Saints spent almost as much money in the latest transfer window as they did in the previous four combined – yet the club still turned a profit in the market this summer.

With an outlay just shy of £60m, the board at St Mary’s have overseen a record period of spending during the last two months. That means Saints have spent just over £122m on players since returning to the cash-rich Premier League in 2012.

In the top flight, only Manchester United, Liverpool, Chelsea and Arsenal invested more on transfer fees this summer.

Even though Manchester City spent £32m on one defender – Eliaquim Mangala – the defending top flight champions spent less than Saints, just over £50m in total.

Yet Saints were one of just three clubs in the division to make a net profit in the market.

With the sales of Rickie Lambert, Luke Shaw, Adam Lallana, Dejan Lovren and Calum Chambers earning them a combined potential total of about £90m, Saints finished more than £30m up after concluding their business.

That dwarfed the estimated £6.5m profit of Spurs and £0.8m of Chelsea.

It also went somewhat to filling the £64m gap that existed on Saints spending money on players from the summer to 2012 to January 2014, and the small amount that had been brought in from sales.

Ahead of this summer, Saints had spent about £65m on transfer fees since returning to the Premier League in 2012.

And, while they have done little in the January markets, the club have been major players in each of the three summer transfer windows since they won promotion back to the top flight.

In 2012, they spent approximately £28m on new players, with the £12m capture of Gaston Ramirez, in what was then a club-record deal, accounting for the biggest chunk of that.

Only six other sides – Chelsea, Tottenham, Manchester United, Manchester City, Arsenal and Liverpool – topped that figure.

Hardly any of Saints’ spending was offset that summer, with Dan Harding the only player sold, moving to Nottingham Forest for a small undisclosed fee.

A year later, having banked £43.8m in television and prize money from their first season back in the big time, the club increased their spending even further.

Just three signings were made, but the arrivals of Lovren, Victor Wanyama and Dani Osvaldo came at a combined cost of £33.9m.

That put Saints behind only Spurs, Manchester City, Chelsea, Liverpool and Arsenal in terms of money spent.

Again, there was little incoming transfer funds, with Vegard Forren – the sole purchase in the January 2013 window – being sold back to Molde for a significant loss on the £4m that had been paid to the Norwegian club for him just a few months earlier.

Last January saw almost no activity either in or out, with Jason Puncheon’s £1.75m move to Crystal Palace the only sale.

That proved something of a calm before the storm, as this summer represented the most eventful yet.

As well as the backing of owner Katharina Liebherr, and the money raised from this year’s five major sales, Saints’ spending power – and that of their Premier League colleagues – has been strengthened by the new television deal that came into effect in 2013.

That saw the club’s earnings from broadcast and prize money jump to £76.9m in 2013/14.