When the buzzer rang at the end of the transfer window display in Spain on Monday night, the prevailing noise from supporters was a tumult of disappointment and a few cries of anger from Valencia fans.

In its Tuesday edition, Diario AS announced that the Spanish league had seen an overall 65 percent drop in money spent compared to last year, with € 1.3 billion spent last summer and only €410 million (£372 million) paid out this time.

To put it simply, Real Madrid had not signed a single player for the first time in 40 years.

But more than the expected drop in money spent overall, and more than Madrid’s decision to buy no one (they told us they weren’t bringing anyone in) was how clubs worked – especially Barcelona, Atletico Madrid, and Valencia.


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