La Liga’s top three clubs considerably outspent their European rivals on transfers in 2019, according to the latest research from the CIES Football Observatory.
Barcelona, Atletico Madrid and Real Madrid – the clubs who finished in the top three in La Liga last season – spent a combined £909m on bringing in new players this year.
What do the CIES transfer findings show? Five things to know…
- Atletico Madrid spent more than any other club in Europe’s top five leagues in 2019.
- La Liga’s top three sides were highest spenders across the continent.
- The Spanish top division is the “second most powerful division” after the Premier League.
- Manchester City paid out more than any other English team but less than Inter, Juventus and Milan.
- Seven English clubs were in the list of the top 20 spenders, including newly-promoted Aston Villa.
According to CIES Football Observatory, Atleti were the biggest spenders, parting ways with £329m on transfer fees. Real spent £324m and Barcelona paid out £256m. Inter Milan were the only other European club to spend over £200m (£212m).
In their monthly report, put together in order to financially analyse the state of European football, the CIES Football Observatory said the La Liga trio’s huge spending “reflects a cyclical need for squad renewal, but also the availability of considerable financial possibilities linked to the establishment of the Spanish top division as the second most powerful league on the planet after the English Premier League.”
Indeed, an English club does not show up until seventh on the list, where Manchester City sit, having expended £177m in 2019. Inter Milan, Juventus (£186m) and AC Milan (£183m) are all above the English champions, suggesting Serie A is the third most powerful institution after the Premier League and La Liga.
Including Manchester City, the Premier League has seven representatives in the top 20 biggest spenders, more than any other nation. The other six clubs are: Aston Villa (£174m), Tottenham Hotspur (£170m), Manchester United (£163m), Arsenal (£160m), Everton (£147m) and Chelsea (£118m).
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It is perhaps surprising to see a promoted club on the list; Aston Villa have spent heavily in an attempt to ensure their Premier League survival. Chelsea’s transfer ban also makes them an unlikely entry.
Atletico Madrid’s place at the top of the list comes after a summer of healthy investment. The club sold Antoine Griezmann to Barcelona and Rodri to Manchester City, making it possible for Diego Simeone to bring in a number of new arrivals – including big-money signing Joao Felix.