The £500 million (Dh3.28 billion) spent by Premier League clubs on players in the mid-year transfer window broke records and topped last year's figure by £30m, according to consultancy firm Deloitte. Last-minute deals yesterday included Robinho's (real name Robson de Souza) move from Real Madrid to Manchester City for an estimated £32.5m and Dimitar Berbatov's transfer from Tottenham Hotspur to Manchester United for £30.75m.
"This level of transfer spending is far in excess of spending by other European leagues," Deloitte's Paul Rawnsley said in a statement today. "With the majority of their revenue streams already contractually secured, English football clubs are proving resilient to the current challenging economic environment," added Rawnsley, director of the company's sports business group. "While football is not recession-proof it is recession-resistant."
Deloitte said Premier League clubs spent around £215m buying players from each other, representing more than 40 per cent of the transfer activity during the window. In previous years this represented around a third of total spending. Including the January transfer window, total spending for 2008 was around £675m compared with £531m the previous year. * Reuters