business advisory firm.
“Since the introduction of the new (Premier League) broadcast deal for 2013-14, spending on overseas players has nearly doubled,” Deloitte’s Alex Thorpe told Reuters in an interview.
”In 2012 it was 300 million pounds. This summer it was 585 million.
”That shows how broadcast revenues have driven the increase in clubs’ spending in the international market. And it’s not just the transfer fees. They can also offer financial packages that are very attractive to international players.
“Not only is the Premier League a net importer of talent, way ahead of other leagues in gross and net spending, but Germany and France have actually been net exporters.”
Given that a lucrative new domestic broadcast deal, a 70 percent increase on the existing one, comes into effect next season, with overseas rights still to be negotiated, Thorpe sees no reason why the current trends will not continue.
“Looking to the future, the biggest factor driving transfer spending has been broadcast revenue, so that has already been taken care of for the next three years,” he added.
“So spending is not only going to continue, it is going to increase. Clubs will still have the ability to spend at these kind of levels if they so choose.”
According to Deloitte’s figures, Premier League clubs’ record gross spend of 870 million pounds was more than double that of Italy’s Serie A, the second highest.
But there was an unexpected benefit in the strength of the pound against the euro, which according to corporate broker Foenix saved them 85 million pounds in buying players from European clubs.
The next transfer window for all Europe’s major leagues opens on Jan. 1.
($1 = 0.6532 pounds)
Reporting by Steve Tongue; editing by Sudipto Ganguly