By Alex Young
Transfer spending is expected to reach a record high this summer as the likes of Arsenal, Liverpool and Manchester United aim to topple their Premier League title rivals, according to Deloitte.
Louis van Gaal will oversee a number of arrivals and departures after finally taking the Old Trafford reins, while Arsene Wenger called for a new era at Arsenal after penning a contract extension.
Alan Switzer, Director of the Sports Business Group, also highlighted the possible exodus of Southampton players to title-chasing sides as key to the Premier League's continued financial dominance in football.
"We certainly think there will be a record transfer spend in terms of gross. In terms of money leaving the league, it depends on the nature of the transactions," Switzer, who is also project manager of the Deloitte Annual Review of Football Finance, told Goal.
"With Southampton players potentially going to Liverpool for big sums, there is certainly a good chance we will find the gross level will be a record, with money staying within the league and not going abroad.
"The spending will be right down the league as clubs look to compete for the title and European glory, and not forgetting those who will look to consolidate their positions and avoid relegation. Significant sums of money are most likely going to be spent.
"In terms of the year just passed, it is also likely that the gap between the Premier League and their nearest rival, the Bundesliga, will increase. It's currently €1.8bn (£1.4bn) and approaching €2bn (£1.6bn) so the Premier League clubs have such a financial advantage over their rivals when it comes to buying players from Europe."
Wages continue to rise despite Uefa's Financial Fair Play regulations
Van Gaal has outlined his shortlist of desired transfer targets, which includes Southampton and England left-back Luke Shaw - with the club offering him a record-breaking contract for a teenager.
With such high spending anticipated this summer, Switzer believes the increased revenue provided to clubs by broadcast deals are making Uefa's Financial Fair Play regulations easier to comply with.
The league's combined revenues exceeded £3 billion last season, just four years since passing £2bn, and Switzler feels the £4bn barrier could be met in just three years' time - further aiding teams against FFP.
Switzer continued: "The next wave of broadcasting rights have started so revenues will exceed to £3.2bn for the season just past. That, combined with the bigger clubs growing their commercial revenues, clearly helps with the break-even calculation.
"Although, it still stands that clubs must control costs. It's not a case of reducing costs, but controlling them better so, absolutely, Uefa's rules are becoming easier to comply with."
"We are in the first year of the current new broadcasting deal, with two to go, so the next big change in value will be in 2016-17. Will revenue reach [the £4bn] landmark by then? I wouldn't be surprised. It certainly wouldn't be beyond the realms of possibility.
"Football clubs do not necessarily exist to make money - it's also about success on the pitch - but the [2 per cent profit] margins are too narrow at the moment. We expect the profit margins to jump up significantly when the new TV deals are taken into account."
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