EPL teams spent record $300m in January, made 1st net profit

Burnley's Joey Barton, right, and Michael Keane, centre battle for the ball in the air with Leicester City's Wilfred Ndidi during the English Premier League soccer match between Burnley and Leicester City, at Turf Moor, in Burnley., England, Tuesday Jan. 31, 2017. (Martin Rickett/PA via AP)
Crystal Palace's new signing Patrick van Aanholt runs during their English Premier League soccer match against AFC Bournemouth at the Vitality Stadium, Bournemouth, England, Tuesday, Jan. 31, 2017. (Andrew Matthews/PA via AP)

LONDON — Premier League clubs spent a record 237 million pounds ($300 million) in the January transfer window and still collectively made a profit for the first time, fueled by an influx of cash from China.

The transfer binge eclipsed the previous high from 2011 when England's top-flight clubs spent 209 million pounds (then $340 million) in the winter trading period.

Spending by Premier League clubs across the two transfer windows soared a third higher than the previous season to around 1.4 billion pounds — the highest in world soccer.

With spending of 236.7 million pounds countered by player sales of 240.7 million pounds, clubs made a net profit of four million pounds.

The figures released by the Premier League on Wednesday represent the lowest value of a deal, not taking into account how fees can rise over the course of a contract through performance-related payments, including appearances and goals scored.

Accountancy firm Deloitte provided a more detailed breakdown of spending, although their overall estimate was below the official total.

The bulk of January spending came from teams battling against relegation. The bottom six — Hull, Sunderland, Crystal Palace, Swansea, Leicester and Middlesbrough — are separated by five points and collectively spent 110 million pounds.

The need to stay in the top division has never been more financially significant for teams. This is the first season of television contracts generating 8.3 billion pounds over three seasons for the league.

"It is clubs in the bottom half of the table who have driven expenditure this January, investing in their squads in an attempt to secure survival," Dan Jones of Deloitte said. "This is no surprise given clubs' reliance on the revenues generated from the Premier League's broadcast deals."

Some of the biggest transfers were:

— Oscar (Chelsea to Shanghai SIPG for about 60 million pounds)

— Dmitri Payet (West Ham to Marseille for 25 million pounds)

— Memphis Depay (Manchester United to Lyon for up to 25 million euros)

— Odion Ighalo (Watford to Changchun Yatai for about 20 million pounds)

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