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The Brewers are one of the lowest spending League One clubs, and they have only paid a transfer fee for five players in history. Their top three signings came during Burton Albion’s two years competing in the English Football League Championship between 2016-18.
Up until 2016, the Brewers record signing was John Mcgraph who arrived from Tamworth for just £180k in 2007-08. In 2015, Timmy Thiele joined from German side SC Wiedenbruck for just £45k, and just one season later arrived record signing Jackson Irvine from Scottish Premiership side Ross County.
Irvine joined for £322k which smashed the club’s record arrival fee by almost double, and the Australian international played all of Burton’s inaugural Championship games, scoring 11 times.
Just one season later, however, the young central midfielder caught the eye of Championship rivals Hull City, and joined the Tigers for almost £2m which was over six times the Brewers paid for him. Irvine’s high transfer sale fee is still a club record and looks very unlikely to be beaten any time soon.
The following seasons after Irvine’s arrival, Burton splashed out on two more signings during the summer transfer window as they did everything possible to remain in the second tier.
Jamie Allen arrived from Rochdale for just over £400k, and Liam Boyce arrived from a familiar Ross County for over £500k, making him the clubs new all-time record signing. Allen played 71 games across two seasons for Burton, and after the Brewers faced relegation in 2018, he moved to former Championship rivals Coventry City for an undisclosed fee.
Liam Boyce followed a similar path to Allen, scoring 22 goals in 78 games, before moving back to the Scottish Premiership in 2020 for upwards of £100k. Boyce joined Heart of Midlothian for a decreased sum of his arrival fee, making him the clubs fourth-highest sale in history.
In 2015-16, Nasser El Khayati caught the eye of Championship’s QPR, and moved for a very respectable fee of £414k, this sale has only been topped by Jackson Irvine so far.
One of, if not the most famous Burton Albion transfer of all time is Nigel Clough who arrived as a player/manager from Manchester City for free in 1998.
The former England international made over 200 appearances for the Brewers, and after ten seasons at the club he earned his legendary title by taking Burton up from the seventh tier of the English Football League to the brink of promotion to League Two.
Clough returned at the helm in 2015, where he took Burton all the way up to the EFL Championship for the first time in club history.