Premier League clubs spent around £60m in the January transfer window, a reduction of about 70 per cent compared to the record £225m spent in 2011 according to Deloitte.
Despite clubs spending around £165m less than 2011, transfers this January accounted for twice the amount of the 2010 window.
All the statistics point towards clubs pulling back on spending to adhere to the new UEFA financial fair play rules, however.
Around £30m of the transfer fees were spent on deadline day compared to a total of £135m last January.
The top spenders were Chelsea, Queens Park Rangers and Newcastle, who together accounted for over half of all spending. Chelsea, Liverpool, Aston Villa and Manchester City totalled 80 per cent of spending in January 2011.
The net spend was around £25m this year, down from £90m in 2011.
No player transferred for more than £15m this January, while six players moved for more than that amount a year ago.
English teams are still spending more than other European clubs in January, however, with top division clubs in France, Germany and Italy reportedly spending around 80 per cent of Premier League clubs.
Overall, £30m (50%) of spending came from overseas clubs, £15m (25%) with Premier League clubs and £15m (25%) with Football League clubs.
Over the ten January transfer windows, Premier League clubs have spent £925m, with the amount being about one-fifth of all spending each year.
Dan Jones, Partner in the Sports Business Group at Deloitte, said: “After last year’s bout of big money transfers that drove the record total spend of £225m, January 2012 has seen a more sober level of spending amongst Premier League clubs.
“In the decade since the introduction of transfer windows, January has typically been a relatively quiet window with total spending driven by a few high value transfers, as was certainly the case with the chain of events on last year’s deadline day.
“The £60m spent in January 2012 is back to a similar level as the January windows in 2004 to 2007, and still ahead of the investment in players by top division clubs in other European leagues.”
Speaking about the downturn in transfer window activity, Dan Jones said: “As clubs are now in the reporting period that will count towards the first assessment for UEFA’s financial fair play break-even requirement, their comparative restraint is indicative of an overriding reflection on spending levels.
“The focus on football’s future financial sustainability is more prevalent in Europe than at any time in the past 20 years and, going forward we remain keen to see that translated into a better balance between revenue and expenditure.”