Chelsea, Man. City, Arsenal Led Soccer Transfer Window Spending

Chelsea, Manchester City and Arsenal accounted for about half of the estimated 130 million pounds ($196 million) Premier League soccer teams spent in the month-long trading window that closed last night, Deloitte LLP said.

Chelsea hired winger Juan Cuadrado from Fiorentina, City brought in striker Wilfried Bony from Swansea and Arsenal bought Gabriel Paulista from Villarreal. The British Broadcasting Corp. put the fees, which weren’t disclosed by the clubs, at 23.3 million pounds for Cuadrado, 28 million pounds for Bony and 11.2 million pounds for Gabriel.

Transfer spending was little changed from a year ago -- and lower than the record 225 million pound outlay of January 2011 - - even though Premier League clubs are earning more from broadcast deals, Deloitte, an accounting firm which tracks soccer finance, said today in an e-mail. European leagues allow players to transfer in the month-long mid-season period that ended yesterday and then in the summer, when competition has ended.

“We might have expected one or two more major deals in this window,” Dan Jones, a partner in Deloitte’s sports business group, said in the e-mail. Premier League teams showed “relative restraint,” Jones added.

Spending in the Premier League, the richest soccer championship by sales, dominated other European leagues. Italy’s Serie A clubs invested about half the amount of the top 20 English teams on transfer fees, while squads from Germany’s Bundesliga and Spain’s La Liga spent less than half on signings.

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