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Record English Soccer Spending Spree Dwarfs Rivals in Europe

Record English Soccer Spending Spree Dwarfs Rivals in Europe

LONDON (AP) — English Premier League clubs spent a record 835 million pounds ($1.38 billion) on players during the summer transfer window, almost twice as much as any of Europe’s other top leagues.

A study by football finance expert Deloitte showed gross spending in England’s top league was up more than 30 percent on the previous record of 630 million pounds (now $1.04 billion) set in 2013.

Spanish clubs were the second-highest spenders of the so-called “big five” divisions in Europe, with an outlay of 425 million pounds ($700 million), Deloitte said. Italian clubs were next highest on 260 million pounds ($430 million). Germany spent 250 million pounds ($410 million) and France 100 million pounds ($165 million).

Increased domestic and international broadcast deals fuelled the spending by English clubs, with Manchester United paying out about 150 million pounds ($250 million) as part of its rebuilding under Louis van Gaal. That’s the most spent by a Premier League club in a summer window.

“We continue to see the increased resources that Premier League clubs enjoy, as a result of improved broadcast deals, translate into investment in players,” said Dan Jones, of Deloitte’s Sports Business Group.

There was also a record net spend by Premier League clubs of 410 million pounds ($680 million), only marginally higher than the previous highest from last summer with teams still having to abide by financial fair play regulations.

“With Premier League clubs in a stronger position to afford increased transfer and player costs than ever before, the key challenge remains pursuing their ambitions responsibly,” Jones said. “Regulations are now in place at both a league and continental level encouraging clubs to balance their costs with revenue.”

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