Premier League clubs have smashed summer transfer window spending records for a sixth consecutive year, according to analysis of their activities.
Figures from Deloitte’s sports business group showed the 20 top-flight teams collectively spent £1.43bn during the break between seasons – a rise of 23% on the previous year.
They surpassed last summer’s record with a week to spare before Thursday’s 11pm deadline.
The spree means gross spending by Premier League clubs has now broken the £10bn barrier since the first transfer window of January 2003.
The highest-spending clubs were Manchester City at £215m, followed by £180m at Chelsea.
Manchester United and Everton both spent £145m.
The clubs’ coffers have been bolstered by a £5.14bn three-year TV rights deal, which began in the 2016/17 season and which sees most of the broadcast games screened by Sky, the owner of Sky News, and some by BT.
Deloitte said it was clear clubs were not getting out of their depth, calculating that transfer spending this summer as a proportion of estimated revenue for 2017/18 was 31% – though that was above the 27% average per season.
The Premier League’s spending was almost double that of Italy’s Serie A – its closest rival in the European spending stakes.
Sports business group partner Dan Jones said: “With the continued growth in clubs’ revenues, principally from broadcast rights, it is no surprise that Premier League clubs have continued to maintain their leading position in the world’s player transfer market.
“Importantly, and when analysed in the context of generating record broadcast, commercial and matchday revenues, Premier League clubs are spending well within their means.
“For the last 15 years, annual transfer spending has remained within the range of between a fifth and a third, and averaged at around a quarter, of total revenues.
“With Premier League clubs’ revenue showing no sign of decreasing in the foreseeable future, we would expect to see spending continue to rise.”
The top five deals:
:: Romelu Lukaku – £75m – Everton to Manchester United
:: Alvaro Morata – £70m – Real Madrid to Chelsea
:: Alexandre Lacazette – £52m – Lyon to Arsenal
:: Kyle Walker – £50m – Tottenham to Manchester City
:: Benjamin Mendy – £49.2m – Monaco to Manchester City