The transfer window is the most exciting time for football fans. With over £38bn spent on players worldwide in the past decade, it’s no wonder that many clubs and managers are willing to spend massive amounts of money in order to secure their services.
Angel di Maria joined Manchester United for £59.7 million in 2014, then moved to Paris St-Germain for £44.3 million the following year.
Over the last decade, more than £38 billion ($48.5 billion) has been spent on transfer fees across the globe, with English teams topping the list of large spenders.
Fifa, the world governing organization, performed comprehensive study on transfers between 2011 and 2023.
Manchester City and Chelsea, two of the 12 Premier League teams in the top 30, topped the chart of the highest-spending clubs.
Southampton, which is now 21st in the league, spent more than Borussia Dortmund, according to the study.
Fifa’s Transfer Matching System was established a decade ago, according to the article. external-link
In October 2010, Fifa made the mechanism for recording player transactions between clubs obligatory.
There have been considerably more transactions involving Brazilian players (15,128) – and far more money spent on them (£5.14 billion/$7.070 billion) – than any other country in the last decade.
According to the article, Neymar is the only player who has been sold for more than $200 million (currently £145 million).
There have been 14 transactions worth more than $100 million (£72.7 million) between now and 2023, with Argentina striker Angel di Maria being the only player to be involved in two of them.
Romelu Lukaku, who joined Chelsea for a club record price of £97.5 million on August 12, will not follow Di Maria in being included twice among the largest transactions since his transfers to Manchester United and Inter Milan were both for less than $100 million, according to Fifa.
Overall, English clubs spent $7.23 billion (£5.26 billion) on net transfers, much more than any other country, with China coming in second at $1.46 billion (£1.06 billion).
Agent fees exceed $3.5 billion, with Man City being the largest spenders.
Aside from the matches themselves, transfer transactions offer some of the most extensively followed media stories.
However, the focus of attention is on a limited number of transactions. In 2023, little over 13% of the 17,185 transfers made worldwide were permanent and cost money.
The following are some of the most salient points from Fifa’s 98-page study.
- Over the decade leading up to 2023, agents were paid a total of $3.5 billion in commissions. Agent involvement in transactions has increased by 69.1% in that period.
- Between 2011 and 2023, Manchester City was the most expensive club, followed by Chelsea, Barcelona, PSG, and Real Madrid.
- The ‘big six’ plus Leicester, Southampton, Wolves, Everton, West Ham, and Newcastle made up 12 of the top 30 spending clubs in the last decade.
- Sporting Lisbon, Barcelona, Chelsea, and Atletico Madrid got the most transfer fees, followed by Benfica, Sporting Lisbon, Barcelona, Chelsea, and Atletico Madrid.
- Manchester City had the most players loaned out (232). Chelsea (207) was the second team to take the field. Swansea (146 points) finished fifth.
- When compared to the next biggest association, Spain ($6.7 billion), English teams spent twice as much on incoming transfers ($12.4 billion). Wales’ $600 million, boosted by Cardiff and Swansea’s Premier League stints, placed them in 15th place, ahead of Argentina (19th) and Scotland (25th).
- Over the last ten years, the most common transfer route has been from Brazil to Portugal (1,556), followed by England to Scotland (1,239). The number of players who moved from England to Wales (846) was higher than the number of players who moved from Wales to England (701).
- The total profit earned by Portuguese clubs from player trade was $2.956 billion.
- The greatest financial loss was recorded by English clubs ($7.23 billion), followed by China ($1.46 billion). Saudi Arabia ranked seventh ($481.2 million) and Qatar ninth ($278.4 million).
- Wrexham came in seventh place on the list of teams with the most out-of-contract moves done (103). Singapore, Armenia, Cyprus, and Malta were among the clubs above them.