The economic downturn has hit businesses throughout England, but not it seems the Premier League.
The January transfer window slammed shut on Monday with Premier League clubs spending an all-time high.
Around Ã‚Â£160million was spent in England’s top flight in the window – over four times what was spent back in 2003 – when the economy was stable.
Struggling Manchester City predictably lead the way with an outlay of Ã‚Â£48million for Craig Bellamy, Nigel de Jong, Shay Given and Wayne Bridge.
Backed By Sheikh Mansour, City boss Mark Hughes has been told he has a bottomless pit of money to spend – so as expected he forked out almost Ã‚Â£50million to bolster his squad, who are just five points off the drop zone and football odds of 38.0 to disappear into the Championship abyss.
Harry Redknapp’s Spurs were close behind spending Ã‚Â£46million – mostly on players former boss Juande Ramos had sold and they are even deeper in trouble – just a point clear of the trap door.
Champions Manchester United, by many expected to have a quiet window, still shelled out Ã‚Â£17million on unknown duo Zoran Tosic and Adem Ljajic and Arsenal landed Andrei Arshavin for Ã‚Â£15million.
Last year’s window produced deals worth Ã‚Â£146million, while in 2007 only Ã‚Â£63million was spent on January transfers.
And if you were in any doubt as to which European league is the top dog then just consider the Premier League’s closest rival in terms of January spending, Spain’s Primera Liga, who managed an outlay of only Ã‚Â£50million.
Italy’s Serie A clubs spent Ã‚Â£30million and Germany’s Bundesliga limped into fourth place with a paltry spend of just Ã‚Â£20million – by my reckoning then Manchester City should be a match for a combined Bundesliga/Serie A select XI.
Phil Tomlinson is an online sports writer for Betfair Ã¢â‚¬â€œ Check them out for Grand National odds.
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