If you were to go back to the turn of the year, one thing that was constantly being spoken about was big name signings moving to the English Premier League. With the highest profile and the deepest pockets of all soccer leagues, many big names are being linked with the likes of Liverpool, Chelsea, Arsenal, Tottenham Hotspur, and the two Manchester giants. However, with COVID-19 now taking up the whole year, reality is beginning to set in for most clubs.

English Premier League Spending Habits

Many dossiers and scouting trips will be shelved, and many agents will likely have far less chances to move clients on. The English Premier League is consistently either the highest spending league or among the highest spending leagues in all of sport, not just soccer. This summer, though, we might see a big cool down in spending – and when that happens in England, it’ll happen everywhere.

Indeed, fans of Manchester United and Chelsea might have been getting excited about the idea of signing English prodigy Jadon Sancho. Sancho plys his trade for Borussia Dortmund (who you can watch play bitter rivals FC Schalke 04 on Saturday), and was expected to return to his home nation for a fee far in excess of $100m.

However, it looks like all his major suitors will have to curb their major spending plans. Expect to see many English clubs either not spending at all or using the oft-suggested player trading deals to make moves a reality.

A change in circumstances for English clubs is coming

Having long seen even their smallest clubs in the top flight spend tens, if not hundreds, of millions of dollars, English football might be about to see a minor financial reset. Indeed, some experts – including former Liverpool and Tottenham Director of Football, Damien Comolli – believe that only a few teams will have any legitimate spending power come the summer transfer window.

Speaking to Sky Sports on the subject matter, Comolli said: “An agent was telling me the other day, that there are actually only three clubs in the Premier League that will be able to spend money next summer in the transfer window.

“I don’t know if this is correct but usually when agents tell you things like this, they usually get intel.

“We might see very little transfer activity, we might see swaps, we might see loans and I think we are going to see a massive decrease in transfer fees and transfer activity, at least transfers involving money.

“The longer this crisis goes on, more clubs are going to be in a financially difficult situation. The first thing that will be impacted will be player remuneration, the second thing will be transfer fees.”

Given the sheer amount of money sloshing around the English leagues, the coming austerity is likely to have a knock-on impact globally. Many smaller leagues across Europe especially have built their model around priming clubs for English football; if the English clubs aren’t paying premiums for their talent, though, that could mean a massive drop-off in income for everyone.

Having long been the big spender in world football, it looks like England – like almost every other major nation – will have to curb major transfers and contracts for a while yet.