Liverpool spent £26.7million on fees for intermediaries and agents in 12 months and Premier League clubs overall topped the £200million mark for the first time.
Figures released by the Football Association on Tuesday showed Liverpool paid out more than any other club, closely followed by reigning Premier League champions Chelsea and this season’s table-toppers Manchester City.
Jurgen Klopp’s team have been strengthened by big-money signings including Mohamed Salah, Virgil van Dijk and Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain over the past year, with agents also significantly benefiting from player transfers involving the club.
Chelsea spent £25.1million for the period concerned, which runs from February 1 2017 to January 31 2018, taking in last year’s summer transfer window and the recent January window.
Manchester City had an outlay of £23.4million and Manchester United paid £18million, the FA said, with the total Premier League spend amounting to £211,011,187, up from £174,227,243 for the corresponding 2016/17 timeframe.
Watford’s total of £13.3million meant the Hertfordshire club were the fifth highest spenders, forking out more than Everton and Arsenal.
Of the current Premier League sides, Huddersfield were the lowest spenders with a total of £2.4million. Four teams currently in the Sky Bet Championship paid out more, with Aston Villa spending £5.5million, Middlesbrough £2.5million, Reading £2.8million and Sunderland £4.3million.
The aggregate spend by Premier League and Football League clubs amounted to £257,680,542, with Championship sides paying £42.183million. Clubs from League One paid £3.527million, and League Two outfits spent £958,969.
Much of the spending will comprise payments made to agents for transfers completed and contracts negotiated over the 12 months, although the FA said some payments may have been made for deals agreed before last February.
League Two side Crawley were the lowest spenders of all, with a £4,680 total investment.
Premier League spending table
1. Liverpool £26,793,503
2. Chelsea: £25,143,786
3. Manchester City: £23,475,309
4. Manchester United: £18,002,193
5. Watford: £13,390,605
6. Everton: £12,056,512
7. Arsenal: £10,560,689
8. Leicester £9,918,530
9. West Ham £8,387,694
10. Bournemouth: £7,733,988
11. Newcastle: £7,409,760
12. Swansea: £7,317,716
13. Tottenham: £7,173,667
14. Southampton: £6,296,804
15. Stoke: £6,241,527
16. Crystal Palace: £6,173,622
17. West Brom: £4,754,226
18. Brighton: £4,415,325
19. Burnley: £3,299,917
20. Huddersfield: £2,465,815
Sky Bet Championship
Top spenders – Aston Villa:
League total: £42,183,048
Sky Bet League One
Top spenders – Blackburn: £764,024
League total: £3,527,338
Sky Bet League Two
Top spenders – Coventry: £113,620
League total: £958,969