Premier League clubs hit with £105m transfer window Brexit bill after Sterling slump

Premier League clubs spent £105m in additional transfer fees this summer as a result of the fall in the value of the pound since the EU referendum, new analysis by Open Britain shows. 

Nearly every club in the League bought players from European clubs during the summer transfer window, and were stung by the plummeting exchange rate between Sterling and the Euro. Only Burnley and Bournemouth avoided the costs having done all their business with other British clubs. 

Manchester City, Chelsea and Tottenham Hotspur were the worst hit, each spending more than £10m more on players than they would have done prior to the referendum, the result of which saw the pound crash from 1.31 against the Euro in June 2016 to just 1.08 today.  

Manchester City top the league table compiled by Open Britain, having forked out £22.45m. Promoted sides Brighton, Huddersfield Town and Newcastle United were also badly hurt by the weakness of the pound, with Brighton the fourth worst affected, at £6.66m.  

The analysis shows that clubs that conducted their business in the final three weeks of the transfer window were particularly badly affected, as Sterling crashed ever further against the Euro throughout August.

And some clubs may be taking a further hit owing to the fact that European players are increasingly asking to be paid in Euros rather than Sterling. Manchester United’s Chief Financial Officer recently revealed that this is a growing, and increasingly challenging, issue for Premier League clubs. 

At the same time as clubs have been forced to shell out more to buy the same calibre of player, the average price of a season ticket at a Premier League club rose this summer to £517.95, a 2.5 per cent increase on last season. A replica shirt now costs an average of £49.15 – up £1.61, or three per cent, on last season.

Fans of England, Northern Ireland and Scotland travelling to World Cup qualifiers this evening in Malta, San Marino and Lithuania face an exchange rate of 1.08.

Commenting, Francis Grove-White, Deputy Director of Open Britain, said:

“Football fans will be concerned that their clubs are having to fork out extra cash to bring in the best international talent and may even be failing to bring in new players because they have become simply unaffordable. It is a kick in the teeth for Premier League clubs and for football fans. 

“The total extra spending by clubs due to the plummeting pound after the Brexit vote would have been enough to pay for three Alex Oxlade-Chamberlains, five Marko Arnautovics, or nine Fernando Llorentes. 

“Supporters travelling abroad for the World Cup qualifiers, or to see their clubs playing in the Champions League and Europa League, will rightly see the falling value of the pound as a massive own goal.

“With half-time in the Brexit negotiations rapidly approaching, these figures are yet another illustration of how the Government’s determination to leave the Single Market and the Customs Union is resulting in Brits losing their purchasing power on the world stage.” 

/ends

Notes to Editors

  • League table showing how much extra each club spent as a result of the fall in Sterling:

 

Club

Additional expenditure

1

Man City

£22,455,860

2

Chelsea

£22,146,870

3

Tottenham Hotspur

£10,985,880

4

Brighton

£6,657,175

5

Everton

£6,332,940

6

Arsenal

£6,109,720

7

Southampton

£5,802,860

8

Liverpool

£4,901,058

9

Manchester United

£4,117,420

10

West Ham United

£2,824,280

11

West Brom

£2,585,700

12

Huddersfield Town

£2,555,328

13

Newcastle United

£1,818,474

14

Leicester City

£1,633,686

15

Swansea City

£1,461,020

16

Stoke City

£1,127,420

17

Crystal Palace

£1,055,282

18

Watford

£482,664

19

Burnley

£0

20

Bournemouth

£0

 

  • Average exchange rates throughout the duration of the summer transfer window:

Date range

Average exchange rate

9-15 June

1.136

16-22 June

1.139

23-29 June

1.139

30 June - 6 July

1.139

7-13 July

1.129

14-20 July

1.135

21-27 July

1.117

28 July - 3 Aug

1.117

4 - 10 Aug

1.106

11 - 17 Aug

1.099

18 - 24 Aug

1.091

25 - 31 Aug

1.083

https://www.oanda.com/currency/converter/

  • A £100,000 a week contract for a player bought from another European side would be worth approximately €108,000 to that player today, as opposed to €131,000 prior to the referendum. An inevitable consequence of this is that Premier League clubs will have to either pay new players in euros, or pay them more in sterling than they would have in order to attract them.

  • Manchester United’s Chief Financial Officer said on 31 May that players are increasingly seeking to be paid in euros.

“It was a bit difficult last year when we were trying to make signings and you had players questioning the value of being paid in sterling … A lot of European players will want to be paid in euros, understandably to a degree. But we are a sterling company . . . [and] managing that is quite tricky.”
Cliff Baty, Chief Financial Officer, Manchester United, 31 May 2017 
https://www.ft.com/content/e987eea2-4628-11e7-8519-9f94ee97d996