Date: 1st September 2016 at 11:40pm
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Wednesday evening was the 2016/17 summer transfer window deadline, and this summer proved one thing – spending in the game is at record breaking levels of stupidity.

Some shake their heads at that stupidity and the money involved, others absolutely relishing it!

The summer transfer window in 2015/16 set a new record spending level of £870million according to figures from the BBC – Sky tally it as £901million for the Premier League so there’s some cross over confusion, but that was easily eclipsed this year in any event.

Once Arsenal’s deal for German defender Shkodran Mustafi went through, English football saw the £1billion mark surpassed for the first time ever in a single transfer window.

At that point there was still deadline day to go itself, and deadline day did, what deadline day does, and as of 12am midnight – with some deals still ticking through with the potential to be announced late – Sky Sports’ helpful little money ticker was sat on a whopping £1,175,230,000 – so the final day’s action saw spending of a further £150million+.

It’s easy to see why the figure was so high this window, Manchester United’s world record signing of Paul Pogba from Juventus for £89.3million is the standout deal of the summer, but there were plenty of transfers in the £30odd million range this summer and it all mounts up, and we can all pick out fees paid for some players when they were maybe worth half of that if sense applied.

But it wasn’t just silly money in the Premier League either this summer, although 13 Premier League clubs broke their record transfer fee this window, and reigning Champions Leicester weren’t alone in breaking their own record transfer fee on more than one occasion as the window drew to a close.

The same is true in the Championship. Aston Villa set two new Championship record fees with Ross McCormack and Jonathan Kodjia, and Newcastle spent heavily following their relegation – recouping a Championship record £30million for Moussa Sissoko late on from Tottenham Hotspur.

And of course, irrespective of the late deals that go through, there are loan deals that have been organised where fees won’t change hands until January or next summer with buy clauses, so how much that adds to the summer’s total remains to be seen – and that’s without fresh January window spending.

It’s only a natural inflation though in many ways owing to the television deals that have boosted coffers in succession.

In 2011 Premier League clubs spent according to Sky, £485million. That grew by £5million in 2012 coming in at only £10million less than spending in 2008. 2013 saw the real jump though, up from £490million to £630million, which again jumped in 2014 to £835million, before hitting 2015’s level of £901million.

Sky say Football League spending this year hit the £175million mark in itself, so whilst there’s a clear disparity still between the levels, with money slowly filtering down with increased sharing and also Premier League parachute payments, that’s causing an inflation of its own.

Deloitte have crunched some numbers on the summer window already.

Premier League clubs averaged a spend of £60million this window with the Manchester’s topping the pile with close to £200million spent each, and Burnley coming in at the bottom of that list with under £20million, but deadline day spending of £155million was also an increase from the £140million spent in 2013.

The four clubs in the Champions League, Leicester, Arsenal, Tottenham Hotspur and Manchester City grossed £385million – a third of the aggregate gross spend in the top flight.

In the Championship level, as mentioned, Aston Villa and Newcastle spent more than £110million this summer between then – Villa £60million+ and Newcastle £54million+ – although it must be said Newcastle closed the window with a £30million+ net profit. With fellow relegated side Norwich spending around the £15million mark.

With takeovers again featuring this summer, and Wolverhampton Wanderers the latest, they spent £14million on 13 players – including a new club record fee of £7million for Ivan Cavaleiro and at the other end of the scale, newly promoted Burton Albion spent £300,000 on Jackson Irvine but that was a record fee for the as well.

The Championship closed the window as the fifth biggest spending league this summer, beating the amount spent in France’s Ligue 1 with a gross amount of £215million.

That table reads Premiership top, with Italian Serie A next with gross £590million, the German Bundesliga third with gross £460million, Spanish La Liga next with gross £400million, the Championship and Ligue 1 with gross £165million.

Obviously the summer window dominates the January window, and it accounts for 80% of all spending – but since the introduction of the two windows spending has now exceeded £8.6billion.

And people thought the first window spend in 2003/04 was insane with £215million spent.

Putting 2003/04 into some perspective, based on fees paid for player previously, talent worth around the £153million mark was loaned alone.

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