Blackburn big spenders on agents' fees

Rhodes was one of the big buys Photo: PA

Blackburn spent over £3.5million on agents' fees last season despite only just avoiding relegation to the third tier of English football.

A Football League report released on Friday morning revealed the Sky Bet Championship club spent £3,538,034 on agents' fees.

Staggeringly, that figure amounts to almost a fifth (19.1 per cent) of all spending on agents' fees in the league.

The sum has risen to such a big figure because the club signed a number of big names in the summer of 2012 - such as Jordan Rhodes, Danny Murphy and Nuno Gomes - following their relegation from the Premier League.

Rovers finished in 17th place last season - just four points above the relegation zone - while this year they are 11th in the standings after two wins in five games.

Blackburn managing director Derek Shaw admitted the big-spending approach of last summer did not work.

He said: "After suffering relegation from the Premier League, there was an influx of new signings, including a number of 'high profile' players on lucrative contracts, in the hope that we would make an immediate return to the top flight.

"Regrettably, those moves didn't work out, both in terms of results on the pitch and from a financial point of view, which is something we have worked hard to put right this summer.

"Since Gary Bowyer's appointment as manager in May, he has adopted a very different transfer policy, bringing in a number of hungry, young players, on manageable Championship contracts, and if recent results are anything to go by, the early signs are very encouraging."

Two of the three teams who won promotion last season - Crystal Palace and Cardiff - spent over a million pounds on agents, as did Leeds and Nottingham Forest.

Overall spending on agents by Championship clubs rose by £521,125. Interestingly, the only club in the league to spend nothing on agents was Blackpool, who currently top the table.

League One spending rose by £298,183 to £2,229,019. Promoted side Bournemouth spent the most (£688,666) on agents while Hartlepool and Crewe did not pay a penny.

There was a big drop of £362,161 spent on agents in League Two. That contributed to an overall fall of £170,000 spent on agents' fees across the Football League.

The 2013-14 season is the first year in which the Football League rules on Financial Fair Play come into effect.

Football League chairman Greg Clarke hopes clubs are spending what they can afford on agents.

"Again, this is a considerable amount of money to be leaving the game," he said.

"However, the real challenge is to ensure that such payments are part of a sustainable financial model with clubs only spending what they can afford.

"In conjunction with clubs, we're making real progress towards this goal and now have all three divisions operating Financial Fair Play regulations."

Here, Press Association Sport breaks down how much each club spent.

Championship

Blackburn £3,538,034

Cardiff £1,836,193

Wolves £1,676,300

Crystal Palace £1,345,913

Leeds £1,283,234

Nottingham Forest £1,208,850

Hull £929,535

Brighton £869,988

Bolton £611,900

Ipswich £551,878

Watford £546,250

Derby £533,081

Burnley £531,487

Sheffield Wednesday £487,800

Bristol City £467,115

Huddersfield £459,670

Leicester £407,300

Middlesbrough £365,947

Millwall £233,400

Charlton £227,170

Birmingham £203,100

Barnsley £169,360

Peterborough £83,800

Blackpool £0

Total £18,567,305

League One

Bournemouth £688,666

Coventry £252,256

Preston £199,605

Brentford £177,806

Crawley £133,520

Swindon £128,326

MK Dons £100,545

Notts County £95,965

Sheffield United £84,647

Doncaster £76,900

Colchester £50,135

Stevenage £40,660

Leyton Orient £37,155

Yeovil £36,265

Shrewsbury £33,351

Scunthorpe £31,126

Bury £23,924

Oldham £20,169

Portsmouth £20,000

Carlisle £16,700

Tranmere £10,000

Walsall £3,300

Crewe £0

Hartlepool £0

Total £2,261,020

League Two

Rotherham £106,383

Chesterfield £92,418

Fleetwood £91,445

Bradford £62,026

Port Vale £59,250

Bristol Rovers £58,886

Southend £35,003

Northampton £29,270

Wycombe £25,396

Exeter £22,720

Plymouth £16,500

Oxford £13,520

Cheltenham £12,140

York £11,500

Aldershot £8,060

Gillingham £7,500

Dagenham £6,750

Rochdale £6,240

Torquay £5,000

Burton £4,030

Accrington £0

AFC Wimbledon £0

Barnet £0

Morecambe £0

Total £674,037