There you are, on the sofa, looking at your banking app. You’ve only been in your overdraft for twenty three days of this month. It’s a ‘new you’ record! You move to the kitchen, open the fridge and take out the Covent Garden soup that’s been on offer at Sainsbury’s. Half price this week, it is. Into the pan it goes: a big pan of soup. You get your phone out and check Live Score: that Belgian second division game you’ve had a bet on is going the way you want it to go. You’ll win £5.80. You clench your fist. The soup is burning.
FIFA have released their annual Global Transfer Market report, and well, well, well, haven’t they been shopping ’til they dropping. Football clubs spent $6.37 billion in 2017, with English clubs spending almost a billion of that alone. It’s a lot of money, that is, 33 per cent more than in 2016, in fact.
Lukaku’s £75 million-pound dash across Lancashire and Morata’s £60 million-pound switch across the continent ensured English sides rang in at the top of the list. But both of those were dwarfed by Neymar’s move to Paris from Barcelona, which cashing in at £195.4 million pounds, is enough to splash on America’s largest mansion and still have a touch left for the lampshades and a couple of succulents.
Dodgy blokes in bad suits and worse shoes were paid more than ever before. English clubs forked out $125.7 million on intermediary payments to player agents and $447 million was handed over worldwide – up from $387 million in 2016. Shadowy figures, them lot.
The record-breaking amount was the result of 13,415 players switching clubs, with the average transfer fee for a player in the top 50 most-expensive moves at $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, which is mad considering the vast amounts of wedge involved.
Brazil was the country most involved in international transfers with 1,755 of their players switching teams in 2017. Good, that lot. And Spanish clubs received the most money in transfer fees, with a big $840.4 million heading over to La Liga and it’s underbelly divisions.
Absolutely absurd numbers of money, then. Your soup’s still burning.
We don’t write about stuff like this in the magazine, we do it because we’re slaves to Google Analytics on a daily basis. You can pre-order issue 13 here, or subscribe and get all four issues sent to your door here. All the best.