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Transfer: EPL clubs receive £250m from Saudi Arabia

Premier League clubs received £250m ($311.87 million) in transfer fees from the Saudi Pro League (SPL) this summer.

A total of £767m was spent by SPL teams by the time the window closed on September 7.

It is only second to the record £2.36bn spent by Premier League teams.

The money received from Saudi teams was almost half of the £560m total earned by Premier League clubs for outgoing deals this summer.

Fulham raised £45m by offloading striker Aleksandar Mitrovic to Al Hilal while Liverpool received £52m following the exits of Fabinho to Al Ittihad (£40m) and former captain Jordan Henderson to Al Ettifaq (£12m).

Neymar’s £77m move from Paris Saint-Germain to Al Hilal was the biggest transfer into the Saudi Pro League in a summer which saw 37 players from Europe’s big five leagues England, Spain, France, Germany and Italy sign for Saudi Arabian clubs.

“This marks the first time since 2016 that another international league has outspent any of Europe’s ‘big five’ during a football transfer window, with new players bringing the promise of new fans and partners to strengthen the SPL’s prominence,” Izzy Wray, of Deloitte Sports Business Group, said.

“European football continues to be the benchmark for the game globally, and the Saudi investment in the game will divert its focus towards the infrastructure, to elevate the level of Asian football.

“The SPL spending is still at one third of the Premier League’s gross spend this summer, the focus of Saudi clubs will now be on securing the success of the league’s transformation journey and its financial sustainability. The development of the league will depend on growing the professionalization and governance of clubs, the development of young playing talent and attracting a new, international fanbase.”

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