English Premier League clubs spent about 120 million pounds ($190 million) during the January transfer period, according to accountant Deloitte LLP.
While the amount spent doubled from January 2012, it was 105 million less than the record for the mid-season window set two years ago.
Queens Park Rangers, Liverpool and Newcastle United accounted for 50 percent of the total spending, Deloitte said. QPR and Newcastle were among the top-three spenders in 2012 as well.
“There were relatively few active spenders in the winter window, with over half of this January’s total transfer spending coming from three clubs,” Dan Jones, a partner in Deloitte’s Sports Business Group, said in a statement. “Winter window activity tends to be driven by the on-pitch competition at the upper and lower ends of the Premier League table.
Both QPR and Newcastle are battling to avoid relegation this season. QPR is last in the 20-team league and Newcastle is in 16th place, four points above the relegation zone.
English clubs paid 75 million pounds in transfer fees to overseas team, more than doubling last year’s 30 million-pound total, according to Deloitte.
Jones believes that financial fair play rules of European soccer governing body UEFA, along with possible measures from the Premier League next season, affected spending.
“Clubs are now in a reporting period that will count toward the first assessment of UEFA’s financial fair play break- even requirement for international competition and Premier League clubs are also considering the implementation of additional cost control regulation at a domestic level,” he said. “Their apparent relative restraint in this transfer window may reflect an increasing focus on clubs achieving more sustainable levels of expenditure relative to revenues.”