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Credit crunch, what credit crunch?

Premier League teams have already spent more in this year's January transfer window than they did last year, according to analysis by accountants KPMG. The total reported amount of Premiership transfer spending to date was £144 million, surpassing last year's total of £142.9 million.

Once the transfer deadline closes the final total could be considerably more.

Interestingly, the spending has been largely driven by Premier League clubs outside the traditional Big Four (Arsenal, Chelsea, Liverpool and Manchester United).

The biggest spenders to date are Manchester City and Tottenham, who have spent a reported £43 million and £32 million respectively (as of Friday January 30).

Geoff Mesher, Head of KPMG Forensic's Sports Disputes Team, said: "The pressure to succeed continues to drive huge spending in the English game - even without the abortive Kaka transfer from AC Milan to Manchester City, which would have blown all previous years out of the water. The financial risks of investing such large fees in a single player are considerable, especially in the current economic climate.

"So too are the risks of litigation if disputes arise over valuations. But there are no signs of overall Premiership spending slowing down any time soon as the potential rewards for success are simply huge.

"However, although overall spending patterns would appear to indicate that football has, so far, remained largely unscathed by the impact of the credit crunch, the situation does vary widely from club to club.

"Clubs with a source of cash from wealthy investors are able to continue to invest heavily, whilst other clubs who are relatively more reliant upon income streams exposed to the credit crunch - such as sponsorship and match day spending - are forced to adjust their spending accordingly."

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