Premier League clubs paid out over £211 million in agent fees last year - more than it would have taken to buy Neymar.

The amount of money going out of the game into the hands of transfer fixers has rocketed, with Liverpool coughing up almost £28m themselves.

 

And when Chelsea clinched the signing of Ross Barkley from Everton for £15m in January it is understood they handed over a further £7m to his agent.

 

The amazing details of just how much money is lost to the game were revealed today when the FA published their full list of agent fees for the year February 1 2017 – January 31 2018.

 

Figures show that over the past year the 20 top flight clubs splashed out £37m more on agents than the previous year, a rise of 21 percent on the £174m spent in total.

 

This kind of money combined would be enough to have signed Neymar from Barcelona last summer, who joined PSG for £198m, with a bit left over to spare.

 

Liverpool were the highest spenders, paying £26,793,503 to intermediaries over the 12 month period, having signed the likes of Virgil Van Dijk, Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain and Mo Salah.

 

That doubled the amount they had spent the year before as Jurgen Klopp invested heavily on his playing squad.

Chelsea were the next biggest with £25.1m sent in the direction of agents, with Barkley’s agent Paul Martin and his Wasserman group alone benefiting to the tune of almost half the cost of the player himself.

 

Then comes Manchester City (£23.47m) with Manchester United down in fourth on £18m.

 

Both clubs were major spenders over the course of the year on transfer fees, although United managed to keep a relatively respectable lid on money going into the hands of agents.

 

Compared to the rest of the top six clubs, Tottenham’s spend of £7.17 actually fared well, with North London rivals Arsenal topping £10.5m

 

Premier League newcomers Huddersfield spent the least, despite overhauling their squad following promotion last season.

 

The Yorkshire club spent £2.46m over the course of the year as they made sure they did not risk the financial future of the club on trying to stay in the top flight.

 

But Watford were the fifth highest spenders on agents with the Pozzo family splashing out £13.39m on agent fees.