Premier-league News

It is cheating: European giants fume at wild $1.4bn Premier League reality


There was plenty of reaction over in Europe.

Another transfer window of record-breaking spending in the Premier League has led to more soul-searching around Europe, as clubs on the continent are unable to stop the drain of talent to England.

Chelsea have stolen most of the headlines with their eye-watering purchase of Argentina midfielder Enzo Fernandez from Benfica for an English record of 121 million euros ($132m).

But he was just one of seven players to move to Stamford Bridge from clubs elsewhere in Europe, and Chelsea were not the only ones spending big.

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All Premier League clubs combined to spend £815 million ($A1.4bn) in January.

Of the top 20 January transfers according to specialist site Transfermarkt, only two did not involve Premier League clubs — one was Marseille selling Brazil midfielder Gerson back to Flamengo, and the other was the French side buying Portuguese striker Vitinha from Braga in a 32 million-euro deal.

There were no major moves involving any of the continent’s powerhouses, with not even Paris Saint-Germain getting out their chequebook — they failed in an attempt to sign Hakim Ziyech on loan from Chelsea.

The spending of the London outfit under new American owner Todd Boehly’s consortium was watched particularly closely by Borussia Dortmund, who will be their opponents in the last 16 of the Champions League this month.

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“It is very wild, you just have to say that. They are running in their own race,” Dortmund sporting director Sebastian Kehl told Sky Germany.

The Premier League’s financial dominance is fuelled by domestic and international television revenues which are far higher than in any of the other so-called Big Five European leagues, in Spain, Italy, Germany and France.

Eleven of the top 20 revenue-generating clubs in the world last year are from the Premier League, according to Deloitte’s latest Football Money League.

There was plenty of reaction over in Europe.


The rest now struggle to keep up, and La Liga has also accused Premier League sides of being “doped” because of phenomenally wealthy shareholders putting in additional money to then spend on new players.

“Essentially they are ‘doping’ the club. They are injecting money not generated by the club, for it to spend, which puts the viability of the club at risk if the shareholder leaves,” claimed Javier Gomez, La Liga’s corporate director general, in a video defending their own stringent financial rules within Spain’s top flight.

“In our opinion that is cheating because it drags down the rest of the leagues.”


Gomez said La Liga would continue to demand new financial rules be applied by UEFA, whose own Financial Fair Play regulations have not been able to halt the increasing polarisation in top-level European football.

Others have highlighted the increasing spending power of more modest English clubs.

Take Bournemouth, who had never played in England’s top flight before 2015 and whose stadium has a capacity of little over 11,000.

In January they signed Dango Ouattara from French side Lorient in a 27 million-euro deal and then added Illia Zabarnyi, an outstanding defensive prospect at Dynamo Kyiv, for a similar fee.

They were not the Cherries’ only signings either.

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