Premier League chief executive Richard Masters has attempted to explain why clubs in England’s top-flight are spending so much after Brexit.
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The January transfer window was dominated by English teams who spent a total of €830 million (£736m) – accounting for 53 per cent of global transfer spending.
That’s according to a UEFA report published last month, while Premier League club Chelsea alone have spent over £600m since the summer as Todd Boehly replaced Roman Abramovich as owner.
Masters feels one of the key reasons clubs are spending so much money is due to the new visa system put in place after Brexit with English teams said to be finding it more difficult to sign players at a younger age.
‘Whilst we’re totally committed to developing young, homegrown players and we want [England manager] Gareth Southgate to be successful… when you have a limited supply of players you can go for and you’ve got lots of demand, then it’s slightly inflationary,’ Masters told the Financial Times Business of Football Summit.
‘That’s certainly not the only reason why lots of money and records are being broken in the Premier League transfer window, but it’s a contributing factor.
‘Ultimately we have generated an earned advantage over our European investors and a lot of that earned advantage goes to those European investors in transfer fees for players that we can no longer buy at a younger age.
‘Some of this has nothing to do with the GBE (Government Body Endorsement) system.
‘It’s just that if you’re outside Europe, we can’t buy younger players in the same way that you could before, but it’s partially to do with the GBE system.’
Speaking specifically about Chelsea’s huge spending under Boehly, Masters added: ‘I’m not here to defend the new owners who have owned the club for less than a year and had two transfer windows.
‘They might have bought, but they would probably argue they have a different transfer policy to the previous regime with younger players, longer contracts and lower wages.
‘Within our rules it’s a test over a 12-month period, so the question is whether they are going to sell some of their existing players in the next window.’
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