The top 10 biggest spending clubs in Premier League’s £2.4 billion 2023 summer transfer spree

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These clubs have gone all out in their efforts to the strengthen their sides in recent weeks.

To quote ABBA, Sweden’s second-greatest export behind the meatball, ‘Money, money, money. Must be funny. In the rich man’s world’. Of course, Agnetha, Benny, Bjorn, and Anni-Frid (perhaps they should have been called ABBA-F) also went on to say, ‘Money, money, money. Always sunny. In the rich man’s world’.

By these Scandinavian-endorsed metrics, the Premier League must be a veritable breeding ground for both hilarity and clement climes. Once again this summer the English top flight has doused itself in spray tan, oiled up every inch of its hulking frame, and flexed its financial muscle like a bodybuilder beneath the glaring stage lights of a Las Vegas conference centre.

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Over the course of three unhinged months, the division’s twenty participants spent a record combined sum of £2.36 billion, smashing last year’s previous high by around £440 million, according to the abacus-botherers at Deloitte. As if to really hammer home the elephantine heft of the Premier League’s expenditure in recent weeks, the finance firm also state that some 48% of the total spending across Europe’s traditonal ‘top five’ divisions was carried out in the English top flight alone - with 47.99% conducted by Todd Boehly.

That last part might not be true, but it is fair to suggest that the Chelsea owner, like a novice project manager on Grand Designs, has gone very, very big with his budget at Stamford Bridge since the end of last season. By no means is he the only one, however, and with that in mind, let’s take a look at the top 10 highest-spending clubs in the Premier League this summer. Onwards!

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10. Nottingham Forest - £107.8m

This time last year, Nottingham Forest went on the kind of shopping spree that would have made Paris Hilton blush and Dale Winton proud. Or maybe vice versa. Either way, Steve Cooper’s men ended the transfer window with a squad list that read like the Domesday Book.

But were they satisfied with their army of top six rejects and continental totems? No, they were not. They wanted MORE. This summer has been slightly less indulgant - but only slightly - with just the 15 new faces arriving at the City Ground, like a mini-bus full of lost schoolboys on an ill-fated field trip.

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9. Bournemouth - £109.9m

Bournemouth, bless them, are making a statement of intent. First they ousted manager Gary O’Neil, consigning him to a fate worse than death (managing a Wolves squad without the tandem powers of Ruben Neves and Matheus Nunes), and then they went all transfer crazy by signing a glut of players you’ve actually heard of. Such name brand recognition doesn’t come cheap, however. And that’s why I do my weekly shop at Aldi.

8. West Ham - £117.57m

Would West Ham have spent this much money if they hadn’t received in excess of £100 million for Declan Rice earlier in the window? No, very probably not. But then again, would Alexander Fleming have ever discovered penicillin if he’d bothered to put away his neglected petri dishes before going on his summer holibobs back in 1928? Sometimes these happy accidents, these blessings in disguise, can be for the best.

I’m allergic to penicillin, by the way - just in case anybody is ever looking for a relatively clandestine way of killing me off.

7. Newcastle United - £130.94m

You know that scene at the end of The Incredibles where the family finally cave and let Dash take part in his school sports day race, telling him he can win, but not by too much? That was Newcastle United this summer.

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Sure, they could outspend everybody if they really, truly wanted to, but they have to make this whole process of gradual world domination look at least a little bit realistic. How does one go about that exactly? Well, signing Harvey Barnes instead of Kylian Mbappe is a pretty good place to start.

6. Liverpool - £147.06m

And it might have been a darn sight less if it wasn’t for that pesky Saudi Pro League tempting half of their squad to swap Stanley Park for the Arabian peninsula. Then again, it’s not actually about the money. Isn’t that right, Hendo?

Nevertheless, the Reds look to have bought pretty well, and anybody who suggests that Wataru Endo was in any way, shape, or form a panicked acquisition is a filthy, filthy naysayer.

5. Manchester United - £176.63m

Here we are, then, the top five - something Manchester United might not actually see too often in the coming months if the evidence of their first handful of games this season are anything to go off. Cattiness aside, Erik ten Hag has parachuted in a sprinkling of fairly impressive names this summer, and has seemingly addressed a number of problem areas in his squad.

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Calamity now comes in an ever so slightly different flavour, courtesy of Andre Onana, Sofyan Amrabat looks like a smart bet to become Old Trafford’s next beloved scapegoat, and in Rasmus Hojlund, the Red Devils have spent £72 million on Erling Haaland’s non-union equivalent. May they all thrive verdantly.

4. Arsenal - £200.79m

£200 million. It’s an awful lot of money to finish second again. That being said, after luring Declan Rice, Kai Havertz, Jurrien Timber, and David Raya to North London maybe the Gunners can finish less second or something? Funds well spent.

3. Manchester City - £206.1m

After winning a historic treble and pestling the hopes, dreams, and optimism of every other club in the country into a fine, consumable powder, did Manchester City really need to go and spend the third-highest amount of money in the Premier League on new players this summer? Well, that depends on who you ask.

The likes of Arsenal, Financial Fair Play, and casual enjoyers of meaningful competition would probably say no, but evidently those who guard the coffers at the Etihad were of a different opinion, and if the past decade-and-a-half has taught us anything, it’s that whatever City want, City tend to get. They’re like the Dudley Dursley of English football.

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2. Tottenham - £212.42m

We are now living in a strange future where Harry Kane wears Skechers and lederhosen, and Tottenham are actually... excitingly decent. How long the latter state of affairs will last, only time will tell, but certainly their response to the former should give them a pretty good chance of helping Ange Postecoglou sustain the love-in for at least a while yet.

New boys James Maddison and Micky van de Ven are soaring at the moment, and in Brennan Johnson, Spurs might just have nabbed one of the most promising prospects in the entire Premier League. A disconcertingly positive window, especially in light of Kane’s departure.

1. Chelsea - £396.63m

No shocks here. Like, literally none whatsoever. Chelsea spend money like locusts eat corn, and their total expenditure under Todd Boehly now comes in at over £1 billion. Perhaps the most unnerving thing, however, is that they still don’t look like the finished article.

Mauricio Pochettino’s team are somehow stuck in a state of perpetual transition, always just a couple more players away from boasting a squad that possesses any kind of meaningful depth or balance. They’re like one of those weekly magazines that edition-by-edition give you the pieces needed to build your very own replica of the Millennium Falcon - needlessly expensive, unbelievably frustrating, and still somehow massively tacky and flimsy.

How will they ever address the overt issues that continue to hamper their hopes of returning to the title picture? Well, never fear, dear reader - there’s always January...

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