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Premier League clubs smashed the record this summer with the first ever £1bn transfer window.

Clubs reached a new spending high, forking out more for players than ever before, but can they afford it?

According to Dr Rob Wilson, Sheffield Hallam University's football finance expert and senior lecturer, said the new record was a result of the Premier League's latest £5.1bn three-year television deal fuelling unprecedented spending and having a significant impact on pushing player prices to levels higher than ever.

Each club is likely to receive between £30m and £50m this season from the Premier League's TV contract with Sky (£4.2bn) and BT (£960m) for the rights to show live matches.

“We’ve got this record-breaking TV deal, so when we were analysing trends and the way spending had gone it tends to go in line with that, so an increase of 30% in the TV deal would suggest an increase of at least 30% on transfers as well.

“When we factor in the wages of the players, we are probably talking about a transfer window that is worth £3bn so huge sums of money. For every £1 spent on a player we are going to be seeing at least £2 more being spent in wages.

Rob Wilson
Rob also believes that player prices for certain footballers will have gone up sharply due to the European Championships over the summer, which was certainly a factor in the high profile transfer of French midfielder Paul Pogba back to Manchester United for £89m after the English club sold him to Juventus in 2012.

He says: “You tend to find these watershed moments and these iconic players who generate a huge transfer fee. Manchester United are in that position where they needed a marquee signing. They’ve played with the idea over the last few years and Pogba is the first one that was really attainable. But Manchester United worked very hard to make sure that deal wasn’t £100m and it quite easily could’ve been.

“I look at that as good business for them, they can clearly afford to spend that sort of money but I think over the coming years we will see that first 100m player for sure and we will see more activity in that first £75m to £100m ballpark.”

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