English Premier League clubs spent a record 160 million pounds ($227.7 million) in the January transfer window, business advisory firm Deloitte said on Tuesday.
Spending that defied the credit crunch was done mainly by Manchester City (more than 50 million pounds) and Tottenham Hotspur (45 million).
These two struggling big clubs together accounted for more than half of the total as they look to play their way into the elite and vie for Champions League places.
City, the world's richest club, splashed out on midfielder Nigel de Jong, striker Craig Bellamy and defender Wayne Bridge to achieve what Deloitte said is the highest amount of spending ever by a club in the January transfer window.
Spurs' purchases included bringing strikers Jermain Defoe and Robbie Keane back to White Hart Lane after brief spells at Portsmouth and Liverpool respectively, and buying midfielder Wilson Palacios from Wigan Athletic.
"The record level of gross spending has largely been driven by transfers between Premier League clubs ... in particular fuelled by the activity of Manchester City and Tottenham Hotspur," Dan Jones, partner in the sports business group at Deloitte, said in a statement. Deloitte's analysis showed Premier League clubs flashed their cash more than other European top-division teams, spending more than those in France, Germany, Italy and Spain put together.
"The level of transfer spending is far in excess of spending by clubs in other European leagues," Paul Rawnsley, director in the sports business group at Deloitte, said.
"With the majority of their revenue streams already secured for the current season, while clubs are not recession-proof, they are relatively recession-resistant."
Last year's spending over the same period was 150 million pounds and in 2007, 60 million.
"Looking forward, while the clubs will not be complacent, the latest transfer activity re-emphasises the financial strength and global appeal of the Premier League competition," added Rawnsley.