Figures out this weekend highlight the sharp decline in total money spent by Spain's Primera Division clubs in the transfer market.
ABC are running research into La Liga’s austerity this summer and reveal that a year on from the Spanish top flight’s 20 teams spending a combined €384m, this transfer window has seen only €65m spent so far.
Where last year's biggest transfer was Radamel Falcao's €47m move to Atletico Madrid, this year's is so far Jordi Alba's €14m deal between Valencia and Barcelona. Real Madrid, who have spent a total of €467m in the previous four summers, have so far spent nothing this term.
With the completion of Alex Song’s deal arriving on Monday, summer 2012's figure will rise to €84m and the biggest fee spent by €4m. However, it will markedly also take Barcelona to a total of €33m spent during this market, which is a sum greater than the 19 other Spanish teams combined.
The lack of spending, when combined with a current €113m total received from player sales to foreign clubs, has the League currently in a state of total profit of €51m. This is before Song’s arrival from Arsenal, but also Javi Martinez’ expected €40m sale to Bayern Munich and a potential sale of Fernando Llorente to Italy or England.
Last summer La Liga had a total deficit of €67m whilst the year before that, clubs spent €502m on 274 players, which was €9m more than they recouped.
So far, Spain has spent less on transfers this summer than the top Divisions in Turkey (€66.3m), Russia (€115.1m), Germany (€178.8m), France (€202m), Italy (€281.3m) and England (€313.1m).
Situations such as disproportionate television revenue deals, Atletico Madrid’s tax debt of over €100m and Malaga’s €90m total debt accrued as their owner decides to sell are seen as examples of why La Liga has spent a lot less this year compared to recent times.
Several Spanish clubs have not spent transfer fees on new players for several consecutive transfer markets.