Global football transfers hit record $6.37 billion in 2017, FIFA says

COMPILED FROM WIRE SERVICES
ISTANBUL
Published
An aerial view taken with a drone shows Luzhniki Stadium in Moscow on January 24, 2018. Luzhniki Stadium will host seven matches including the final of the 2018 FIFA World Cup football tournament. (AFP Photo)
An aerial view taken with a drone shows Luzhniki Stadium in Moscow on January 24, 2018. Luzhniki Stadium will host seven matches including the final of the 2018 FIFA World Cup football tournament. (AFP Photo)

A record $6.37 billion was spent on international football transfers during 2017, a new FIFA report shows.

The total was more than 32 percent higher than the previous mark of $4.80 billion set in 2016, according the FIFA Global Transfer Market Report released on Tuesday.

The record-breaking amount was the result of 15,624 international transfers, another standard, that involved 13,415 players.

Remarkably, just under 16 percent of all transfers involved a fee with 84.2 percent being free.

Almost half (47.4 percent) of the transfers last year involved clubs from European confederation UEFA, more than three times any other.

"This may not come as a surprise, as the European confederation is the largest of the six with its 55 member associations, and all but one of them - Liechtenstein - were involved in international transfers," the report said.

"Spending growth is driven by a relatively small group of clubs," the report said, with over two-thirds of the total amount spent by 50 clubs in 13 different countries.

The average transfer fee for a player in the top 50 most-expensive moves was $48.4 million, up from $35.2 million in 2016. The report shows that only 15.8 percent of transfers involved fees being paid from one club to another.

English clubs, bolstered by their record television rights contracts, spent $1.6 billion in 2017.

That was nearly double the $860 million $ spent by second-placed French sides.

A total of 732 players joined English teams with 767 departing, resulting in a net spend of $988.1 million.

By contrast, German clubs had the second-highest net spend of $237.8 million.

French powerhouse Paris Saint-Germain pulled off the biggest transfer in buying Brazilian forward Neymar from Barcelona for a world-record 222 million euros ($276 million).

That dwarfed the previous standard set when Manchester United spent 88 million euros to bring Paul Pogba back from Juventus in 2016.

Deals such as Romelu Lukaku's 75 million-pound move from Everton to Manchester United and Alvaro Morata's 60 million-pound switch from Real Madrid to Chelsea put English teams at the top of the list.

Fees paid to agents also increased significantly. English clubs forked out a reported $125.7 million on intermediary payments and $447 million was handed over worldwide – up from $387 million in 2016.

Brazil was the country most involved in international transfers with 1,755 of their players switching teams in 2017.

Two hundred and fifty four Brazilian clubs conducted international transfer deals with Germany (143), England (132), Argentina (111) and Spain (98) making up the top five.

Spanish clubs received the most money in transfer fees ($840.4 million), but Portuguese ones posted the highest net receipts of $707.5 million.

The report data was taken from the International Transfer Matching System used by all 211 FIFA member associations and over 7,000 professional club worldwide.

Share on Facebook Share on Twitter