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Healthy summer spending in Spain hides big-three reality

Posted on Sep 02 2014 | IANS

Madrid, Sep 2 : The closure of the transfer window in the Spanish Primera Liga showed the vast inequalities among sides in the top flight of one of the most-watched football leagues.

Although the total expenditure of 472 million euros (USD 619 million) is 60 million euros more than what was spent last summer and may look healthy given the current economic climate in Spain, the fact is the vast majority of the spending was carried out by the teams who finished in the top-three positions last season, reports Xinhua.

According to the Spanish Football League (LFP), Atletico Madrid, FC Barcelona and Real Madrid were responsible for 83 percent of all of the spending and the other 17 clubs accounted for the remaining 17 percent, with most of that spent by Valencia and Sevilla.

Atletico Madrid coach Diego Simeone has long tried to send out the message that his side cannot compete long-term with Real Madrid and Barca, but after seeing his club invest 112 million euros over the summer, he will have to consider changing his stance.

Real Madrid and Barcelona were also massive spenders with Real Madrid investing around 130 million euros in the signing of Tony Kroos, James Rodriguez and Keylor Navas, while bringing Javier Hernandez in on loan.

That was offset by the big money sale of Angel Di Maria, while departures for Alvaro Morata and Xabi Alonso mean that the club ended the summer with its books just about balanced.

Barca were also big spenders with Ivan Rakitic, Jeremy Mathieu, Thomas Vermaelen, Luis Suarez, Douglas, Ter Stegen and Claudio Bravo all landing at the Camp Nou, although it should be pointed out that some of that spending was carried out knowing the club may not be able to sign again until January 2016 as the result of a FIFA sanction.

The only other club to spend big in the market was Valencia, whose new owner, billionaire Peter Lin, has put in his own money to finance the squad, which was completed with the loan deal for Alvaro Negredo in the last minute of the transfer window.

Clubs such as Sevilla and Real Sociedad have also spent reasonable amounts of money on new players, the fact is that Sevilla lost midfielder Rakitic to Barcelona, while Real Sociedad earned 30 million euros from the sale of Antoine Griezmann to Atletico Madrid.

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