Transfer Window was biggest spending ever

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DEADLINE day spending by Premier League clubs pushed the total splashed out in the summer transfer window to £630million – smashing the previous record.
Analysis by the business advisory firm Deloitte said spending on players was 29% up on the 2012 figure of £490m and £130m more than the previous record of £500m set in 2008.
Dan Jones, partner in the sports business group at Deloitte, said: “The story of this summer transfer window is of new records: a new record for Premier League spending as well as a new world transfer record fee.
“Premier League clubs’ gross spending this summer is £630m, beating the previous record of £500m set in 2008. Whilst the sale of Gareth Bale brought £85m into the Premier League, net spending is also a record, at £400m.”
The record spending follows the start of the huge new Premier League TV deal which will top £5.5billion over three years.
Jones added: “As the financial rewards for participation and success in the Premier League increase, so it follows that clubs are investing on the pitch to ensure they continue to benefit from the remarkable Premier League growth story.”
Top-flight clubs spent around £140m on deadline day compared to £110on the same day last year.
The four English clubs competing in this season’s Champions League – Arsenal, Chelsea, Manchester City and Manchester United – accounted for for £230m, 37% of the total. With Tottenham having spent more than £100million it means the leading five clubs last season made up more than half of all spending.

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Transfer Deadline Day – Kaka disappointment for Premier League clubs

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MANCHESTER United and Arsenal fans will miss out on seeing Kaka this coming season after the Real Madrid Galactico agreed a deal with Serie A giants AC Milan.
The 31-year-old last week revealed he wanted to leave the Bernabeu after four years – having joined from Milan for a reported 70million euros (£56million) in 2009 – and Rossoneri vice-president Adriano Galliani moved quickly to persuade the 2007 Ballon d’Or winner to return to Serie A, beating the two british clubs and another unnamed Serie A team to the signature.
A statement published on Milan’s official website on Monday morning confirmed a two-year contract was in place for Kaka, who was preparing to fly to Italy at midday after Madrid sanctioned his departure.

Premier League must be sacrificed for Qatar World Cup success, say boffins

ONLY mad dogs and English football teams go out in the midday sun – domestic football needs a shake-up if England are to compete at the Qatar World Cup, say researchers.
The 2022 season will have to be cut short, and England will need to travel to Qatar at least a month in advance, if they are to stand any chance of success at the World Cup, according to sports science experts at the University of Bedfordshire.
The results of testing in simulated conditions close to a Qatari summer show that England need to head out to the country as soon as possible, as well as adjust their playing style to a slower game.
Former FA employees and member of England’s Italia ’90 backroom staff, Professor John Brewer, who now heads the department, said: “Physical performance and decision-making will be impaired in hot conditions.
“The research we have done in our environmental chamber has involved simulating the demands of football matches in environments that come close to replicating conditions in Qatar.
“The results are unsurprising; but we’ve also found that players’ bodies could adapt to the extreme conditions if the squad arrives in Qatar early enough.
“In order for this to happen, the FA would need to look at the fixture calendar, in conjunction with the Premier League, to ensure players can finish the domestic season in very good time. England then need to meet up as a team and travel to Qatar at least four weeks in advance to acclimatise to the temperature and play some preparation games.”
He added: “The high-tempo game we see in the Premier League on a regular basis may not be the type of football that can be sustained for 90 minutes or extra-time and penalties in a World Cup.
“If you like to see a style of play that sees the ball being passed around at a lower-tempo, then I think that’s what we’ll see in Qatar.
“England will need to modify their tactics as countries used to playing at a low-tempo in hot conditions will hold an advantage.”

Premiership Predictions – Relegation return for Championship hopefuls

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YESTERDAY I predicted a Chelsea Premier League win come the end of the season, and to be honest picking the winner was harder than an a tungsten carbide statue of Roy Keane.
At the other end of the table, it’s far more clear cut in my eyes.
The promoted teams from the Championship are, for me, in a different league. A lower one.
Or at least they should be – when you line them up alongside the likes of last season’s strugglers Sunderland, Newcastle, Aston Villa, Southampton and Stoke.
Of the three I’d back Cardiff City to put up the biggest fight, especially with their summer signings such as Caulker and Cornelius, but Hull City Tigers and Crystal Palace will need a miracle to turn over enough points to stay within distance of 17th and safety.
I can only see it going one way – meaning it will be the first time all the promoted sides have been sent straight back to Championship since 1998.

