- Transfer dealings dramatically reduced in January window
- English Premier League clubs saw reduction of 70 per cent in spending
- Total deals in Spain, Italy,. Germany and France totaled £131 million
- UEFA Financial Fair Play rules may be a factor says analysts
Europe's leading clubs kept their powder dry in the January transfer window with a big reduction in the value of deals completed, according to figures released Wednesday.
Spending by English Premier League clubs fell dramatically on the same period in 2011, totaling an estimated £60 million ($95.1 million), a 70 per cent reduction in the record £225 million ($356.6 million) of the year before, said business advisory firm Deloitte.
"It was it quite a sober month with sober spending, very much down from the year before," Mark Roberts, an analyst for Deloittes told CNN.
"The Financial Fair Play rules introduced by UEFA, this is the first year where the figures are recorded by Europe's governing body, definitely had an impact on clubs," added Roberts.
Under the rules, clubs must work towards breaking even by 2015 or face sanctions, but Roberts said that the pattern over the last nine years was for the January window to only account for around 20 per cent of total transfer spending.
And with Manchester City's Carlos Tevez remaining at the English Premier League leaders, there was not the catalyst that sparked the extraordinary last-day spending of 2011 where Chelsea paid £50 million ($79.2 million) for Fernando Torres and Liverpool used part of the money to purchase Andy Carroll for £35 million ($55.5 million) from Newcastle.
The biggest deal was the $14 million which took Kevin De Bruyne from Genk to Chelsea, with relegation battlers Queens Park Rangers the most prominent spenders as they signed strikers Djibril Cisse and Bobby Zamora on the final day of the window.
Outside of the EPL, one of the biggest deals saw Thiago Motta move to Paris Saint-Germain from Inter Milan for a fee in the region of 10 million euros ($13.1m).
Qatari-backed PSG were linked with a move for Tevez as were both the Milan clubs in Serie A, but could not meet the price valuation placed on the Argentine striker.
Research by Deloittes suggested that overall spending in France's Ligue 1, Serie A and the German Bundesliga was in the range of £47-48 million ($76 million) for each league.
Spending was more even more limited in La Liga, an estimated £8 million ($12.7 million), with neither Real Madrid or Barcelona adding big names to their star-studded squads.
But Roberts said that although spending was down in January, we can expect the transfer market to be fueled by Euro 2012 with many players displaying their qualities to the big clubs.
"I think you could see a big uplift around a major tournament," he told CNN.
Young talent will also come under the spotlight in the football competition at the 2012 Summer Olympics in London where the majority of players are under 23.