The summer transfer window in the Premier League slammed shut on Wednesday night after the usual deadline day shopping carnage. According to Deloitte, the management consultants, whose figures, it must be said, include an element of guesswork; the 20 clubs spent a total of £485 million ($786M). That is a leap of 33 percent on last summer. The total was below the £500 million ($811M) spent in the summer of 2008, but the £225 million ($365M) spent in January make this a record year. Five clubs, Arsenal, Chelsea, Liverpool, Manchester City and Manchester United each spent more than £50 million ($81M) and between them accounted for 66 percent of the total spend. Of course, research shows that the truest predictor of a club's success is not its transfer spending but its wage bill. In that, the three clubs that don't seem to care what wages they pay, City, United and Chelsea, have a clear edge.
It's a little early to say who have netted the best crop. So many of these players are young and still developing. Even for veterans, particularly those coming to the Premier League for the first time, it usually takes a while to adjust to new clubs. But that raises the perennial question of why so many clubs waste precious time and wait until the last minute, three games into the season. Part of the reason is that the three superrich clubs set the market, often becoming embroiled in games of chicken with other clubs desperate to hold onto, or really cash in on, their best players. This has a knock on effect all the way down the line. With those caveats, there are still some clear winners and losers.
There are the ever-loyal Newcastle fans who saw three productive veterans leave to be replaced by a van load of cheap youngsters, and must wonder where the £35 million ($56.8M) the club got for Andy Carroll has gone. There is Daniel Levy who made his stand against Chelsea's initial cynical lowball bid for Luka Modric and may have won the battle (even rejecting a late reported £40M/$64 bid) but lost Tottenham's season. There is Tévez, who did not get what he wants, whatever that might be.
But the biggest loser was: