“We’ve got two fantastic things in our advantage. One is our heritage, culture, history and the authenticity of it all. People crave that authenticity, whether it is a British landmark or a crest on a football shirt that goes back to the 19th century. Moreover, Greenwich Mean Time is very much in our favour. People underestimate the importance of GMT, but when you’re operating a business, it means you sit right in the middle. You can deal with the Far East and California in the same day.” Richard Scudamore (The Times, 2013)
Despite the ‘opinio necessitatis’ (popular belief) of football community in the spirit of logos and colours, football is nowadays spoken with marketing and finance terms – such as market value, TV right sales, revenue generated from fans and public relations – ahead of abstract and romantic concepts. For the most part, money is not quite everything in football. For some however, there is a correlation between a club’s financial power – or market value – and its league position. In other words, clubs that spend more than others are unsurprisingly more likely to finish at the top of the league table.
Therefore, the transfer window is a period in which clubs are competing for choosing up better players and considered at least as enjoyable as football matches in the season. In this regard, Premier League is still the most powerful and wealth league in the world with promising total earnings of 20 clubs almost GBP 5 billion. (The Guardian) Outstanding TV revenue growth plays the main role on this gap between the Premier League clubs and clubs in Europe’s other wealthiest leagues.
Aside from the financial power, the Premier League has its own heritage, culture, history and the authenticity to appeal football lovers around the globe as PL Chief Executive Richard Scudamore’s statement on the spot. What’s more, Premier League promises the best football competition with six teams – Manchester United, Manchester City, Chelsea, Arsenal, Liverpool and Tottenham – in contrast with La Liga, Serie A and the Bundesliga. Moreover, fairytales are more likely to come true in the league just like Leicester City’s remarkable title triumph in 2016.
However, European football has witnessed the total domination of Spanish clubs in UEFA Organizations. While Barcelona, Real Madrid, Atletico and Sevilla put an embargo on trophies, Premier League stepped behind on La Liga, Bundesliga and Serie A in terms of preference of best players according to various research reports.
To illustrate the historical trend of transfer windows in the Premier League, below dashboard covers all transactions since the foundation of the Premier League. This study mainly discusses clubs’ transfer preferences in terms of nationality, league and position as well as transfer fee. (Please be reminded that season groups refer two milestones in the league: acquisition of Chelsea (2003) and Manchester City (2008).)