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Manchester City Leads Soccer Agent Spending as QPR Places Third

Nov. 30 (Bloomberg) -- Champion Manchester City spent the most on agents fees in English soccer’s Premier League in the last year, while last place Queens Park Rangers was third in the cost list released today.

City, bankrolled by a member of the Abu Dhabi royal family, paid agents 10.5 million pounds ($16.8 million) for the 12 months between October 2011 and September 2012, the Premier League said. QPR, which bought 12 players in the last transfer window, spent 6.8 million pounds.

Teams in England’s top league, the richest in world soccer, spent a total of 77 million pounds on agents’ fees as 806 transactions were recorded in the two transfer windows. That figure eclipses the 71.9 million pounds spent a year earlier when 765 deals were done.

City’s Sheikh Mansour bin Zayed Al Nahyan has spent more than any owner in soccer since acquiring City in 2008. His money helped bring the club its first title in 44 years in May when 38 million-pound Sergio Aguero’s stoppage-time strike prevented neighbor Manchester United from winning a record 20th English championship.

QPR, which is part owned by one of the U.K.’s wealthiest families, the Mittals, and controlled by a group including Air Asia Chief Executive Officer Tony Fernandes, has five points after 14 games this season, four less than second-bottom Reading. It fired coach Mark Hughes earlier this month and replaced him with former Tottenham manager Harry Redknapp.

Liverpool, the 18-time English champion, spent the second-most on agents in a year that saw the removal of Kenny Dalglish as coach and the arrival of Brendan Rodgers from Swansea. The Reds paid 8.6 million pounds while allowing 10 players to leave permanently and a further four depart on loan since July 1. They’ve been replaced by four signings including Joe Allen and Fabio Borini, while Real Madrid’s Nuri Sahin joined on loan.

Tottenham, with 6.6 million pounds, and European champion Chelsea, with 6.5 million pounds, make up the remainder of the five biggest spenders.

Manchester United, the most successful team since the Premier League’s inception in 1992, spent 3.7 million pounds on agents, less than 13-time English champion Arsenal, which paid 5.6 million pounds, and the 4.4 million pounds spent by West Ham.

To contact the reporters on this story: Tariq Panja in London at tpanja@bloomberg.net;

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Christopher Elser at celser@bloomberg.net

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