Spending on transfers collapses

Another sign that the recession is now hitting football hard could be seen in the January transfer window. It generated barely a fifth of the spending seen this time last year.   Some last minute deals did push total gross spending up to about £50m but this was well down on the £190m recorded in 2009.  Many clubs just used loan deals.   The ‘big four’ did not make use of the window, some commentators arguing that this was a mistake on the part of Arsenal.  

Manchester United did agree to do a deal in the summer by paying Fulham a reported fee of up to £12m for Chris Smalling who will move to Old Trafford in the summer.   Once again Manchester City were the biggest spenders, forking out £7m for Middlesbrough winger Adam Johnson, although that is relatively modest by their standards.