Football: Premier League lead Europe spending bonanza

Football: Premier League lead Europe spending bonanza
Chelsea's manager Jose Mourinho is pictured before his team's friendly match against AS Roma at RFK Stadium in Washington August 10, 2013

PARIS - The English Premier League's standing as the world's richest sporting competition remains intact after the transfer window closed late on Monday night.

The 20 Premier League clubs between them shelled out a massive total of £630 million (S$1.251 million, 768 million euros) on players, almost as much as the Spanish and Italian top-flight clubs put together.

Financial analysts Deloitte point out that that figure is £130m more than a year ago, an increase of 29 per cent, fuelled largely by a massive increase in TV funding.

Spanish clubs, led by Real Madrid's reported 100 million euro capture of Gareth Bale from Tottenham Hotspur and the 57 mllion euros Brazilian Neymar is said to have cost Barcelona, paid a total of 395 million euros (US$521 m, £335m) in fees, a staggering 205 per cent more than 2012.

That figure was matched by Italian Serie A clubs, but it represented an increase of only eight per cent year on year, with the key deal seeing Napoli part with 37 million euros for Real Madrid's Argentine striker Gonzalo Higuain.

This year, that total was almost rivalled by the French league, where massive injections of foreign cash into Paris Saint-Germain and Monaco, saw an outlay of 375 million euros (US$490m, £315m), up 66 per cent on 2012.

PSG led the way, paying Napoli 64 million euros for Uruguayan Edinson Cavani and a further 31 million to Roma for Brazilian Marquinhos, while Monaco landed Radamel Falcao from Atletico Madrid for 60 million and made a double 70 million swoop on Porto for James Rodriquez and Joao Moutinho.

But at a time when the pressure is on clubs to toe the line drawn by UEFA's financial fairness code, Germany's Bundesliga again proved an appropriate role model.

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