Premiership Predictions – London to reclaim title from Manchester

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THIS season, more than any I can remember anticipating, is a hard one to call.
The top three teams from last season, Manchester United, Manchester City and Chelsea, all have new men at the helm.
Arsenal underperformed last season – but then, Arsenal have underperformed for a good few years now – while Spurs and Liverpool could both be facing up to life without their star men next season.
I can’t see any other team seriously breaking into the top four, but which of these six elite squads will is a hard call.
There’s my disclaimer out of the way.
But neck on the line I find it hard to see past Mourinho’s Chelsea for the title.
His team has a strength in depth matched only by Manchester City, with some real creative talent in the form of Hazard, Mata and Oscar – plus if anyone can hit the ground running it’s the Special One, a manager adept at settling into new clubs, with the benefit of having been here and done it before.
It’s this that gives him the edge over Pellegrini’s star-studded legions of Manchester City, who I’m placing second come May.
Last season, Arsene Wenger’s Arsenal gave themselves a mountain to climb, and they climbed it admirably during the second half of the season. If they come out of the traps in the same form as they finished last time around, I can see them overhauling David Moyes and Manchester United’s defending champions, who’ll have to settle for fourth place.
Liverpool and Spurs I see missing out, without the depth in their squad to maintain a season-long campaign – although I will tip the Lilywhites’ new boy Roberto Soldado for the Golden Boot.
Tomorrow, I’m going to have a look at the other half of the table and predict who’ll be relegated…

Hull City AFC to be renamed Hull Tigers

HULL City AFC fans are getting their teeth into the news this morning that owner Assem Allam has confirmed the club will be formally renamed Hull City Tigers from the start of the new season.
The move will do away with the Association Football Club (AFC) moniker which has been part of the Yorkshire club’s name since their formation in 1904.
Egyptian-born businessman Allam said: “Hull City is irrelevant.
“My dislike for the word ‘City’ is because it is common.
“City is also associated with Leicester, Bristol, Manchester and many other clubs.
“I don’t like being like everyone else. I want the club to be special.
“It is about identity. City is a lousy identity. Hull City Association Football Club is so long.”
Is there a faint whiff of “Middlesbro Red And White Sox” here to anyone else?

Goaltastic’s top five fantasy football bargains

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I MAY not be in David Moyes or Jose Mourinho’s league just yet, but as the author of Goaltastic I do take in more football than the average man.
Hell, I’m even the reigning Hinckley Times Official Fantasy Football League champion.
So as you can imagine, I’ve been thinking quite a lot about my team for the forthcoming season.
Now you don’t need me to tell you that the likes of Robin van Persie and Juan Mata are probably going to score well this season – their double figure price tags tell you that – but what a canny manager needs to find is value for money, cheaper chaps that might make a mockery of their prices.
Here are my top five…
5. Mignolet
Simon Mignolet was a solid stopper at Sunderland last year, and this season despite moving to Liverpool – who are far more likely to keep their opponents at bay – remains relatively kind in price as the levels were set before Pepe Reina was transferred. This means for just £5.5m you can grab a slice of the Liverpool clean sheets, plus save points.
4. Anelka
He’s getting on a bit, granted, but Nicola Anelka is as lethal as ever judging by his pre-season form for West Brom, and he was one of the fittest in the Juventus squad last season according to the Italian side’s coaches. Plus he’s cheap as chips too, at just £5.5m for a proven Premier League goalscorer.
3. Bony
Yeah yeah, we all know how much of a red herring being a scoring sensation in the Dutch leagues can be, myself more than most being a Middlesbrough supporter having to endure Afonso ’30 goals last season’ Alves, but it’s a real miracle that Swansea snaffled up Ivorian hitman Wilfred Bony to lead their line ahead of some of the continent’s bigger guns.
2. Coleman
There’s always a bargain to be had in finding a player out of position – midfielders playing up front, defenders playing in midfield, goalkeepers playing in defence… Okay, scratch that last one, but Irishman Seamus Coleman, listed as a defender for Everton, has been playing as a winger in some formations for his team this season, leaving him dangerously close to being a defender playing UP FRONT. For £5m, how can you not go for that?
1. Soldado
Now I know £9.5m isn’t exactly cheap, but… Roberto Soldado is World and Euro champs Spain’s number one striker at the moment, he’s been a 20 goal a season man for the last three campaigns, and he’s without competition for places at a Spurs side burgeoning with midfield talent. If I were a betting man, which I am, I’d be laying a cheeky punt on Soldado for this season’s Premier League Golden Boot.
Agree? Disagree? Leave me your bargain spots in the comments, and put your money where your mouth is by signing up to our free league at fantasy.premierleague.com and then join the competition by using the code 148075-41877.